Slow Walkers in School Hallways- Let’s talk about it.


Hallways of Urbana High School during a class change

Corrine Capino, Reporter

The sound of the bell radiates throughout the building and swarms of students are in the hallways between passing periods ready to get to their next class. Monday through Friday, thousands of these teenagers roam the crowded halls to get to their next class. What’s stopping them you might ask? The congested halls filled with slow walkers and groups of friends sprawling across them. For students, not only at Urbana High School, but at other schools all across the U.S., this is a crucial problem. This issue can cause an increase in stress levels, reduce safety, and even decline academic performance amongst students.

As of 2021, Urbana High School has an enrollment of 1,908 students and is left with a 21:1 ratio between students and teachers. Due to the excessive number of students, it welcomes crowded halls. The hallways in high schools tend to be narrow and around 8 feet which doesn’t help with the present issue of overcrowding. One direction of traffic takes up most of the hallways and a little line for the other direction is left. Students voiced strong opinions as Senior Savannah Cuascut commented that “There should be a certain number of people on one side of the hallways, and one on the other side”. Junior Gabi Dwoskin comments “People should stick with one side of the hallway and just remember to be conscious if walking with a group”. Due to the fact the hallways can’t just magically expand, our solution is remaining orderly and staying on one side of the hallway as said by these students.

As a whole population of high school students, there isn’t an eagerness to get to class. Student Campbell Fedders exclaims “I think people are hesitant to get to class or people could be talking to their friends which stops them and disturbs them from where they are trying to go” and Senior Nolan Waters agrees with this and says “I think it’s because a lot of students talk to their friends in the hallways and they walk slower so they can have more time to talk to their friends before they reach their classroom.” A common trend we notice is hesitance amongst people who are trying to talk and socialize with their friends, but for someone who is walking alone, it can cause a series of negative emotions. Socializing and talking to friends in the hallway isn’t our problem. Creating a horizontal line blocking both directions of traffic or stopping dead in your tracks is what creates the problem. Walking and talking is possible and there is a solution to avoid the stress of it all.

The overcrowding of hallways can cause negative emotions and can even cause someone to not make it to class on time. Out of all students surveyed who reported themselves being “fast” walkers, all of them said they have experienced feelings of anger and frustration. When presented with a slow walker, this group says that they walk quickly by them or just say nothing and deal with it. They don’t say anything to these students as freshmen Campbell Fedders says “You don’t know the person” and junior Gabi Dwoskin says “No, because, like, everyone has their days; it can be frustrating but it happens.” This group goes on to state that they already feel rushed trying to get to and from their classes as it can be across the whole building and with the crowded halls, it can even cause them to be late.

Not only does hallway crowding in the hallways cause stress and anxiety, it can also cause a lack of personal space, and even become a safety issue, Teacher Mrs. Rudy commented “I am frequently run into, even when I was pregnant, sometimes students don’t even notice I’m an adult”. For people, having strangers in their personal space can make them uncomfortable and going in the hallways can make this person extremely stressed. The overcrowding we face in this school goes beyond just hallways and extends into classrooms and the traffic in and out of the school. All of that can raise concern for safety.

In a perspective from a slow walker, senior Daelen Gibbs comments, “Well I’m a lazy person, I like to take my time in the hallways”. He states that no one has shown annoyance with him before nor said anything. Gibbs believes that there are certain times you know you can walk slow and times where you know when to walk fast. In order to fix the hallway problems, walk on the correct side of the hallways, be conscious of the people around you, keep a good pace, and whatever you do, don’t stop in the middle of traffic. If we all do this, then the hallways can be more manageable and less stressful.

“Explore Urbana High School.” Niche, Accessed 23 Mar. 2023.