Halted in the hallway: A guide to walking properly

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By Aditi Dahagam, Co-T/E Life Editor One step forward, 10 steps back — this is what walking in the halls feels like because of these people… The Sprinter For most of us, the school bell signals the end of class, but for the sprinter, that bell is a starting gun. These students run out the...

By Aditi Dahagam, Co-T/E Life Editor

One step forward, 10 steps back — this is what walking in the halls feels like because of these people…

The Sprinter

For most of us, the school bell signals the end of class, but for the sprinter, that bell is a starting gun. These students run out the door before the teacher can say, “Shoot! We’ll go over the answers tomorrow.” They’re zooming through the halls, weaving in and out between people. Despite their remarkable route optimization skills and exceptional speed, they somehow walk into their next class five minutes late. 

The Brit

In the U.S., we drive on the right side of the road, walk on the right side of a city sidewalk and, you guessed it, walk on the right side of the hallway. Blimey, those bloody Brits just don’t seem to get it!

Chatty Cathy

Just when you look forward to getting some peace after a monotonous 42-minute U.S. history lecture, Chatty Cathy shows up to screech inconsequential information down your ear. And if you think you can politely ask them to stop talking, think again: they never shut up. “Saved by the bell” has never been more true. 

The Freshman

With a map in hand, enormous backpack digging into their shoulders and petrified look on their face, the freshman treks through the halls for the first couple weeks of school. These lost souls are condemned to wandering the school while complaining about their first all-nighter — till 9 p.m. By the third month, they might have figured it out… well, not really. Maybe we should reinstitute kindergarten line leaders? If so, I call caboose.

The Tech Addict

These people can turn a five-minute passing break into a one-song concert, SMS town hall meeting or online shopping spree. They “only” need their phone, AirPods, laptop, calculator, pager, WALKMAN and typewriter. Even if you notify them of their obscene number of devices, their Bose QC35 noise-cancelling headphones will drown out your pleas. 

The Crammer

If life gives you lemons, make lemonade. If life gives you a passing break before class, squeeze every last second into whipping through Quizlet flashcards or skim-reading a SparkNotes summary. This philosophy is the tell-tale sign of a crammer. While most of them use their phone to study, some are so devoted to their straight A cause that they’ll lug their textbook around the whole day. 

The Man on a Mission

Speed walking, cutting people off and mentally cursing at the people walking at a socially acceptable pace in front of them is the name of the game for these people. Slow down, 007 — third period Spanish isn’t going anywhere.

The Personal Space Invader

This person walks uncomfortably close to you, brushes your arm one too many times and breathes down your neck. No one wants to smell what you had for lunch — give us some space!

The Third Wheel

Their eyes dart from one friend to another as if they’re watching a tennis match while they try to keep up with the conversation. If this is you, speak up or forever hold your peace: just don’t hold up the rest of us. 

The Sleepwalker

You can find the sleepwalker in its natural habitat by following the subtle aroma of Dunkin’ Donuts coffee snaking through the hallways. It will instantly stand out with its pajama-clad appearance, massive eye bags and terrible case of bedhead. These sleep-deprived people are “so exhausted,” but not tired enough to not brag about how they only got two hours of sleep the night before.

The Oversharer

“OMG Sarah! I had this huge blister on my foot last night, and when I popped it, all this pus came out. It was guh-ross!” No one wants to overhear the oversharer’s toe wart misadventures on their way to lunch. Kiss your appetite goodbye if you ever walk behind, in front, or really anywhere within a 5-mile radius of one of these people. 

Have an epiphany after reading this? Use it to become one step ahead of the crowd (pun intended) — the hallways are communal, so let’s be mindful of the people around us. And if you thought the halls were bad, don’t even get me started on the staircases.


Aditi Dahagam can be reached at [email protected]

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