Allen’s guide to campus walkin’ for dumbasses

Nicholas Tillinghast/Miscellany News.

Getting from point A to point B smoothly is one of life’s simplest joys. However, the chaos of being a campus walker can make navigating Vassar feel like a small-liberal-arts-college gladiator pit. As your tour guide, I can offer the necessary wisdom to ease your walking problems, even if it won’t make Skinner Hall feel any closer.

Our journey starts with (Un)Central Receiving. The misleading name of this decentralized location only scratches the surface of its faults. Students receiving packages that could have gone to the Mailroom find this non-centralized institute to be of great importance, yet it is in the furthest armpit of campus; I dare not mention the depraved isolation of New Hackensack (whatever the hell that is). At peak hours, students wait cluelessly in lines that branch out chaotically like the head of a hydra, resulting in a hectic cramble. It’s best to just cower in the corner until you see your package carried out. Although the seclusion of this center for anti-centralization seems rough, our descent through the circles of Vassar Walking Hell has only just begun. Eat your heart out, Dante.

Carrying your unnecessarily oblong package with you, one must then cross the Bridge for Laboratory Sciences. It’s been hypothesized that the architects responsible realized, at the end of their construction, that the Vassar Bridge actually required a non-bridge component: doors. With the remaining materials from construction, the architects assembled the worst doors ever created. To the horror of the socially awkward, this location also features a long, highly visibly pathway leading to the entry point. You may smile sweetly at the soul for whom you have held the hulking fixtures open, watching them scamper to reach its handle in a satisfactory amount of time. Some sickos enjoy the sheer power this entails, often giving the unfortunate runners a look that declares “I control you.”

If you’re feeling pretty famished from your trodding, head over to the Retreat for some nourishment. The College Center can get pretty busy, so make sure to—oh shit, it’s after 4 p.m. They close earlier now, I guess. And on the weekends. It’s emptier than your 9 a.m. class. Hot food isn’t back yet anyway. Don’t ask why.

Guess we’re going to the Deece. After aimlessly passing time before dinner starts, you set out on your voyage. Throughout the winding walkway to your ultimate destination, you will encounter a variety of groups that contend for control over this coveted space. The slow-walkers-loud-talkers combination is a common foe that can be conquered by utilizing the grass surrounding the trail; utter something like, “Nice pace, grandma,” to assert your dominance. Next you encounter the mob, a shapeless mass of commoners who have decided to stand like statues while congregating in the middle of the concrete. Similarly, navigate to the side and mutter about the quality of the grass you’re forced to trample over. Out of nowhere, a lunatic biker may pass you. You’re shaken to the core, but remember that you’ll get the last laugh after another email to the entire student body details the latest bike robbery. 

After some puttering, you finally arrive at the Deece in time for dinner, as the Retreat has abandoned any semblance of importance. Scanning the menu, your eyes begin to widen. To your mortification, Home has steak and it’s Greek bowl day at the Global Kitchen; there’s even something remotely appetizing at Oasis! The place is going to be packed … What will you do? The worst offenders of your previous pathways multiply exponentially, congealing into a seemingly infinite, fluid barrier. People stand directly in front of the utensils while yakking to their friends, wait in lines everywhere and seem to have no sense of direction. All previous advice I have given flies out the building’s door. No, not the middle door, the other ones, please stop leaving out of that door. You might eventually escape to a booth or an oddly sticky table, if you’re lucky, but many are forced to hang their heads in shame and resign to the UpDeece. Better luck next time. As you get ready to repeat this arduous cycle all over again next week, remember my mantra: Be Fearlessly Consequential. Its meaning is open to interpretation. 

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