OH MY GOD, MOVE: Learning to walk unselfishly

walking_small-721975As college students it is a fact that most, if not all of us have been walking upright, on our own two feet, for roughly two decades. It is something that comes naturally to us and is a significant part of our evolution from ape to man. WHY then, do we insist on walking with the manners of a Cro-Magnon? For some unknown, unjustified reason we insist on walking in packs, taking up as much territory as possible, and slowing our pace apparently to conserve energy for the rest of our migration.

This problem is most evident to me in the way people walk down BU’s Commonwealth Avenue Campus like they have peed on every tree to mark their territory. While you are gliding through campus without a care in the world, try to keep in mind that other people may need to GET SOMEWHERE. It is unnecessary to slow your pace while talking to someone when walking…actually you can still talk and walk quickly as long as you and your partner are moving at the same pace, shocking I know. Just try to keep up. I mean, really, is what you are talking about SO important that you can only concentrate on that rather than on walking? Most of you are just talking about how drunk you have been and how you think you may have contracted something from someone, so please speed up. What happened on Gossip Girl does not require that much physical concentration. Also when you see a friend passing by, moving in the other direction, just smile and wave; stopping dead in your tracks to squeal at each other causes a domino effect of college students, some of which stink of beer and Doritos. This is not pleasant for those of us who are not alcoholics and don’t forget our deodorant in the morning.

The next piece of advice goes out to all the lovely couples out there. I will preface this by saying that I am part of a couple- so you can’t dismiss this as the bitter rant of a single woman. If there is a street filled with hundreds of college students packed in like cattle, holding hands becomes less affectionate and more ridiculous and irritating. If I can’t get to my class on time because you are holding hands, I am wishing a slow and painful end to your relationship. Save the PDA for your own homes or your drunken nights making out and touching each other inappropriately on the T after a very romantic date at pizzeria Uno.

Really all that I have done here, aside from expressing my frustration, is give you three easy ways to improve your effect on society during your four short years on a campus. One, walk quickly, your friends can walk quickly too. Two, don’t stop to say hello, smile and wave are just as friendly and won’t make anyone late for anything. And finally, three save the love for the bedroom – a PDA on a busy street is just obnoxious. You aren’t Brad and Angelina; no one wants to see how in love you are.

Sarah Cox

Sarah Cox (CAS '11) writes "Socially Yours," a social manners column, for the Quad. She was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York and is now living full time in Boston. She is studying Art History and hopes to stay on for her masters. One of her goals in life is to one day own a penguin. She would also like to stop dropping the F bomb so much -- class it up a little bit.

4 thoughts on “OH MY GOD, MOVE: Learning to walk unselfishly

  • October 5, 2009 at 8:19 am
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    I agree with you that people who walk slowly suck. I’d like to add that if you do see someone you know while walking on a busy sidewalk, walk to the side to stop and chat. It’s easy enough and you don’t annoy everyone else in the meantime.

    Correction: last paragraph, first sentence spelling error. From not form.

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  • October 5, 2009 at 11:35 am
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    i’m so surprised that not enough people realize that walking follows the same rules as driving. walk on the right and two lanes will form. its not difficult. then again…so many people that shouldn’t be allowed to drive get their licenses…

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  • October 8, 2009 at 6:56 pm
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    You speak the truth. One thing I have also noticed along with Tonia: People need to share the sidewalk when there is two way traffic. Three people can walk side by side in order to talk but if someone is coming towards you and your group has the ENTIRE sidewalk covered, move into single file! How do you expect me to pass you? If you keep your trajectory I am going to barrel you over like Merriman on a blitz. Use common sense, adopt some manners, and get out of the way. Your conversation can still continue in single file.

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  • September 8, 2010 at 6:13 pm
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    I feel as though I’ve been one of very few who seem to grasp walking on a sidewalk or in a hall as being akin to driving. In the USA we drive on the right side of the rode, pass on the left, and keep our speed (or speed like crazy). Why then, is this so difficult for people to understand about walking? My biggest frustration of the day is at about 5 pm on my way to East from West campus. Between CGS and the GSU, people really seem to lose all sense of politeness in their hurry to get back to their dorms in West Campus. I, too, would like to get back to my dorm… albeit in the opposite direction. I wish there was a way to get absolutely every person on this campus (and those taking up precious space on Earth, too) to read this article. There is a lot to learn from it.

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