Although it may seem odd, the parking lot is an important part of my impression of Illinois Central College (ICC). On my first day in ICC, the first thing that I saw was not the academic building but the parking lot!

“What is that, is that a parking lot?” I asked my friends. We were shocked and couldn't believe how gigantic it was. The parking lot of ICC is as big as a small airport.  It is much bigger than my school’s parking lot in Shenzhen, China. According to the staff in ICC, the parking lot is about 60 acres (around 250,000 square meters)! However, the parking lot looks even bigger on weekends. Walking through the parking lot feels like walking in the desert on weekends.

There was one boiling hot weekend when I went to the gymnasium. Crossing the parking lot, I can see nothing and it seemed endless. Whenever I looked at the parking lot on weekdays, it was full of different kinds of cars. It looked like a car show.

That weekend, however, it was devoid of students and cars. Since nobody was around, all I could hear was my shoes hitting the pavement. It felt peaceful to me. From a distance, I I could hear some workers cutting steel with their machines and sometimes a car or two would pass by. I looked at the cloudless blue sky, which was as blue as the ocean. The sun was shining and the breeze was blowing but it was really a hot day.

I felt like I was walking in the desert. The five hundred meters that I had to walk seemed like five thousand meters. Birds hovered in the sky just like vultures. I was sweating and my T-shirt was drenched as if I was caught in the rain. The sunshine was so bright, and I had to squint my eyes. I felt extremely thirsty, and I needed tons of water at that time. I felt a little bit dizzy. It seemed the gymnasium never got close to me even after a long walk.

While walking, I could see the heat coming up from the pavement. It was so hot that I think I could fry the eggs on the ground. The black tire tracks were noticeable, tens of thousands tire tracks were on the ground, they looked like snakes slithering on the parking lot. It took me about 5 minutes to walk through the parking lot, but it felt like an hour. Finally, I got out of the “desert” and arrived at the “oasis” (the gymnasium) successfully.

After the unforgettable walk through the parking lot, I realized it is not pretty or dazzling but for me, it is one of the symbols of ICC. As time goes by, the parking lot of ICC will always be a “desert” in my mind.

(By Ben)