The good news about parking at UM is that decals are available for freshmen. The bad news is that Braveheart-like battle scenes erupt over every decent spot available. There are tons of spots in the lots and garages around campus, so if you can cover the ever-increasing cost of a decal, then you're guaranteed to find a place to park. But finding a spot within reasonable walking distance to your dorm is another story. The two dorms where most freshmen live share a long, narrow lot with most of the good spots reserved for RAs and other staff. If you get back to campus in the popular parking times, which seem to be almost always, then your only hope of getting anything in this lot is to beg strangers for their spots. Instead, you'll probably have to park at UM's basketball arena and drag your stuff down the street to the building you live in.
Other dorms on campus have similar parking problems. Finding a good spot is an accomplishment worthy of celebration, and whenever you do hit the parking lot jackpot, you'll be reluctant to move your car for days, or even weeks. Still, it's better to put up with the occasional long walk than to not be allowed to have a car at all as a freshman, a policy which is becoming popular among today's overcrowded schools. Miami is a great city, but without a car, you'll be stuck eating at the same few restaurants and going to same places around campus. If you bring a car to school, make sure to get your decal early, and try not to return to campus during weekday afternoons or mornings, when spots are rare. Evenings and weekends, when a lot of people leave campus, are the best times to find a place to park, but even then you should be prepared to walk.