If you’re a freshman like me, chances are you ignored all the warnings about not taking back-to-back classes or you had a little too much confidence about how easy it would be to get across the 40 acres. While online classes have offered a much-needed reprieve for some of these tough transitions, going back to in-person classes might leave some of us in sticky situations. No one can work miracles, but here are some tips about how to get across campus quickly.
Know the Campus Beforehand
A couple days before classes, do some recon work to scope out the situation. If you find yourself with a rough transition, make sure you know where both buildings are located and how to get there. If you’re a new student, don’t be afraid to pull out a map — it’s better to not be stuck wandering in circles in the Texas heat. Once you’ve successfully located your buildings, take some time to find the classrooms themselves. The ground floor is not always the first floor, so look for signage to find where you need to be. Also keep in mind that some buildings, such as Welch Hall, have multiple buildings and entry points. Familiarizing yourself with where your classes are will help you get to and from class faster.
Have an Escape Plan
Just because you’ve made it to a building does not necessarily mean that you know how to get out. With a lot of the buildings here, there are different exits that will take you in vastly different directions. Take some time to find the exit that best positions you for your next class. Chances are the closest exit to your next class won’t be where you entered the building.
Test it Out
Once you know where your classes are and have worked out a plan of attack to get from one building to the next, see how long the transition naturally takes you. You might be able to make it, but if not, here are some other strategies to cut down your time.
Speed Walking is Your Best Friend
It goes without saying that the fastest way to get across campus by foot would be by running. But for those of us who don’t want to show up to our classes drenched in sweat, speed walking is a happy medium that allows you to get across campus quickly without exerting too much energy. IIt can also be a nice mid-day exercise, especially once the weather starts to cool off. Something that I find helpful is listening to music. Not only does following the beat of a song help you with pacing, but also makes your walk more enjoyable. You can calculate your ideal walking pace and then search up songs that fit that bpm. Or, just make a playlist of songs that you really like!
Cut Across Campus to cut Your Time
While walking quickly certainly helps, let’s face it— campus is huge, and there’s only so much you can do by yourself. If you’re struggling to get to classes, try to find a different path to take that may end up being faster. Keep in mind that the most direct route may not always be the best one. For example, going down Dean Keeton from Moody to get to the PCL might be fast if you’re going downhill, but is a whole different story on the way back.
I tested out a couple of different routes, and found that the most efficient way to get from Moody to the PCL was by going straight past Moody, the Littlefield house and the FAC before turning left at Littlefield fountain. However, if your final destination isn’t the PCL, another route might be faster for you! Most routes only differ by one or two minutes between these locations. So if you’re trying to go all the way across campus, it might be more helpful to implement strategies like crossing the street diagonally or walking around people..
Give Yourself the Green Light to get to Classes
The lights themselves are typically red for less than two minutes, but when trying to get across campus in 10 to 15 minutes, every second counts. If you miss a light, see if there’s a way you can keep walking without having to wait. Although it may not be the most direct route, this will save time in the long run.
With a campus as large as UT, it’s only natural to run into timing issues at one point or another. However, if your schedule seems like an unconquerable task, just take a deep breath, put in your headphones, and speed walk your way to success.
Featured image by Valeria Aldana