take a walk

Helen Jennings

Unfortunately, this article will not be a review on the 2012 banger Take A Walk by Passion Pit, so if that was your expectation, promptly exit this tab... unless you want to hear the secret to life. Your interest peaked again? I thought so. Now let’s collectively toss on that smash hit and get back to regular scheduled programming.

Dear readers, I have found a passion, a life’s purpose, a hobby, as one might say, and it is a little something I like to call “rogue walking”.

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Picture this:

It’s a beautiful day outside, but it’s also one of those days where you are feeling lonely or rather, that you want to be alone, and have no clue what to do with yourself besides schoolwork or Netflix. 

I’d hate to be a bad influence, but put that book down, and toss on your sneakers and headphones and go for a walk. Yes, there’s a whole world outside your dorm or apartment, and yes, it’s time you spent some time with yourself; trust me, you’ll learn a lot. Before you text someone to join you, stop and remind yourself that this is a “rogue” walk; think alone, M.I.A., me myself and I. “Friend walks” will be covered in a later article. 

Before making foot to pavement contact, you first need to think of yourself as the main character. This step is key and cannot be skipped! I’m talking mysterious, beautiful, unique, all-eyes-on-you. Once you have convinced yourself you are a confident baddie, you will be in need of a killer playlist (don’t fret, I will link one below). If you are feeling super main character, you could also opt to put on a fashion-week worthy walking outfit; an optional but highly recommended step.

Now, we have acquired all the tools for success. At this point you may be wondering: am I worthy of the main character spotlight? Do I really want to spend time alone? The answer is YES. None of us can be outgoing 24/7, whether you’re the most extroverted of extroverts or actually do prefer alone time. Despite your personality type, you must be a source of joy for yourself in order to be a source of joy for others. As I tell my friends all the time, I find the absolute best way to live your life is by utterly and completely loving yourself (in moderation, of course). Never forget that main characters also need scenes where they find themselves. You’re not gonna have that moment with someone altering your walking pace.

Some of my favorite moments have been on walks by myself: watching the sunset over a frozen lake in Idaho, feeling the morning summer sun in Amagansett. Just this Saturday, I went on a walk in Durham and finally went into the consignment store I had been eying for months (I unfortunately did not find anything, but will be back). At a park, I found a mini-library in the form of a box filled with free books, which was the find of a century and whose location will only be disclosed upon request. Last semester, I walked 5 miles listening to a murder podcast at 9 am on a Sunday, and was promptly convinced I was going to get kidnapped on my way home. But it was still fun! 

If the weather and music is just right, you will feel like you are in an early 2000s coming-of-age movie: a feeling I know all of us are constantly chasing. Breath that fresh air. Walk that model walk. Make sexy eyes with that cute stranger who is passing you. 

Ask yourself how you are doing. Sit down and pause. Grab a coffee on your way home and meet up with friends.

I know going for a walk is not the most revolutionary thing you’ve ever heard, but I am simply here to serve as a gentle reminder of an activity that can do you wonders during this weird, weird world we live in. It’s an activity I’ve realized I love, and one that you can tailor to your needs. Feeling athletic? Pick up the pace. Feeling artistic? Bring a camera. Feeling like you maybe definitely should work on that assignment that’s due tonight? Make it a quick 15 minutes.

It’s time to flip the script on spending time alone. I’m beyond positive you are a kick-ass person and worth getting to know more. And who knows what or who you’ll run into outside your apartment. The possibilities are endless, so, for the love of god, get up and take a walk.