When I am in danger of being late to class, I know what to do: put on my dope Asics, strap on my firetruck-red L.L. Bean backpack and start booking it. Because you shouldn’t be late to things.
I may not have the structural flexibility to morph into a tractor trailer like Optimus Prime, but when timeliness is at risk, I can — and do — transform into a 5-foot-7-inch Usain Bolt.
I think people should run more. I don’t mean running as a form of exercise. I mean it as a form of transportation. It gets you to class faster than walking, which is most Yalies’ gait of choice.
Besides crawling and wheelbarrow racing over a long distance, walking is the slowest way to get around. It is far slower than biking and considerably more drawn out than skipping or hopping.
Running is different. From my Grace Hopper College bedroom, I can make it to Pierson in fewer than four minutes, Kline Biology Tower in about seven and Sitar Indian Cuisine in around 200 seconds. If there is a possibility that I’ll be late for something, I take my mom’s advice and “hustle my bustle.”
If you are late to class, or in danger of being late, you should not be sauntering around campus like a wild turkey on sedatives. You should shift into a light jog or, if you’re already late, pretend you’re Pittsburgh Steelers running back Le’Veon Bell and start decking anyone who stands between you and your education. Your Herschel backpack can handle the turbulence.
To me, there are few things more annoying than when someone shows up late to section with a Naked juice and pretzel combo from Durfee’s. Do you really need your Protein Zone Banana Chocolate smoothie to get through English 120? No. You don’t. You can subsist on the glycogen stored in your liver and muscles for the duration of class.
At Yale, there aren’t many valid excuses for being late. You don’t have to worry about traffic because you’re probably not driving, and everything is pretty close. Yet people manage to defy the odds, barging into lecture 35 minutes late with a dining hall zucchini muffin and slamming the door behind them.
If you’re late, you should not succumb to the pressure to swagger around campus, waving to your friends, who may also be late for something. You should not, for even one second, consider playing a game of Spikeball, even though it is an exhilarating, team-building activity. You should be traveling across campus like a cheetah or gazelle, depending on which one gets you to class faster.
I know you might think trotting around campus makes you look silly. No one wants to look like an idiot when they are doing something as banal as moving from place to place. There are enough ways to make a fool of yourself already.
However, there is nothing foolish about getting somewhere efficiently. If I walked to Pauli Murray College from Hopper, I would have to spend about 10 minutes thinking about how, because their soft-serve ice cream is actually froyo, there is no true ice cream representation in the new colleges. Shame. But if I run there, or at least do a modified quick-walk, I have less time to bathe in existential dining hall-related dread.
Even if running can’t get you somewhere on time, it can at least make you look like you made an earnest attempt not to be late. Someone arriving four minutes late to class with a Subway Cold Cut Combo: annoying. Someone arriving four minutes late, panting and sweaty: strangely noble.
Yes, there are downsides of running from place to place. You might get kind of damp, or you might accidentally crash into Sterling Professor Akhil Amar ’80 LAW ’84 as you round a corner, knocking him to the ground and forcing him to give you a failing grade in constitutional law.
And yes, I know that Japanese race walker Yusuke Suzuki walked 20 kilometers in one hour, 16 minutes and 36 seconds — roughly equivalent to 12 straight 6:10 miles — but, for the most part, running is faster.
Running from place to place simply cannot be beat. Your U-lock isn’t going to stop someone who really wants your bike from stealing your bike, but your legs’ attachment to the rest of your body keeps them safe from predators. Plus, bikes cost money. Legs are free.
I hope that, when I look out over College Street tomorrow, everyone will be trotting, running or flat-out sprinting to class. You may get sweaty at first, but soon, you will be a more efficient person with toned calves.
Jacob Sweet is a senior in Grace Hopper College. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org .