Someone very wise once said, “It’s about the journey, not the destination.” Clearly, this person has never been late to class, as he or she would know that the destination matters very much, thanks. At UC Berkeley, it seems as though some students take this proverb seriously and walk as slowly as is humanly possible, in order to appreciate the day and (so it seems) cause the fast-walkers the most inconvenience.
This includes the person taking a leisurely stroll down Bancroft Way at 9:06 a.m. Good for you for being on time for your class, or for getting up early to walk your dog, but please keep in mind the students behind you who still have to make it to Li Ka Shing Center for their earth science class. Sidewalk etiquette is like freeway etiquette — move with the flow of traffic or move to the side so the speedier people can be on their way.
Do people really need to link arms with their four best friends as they walk down the sidewalk? The human chain is one of the worst sights for a student on the move. Unlike slow walkers, a human chain cannot be dodged or avoided. You’re stuck at whatever pace these cliques decide. Their goal? A “Sex and the City” style visual of friends laughing glamorously, stylish outfits flowing in the breeze. Your goal? Making it to class on time.
Nothing slows you down like heading through Sproul Plaza. Everyone around you stops and starts seemingly at random, forcing you to progress in short bursts. Just like you, they’re trying to avoid the flyerers. Unlike you, however, they’ve decided that the best way to avoid receiving another invitation to a business fraternity’s rush event is to slow down and all simultaneously attempt to go through the same space at once, creating a massive traffic jam. Now you’re late and you have 14 flyers for Rally Comm and various Christian organizations.
Finally, there are the people that are always on their phones as they go up or down stairs. These individuals climb slowly or even stop outright as they wait for a text to send or a snap to post. That’s fine and all, but what about the student who has to rush up the stairs because the elevator is broken? It quickly becomes a slalom course as you dodge students on all parts of the staircase.
Walking to class (or walking anywhere on campus, really) is always a bit of a challenge. If you’re in a rush, be patient: you can’t avoid the slow walkers, so you might as well enjoy the journey.
Contact Jamie Campbell at [email protected].