How to Navigate the Halls of High School

February 20, 2008
I am a junior in high school and one of the most experienced people you will encounter on being ready for the first day of school. I have changed schools four times and have lived on three continents including Asia, Europe and North America. Changing schools this many times has allowed me to become an expert in navigating new unknown territories. Although the first day of school can be a challenge in high school, I have developed a technique through trial and error that will prove successful if used in the appropriate manner. During your journey you will encounter obstacles that you must learn to navigate around them using certain maneuvers. However, there are some things you can do to avoid them altogether. Before beginning make sure you have a class schedule, a map of your school and a backpack. And now we begin.
Selecting the Backpack
The first step is to select a backpack. It should be small enough to navigate through colossal crowds, but large enough to transport your materials. One type of backpack you must avoid at all costs is the rolling backpack. The rolling backpack has many flaws in its design. While its original intent was to save the backs of students from textbooks it does not allow you to navigate through the halls effectively. Rolling backpacks are the equivalent of an eighteen wheel tractor trailers: hard to maneuver and a major cause of congestion. One student wishing to remain anonymous said this: “I hope yours is made of Kevlar because people may decide to spar with it in frustration.” Well, there you have it: the rolling backpack is a definite no.
When attempting any of these maneuvers always remember to scan ahead. By scanning ahead you recognize obstacles before you come upon them. These include clumps of freshmen, runaway computer carts, rolling backpacks and anything else imaginable. This allows more time to analyze the obstacle and plan a course of action. Below is a list of maneuvers that can aid in avoiding or dealing with these situations.
The Detour
When approaching an area of heavy congestion, find another hallway that will get you to your destination in a similar amount of time. Use your map and class schedule to plan these alternate routes.
The Dodge
When approaching a moving crowd of people head on, walk straight and pray that everyone else moves to avoid you instead of you trying to avoid them.
The Push
The push can most often be used in a stationary crowded situation. To execute the push, fling your body into the crowd and apply as much kinetic force as you can to move everyone around you and allow yourself to get through the crowd.
While these maneuvers can be helpful, some of them can be dangerous and result in injury. A good rule of thumb is to only result to The Dodge and The Push if The Detour is not possible.
Ways to Avoid Causing Congestion
While maneuvers are good for addressing preexisting traffic, there are things that you can do to avoid having to use these maneuvers at all. For example, never stop in a crowded hallway and always keep pace with the person in front of you. This ensures the constant flow of traffic. Often people are distracted by personal possessions or outside sources such as cell phones, MP3 players, or freshmen (a minute creature hunched low to the ground with a gigantic backpack and always appearing clueless). It is crucial that you learn to overcome these distractions (even though it is tempting to pick on the freshmen) and not cause congestion.

In the halls of high school you will always encounter unexpected situations. While planning a course of action during these instances is often sufficient, it can be even more effective to prepare for anything ahead of time. This can include reviewing your school map or even briefly reviewing this essay, but remember that preparation is your greatest asset.

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