In the year that I have been at Michigan State, I’ve figured out that getting around campus can be harder than passing the Wells hall preacher without being told you’re going to hell. First of all, when I arrived as a frightened, naive freshman, campus seemed to be never-ending. MSU is 8.1125 square miles—how the heck was I supposed to get from class to class in time without a helicopter? But, since a helicopter was not an option because there are no landing pads on top of any of our buildings, I experimented with the four main ways to get around campus: walking, biking, driving, and riding the bus. I’ve never attempted long boarding—I undoubtedly have the world’s worst balance—but if anyone who long boards from class to class would like to add their input, please feel free to comment and share your insight. Each style has some perks, but mostly they’re all super annoying in their own way. So here, from my experience, are the worst parts of the four pillars of campus travel.
Walking is undoubtedly the easiest way to get around, but it also takes incredibly freaking long. On a cold January day, the last thing I want to do is trek from Wilson to Sny-Phi, then to Akers, and then back to Wilson. The number of times that I’ve come back exhausted from walking is ridiculous; and no, I don’t weigh 350 pounds. Walking could be nice if I enjoyed staring wistfully at the charming scenery, but let’s be honest: I walk the same route every day, how charming is the scenery going to get? Walking can also get pretty aggravating when I have six different bikers and long boarders coming towards me and swerving around me. From now on, I’m not moving for them. Either they can go in the grass, or they can hit me. Well, that’s a lie. I would probably move at the last second. I’m not that brave.
Then there’s the problem of the other people that walk to class, and really suck at it. There are a lot of people on campus that have no concept of social cues, and continue to screw up walking for the rest of us. I still have yet to understand why when I’m passing a very slow person they feel the need to speed up the moment I get an inch in front of them. Also, is it really necessary for people to walk across the entire sidewalk? No, I do not want to play red rover with you, now kindly stay to your side. Along with that, I never realized how hard it is to walk on the right side of the sidewalk. It’s been drilled into my head since elementary school that you walk on the same side of the sidewalk that you would drive on, but apparently this was not told to half of MSU’s student body. The only exception to my frustration would be a British exchange student—not only because they drive on the left side, but also because with those accents, they could talk their way out of anything.
Now, I have only driven on campus a handful of times, and it is definitely not my favorite. During the day there’s always so much traffic, not to mention the pedestrians that walk across the crosswalk like they own it. Seriously—I’m in a car, and you are a person. If I choose not to stop for you as you walk so pompously across the street, there’s really nothing you could do about it. Also, is the bike lane in the street really necessary? They are not cars, and cannot drive as fast as cars, and therefore do not need to be in the street. Even with those nifty hand signals, I still get nervous driving next to them. I’m scared that the next time I’m driving and texting and eating a burger and doing my makeup and singing to the radio, I’m going to swerve and run them off the road. Oops. Maybe I should stop doing that?