Under the Button is part of a student-run nonprofit.

Please support us by disabling your ad blocker on our site.

Crippling Social Anxiety? Here Are UTB's Top 5 Tips on How to Walk Down Locust


Photo by Sheil Desai/The Daily Pennsylvanian

We’ve all been there. It’s 10:07 —  the height of your mad dash to your 10:15 class — and everyone, and I mean everyone seems to be out on Locust. You see your professor, friends, enemies, and wait — is that the one girl your great aunt told you to keep an eye out for? Was that your slink you just pretended you didn't know?

If you are anything like me, always stuck debating if you should say hi to people, and then the dangerous second question of whom to say hi to, look no further. Here are UTB's Top 5 Tips for navigating your morning commute in a manner that reduces your stress:

1. Headphones. This one is pretty self explanatory, but headphones are a surefire way to reduce any potential interactions. Simply pop on some tunes — maybe a podcast or two if you are in the self-help mood — and get on your way. 

2. The buddy system. As the old adage goes, “there is safety in numbers.” Grabbing a friend to walk with you to class is always a safe bet when it comes to limiting unwanted small talk. As you and your friend are deep in conversation, it's easier to give a mental 'fuck you' to all those you might feel the need to say hi to. 

3. Head down.  Simply — you guessed it! — walk to your class with your head angled slightly down. It’ll be hard for anyone to tell it’s you as they look down on the top of your head. 

4. The back roads. Now this one might be a little more controversial, but if your social anxiety reaches a new peak, it might be worth giving this technique a try. For this strategy, simply avoid Locust Walk at all costs. Need to get to Van Pelt from the Quad? Simply turn right on Spruce — maybe jay walk a lil' — and then head up 34th. It only adds an additional 4 minutes! Well worth it in my opinion. 

5. Just saying hi. Contrary to the rest of my points, this last tip is for those who prefer to take a proactive approach to their worrying. Using this strategy, instead of waiting for the person you think you kind of know to say hi to you, simply smile and give them a big ‘ole wave. Get rid of the guessing game of whether they are going to say hi, just rip off the bandaid, and stop being a coward!