Hallway Etiquette 101

By Mara Shapiro

10th Period Editor Mara Shapiro on walking through the hallways of West.

One of the most  obnoxious parts of the school day is trying to walk through the congestion that is our hallways. Let’s say you have fifth period gym and then you have a science class  in the middle of nowhere on the second or third floor. The dash to get to classrooms is insane.  Not only is our school pretty spread out, but the navigation between hundreds of students can be trying. Mostly because our school has its own unique behavior when it comes to “respecting” the hallways.

When I first heard that we could use our cell phones in the hallways, I was ecstatic. But at the same time I knew that people would take this as an excuse to meander through the hallways without looking at the surroundings. Yeah, I understand how important it is to send your best friend the text about your Friday night plans, but that doesn’t give you the excuse to have your eyeballs glued to the screen and nothing else. Not to be dramatic, but I classify this behavior as extremely dangerous. I always see people slamming into each other without so much as a glance up from their phones.

Rule #1: Put your phone away in the hallways. Check it during study hall, lunch, or when you go to the bathroom. The hallway is simply not a safe place to do it.

Now, lets talk about the crowding of the main staircase. Every time I try and get through the crowds, I feel more like killing myself that getting to class on time.  Girls stopping to hug in the hallways, guys standing in the middle of the stairs just chatting.  It feels like a cruel joke. Yes, security does try to stop it, but people just don’t listen.

#2: Be considerate of the rest of the school, take conversations elsewhere where the traffic isn’t.

My third complaint?  Couples. Yes, I love that you’re in love, but when you’re holding hands and standing relatively far apart people cannot break through you!

#3: If you’re going to hold hands, stay close to one another or move off to the side instead of taking up the middle of the hallway.

My last general gripe is about the freshmen. The third floor hallway is a “herd of people,” according to junior Liam Waters. I understand that everyone is making new friends and discussing the adjustment to high school, but clumping together in the middle of the hallway along the entire floor? Really? There are science, math, and history classes for upperclassmen too up there.

#4: Freshmen, learn how to walk.

One more weird and fascinating thing?  Guys and girls both make huge hallway etiquette errors, but they do them in different ways.

Boys: The handshakes, high fives, or “bro hugs.”It’s great that guys want to show affection to their friends, but when they decide to reach across people to do it, or stop to hug, it’s rude.  It’s one thing if no one is right next to them, but when there’s a crowd of people walking in the same direction and you see your friend walking in the opposite, is that time really appropriate? No. Hug later, text later, play video games at each other’s houses later, but  not while people are trying to get to class. And if you hit someone, the least you could do is apologize.

Girls: Girls are definitely the more talkative gender, and in the hallways it shows. Everywhere I go I see a gaggle of at least five girls slowly chatting in a line that blocks the hallway, or my personal favorite, making a circle right in the middle. There are only five minutes for us to get to class, people. Stopping in the middle of the hallway and decide to complain about Becky kissing Johnny (yes, I stole that from the insurance commercial) is unacceptable.  Either go off to the side, text when you guys have a free period, or meet up at someone’s locker after school.

Then there’s the “squeal hug.” I admit, I do this all the time with my friends, but not in the middle of the hallways. Girls will see a friend, scream, and hug right in the middle of the hallway. That causes major traffic blockage.  And it hurts my ears. My solution is to slightly raise your voices to say “hi” to each other and wave. Then you move on to class.

Why is this all so hard?

Clearly there is a problem with hallway etiquette at West. Follow my suggestions, don’t be ignorant and inconsiderate of others, and hopefully the traffic problem will diminish.