The Smallest Hill: The Right Way to Walk to Class

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The smallest hill I would die on is the hill that takes the least effort to climb up. For William Jewell College students, climbing up a hill is a daily occurrence. Classes, student dining options and the study hub known as the PLC are all located at the top of the hill we Jewell students love so dearly. However, not all on-campus students live on this hill. 

Shumaker sorority complex, the fraternity houses and senior house are all located at the bottom of the hill. Since students are not permitted to park on top of the hill before 5 p.m. on weekdays, they must walk up. For fraternity house and senior house residents, driving to the commuter lot and then walking up a hill to the PLC may be the most efficient method. 

Shumaker residents also commonly chose to drive to the commuter lot over walking, but because Shumaker is much closer to the hill than the fraternity houses, driving to the commuter lot is not logical. 

Instead, Shumaker residents should walk from their dorms and up the hill between the Mabee Center and Mathes Hall. It is lined with picnic benches and pretty landscaping in warmer months, making it a lovely way to start and end your day. The Mathes hill also takes less effort to climb than the commuter lot hill. Once you climb the Mathes hill, you are already on the level of the PLC top floor, which is the preferred study spot of many students on campus. Students who park in the commuter lot either have to wait for the elevator or climb three flights of stairs to get to the PLC top floor. 

The best perk of walking from Shumaker instead of the commuter lot is that you don’t need to drive. This means no parking, no finding your car in the parking lot, no using gas and no scraping ice off your car. Driving such a short distance when you could just as easily walk is a waste of resources – but even if it wasn’t, the walk up is still more enjoyable than driving.

Starting my day with a walk outside always puts me in a better mood. It’s a chance to take a breath and enjoy the fresh air. The walk down the hill at the end of the day is a nice way to decompress. 

I love putting in my headphones and listening to a podcast while I walk to and from the Hill. It is illegal to drive with headphones in, so driving from Shumaker to the commuter and then walking up would create multiple interruptions to my podcast listening. 

Despite all of these reasons that walking to the Hill is superior to driving to the commuter, most Shumaker residents still choose to drive. In fact, people sometimes question your sanity when you walk. People think walking up the hill is some kind of exhausting, unbearable task. I frequently get offered rides when friends drive by me walking. I appreciate the kind sentiment, but the truth is that I walk because I am lazy. 

It is easier to walk up the Mathes hill than it is to drive to the commuter, walk up the commuter hill and then walk up three floors of the PLC. It’s also faster. It took me exactly 8 minutes and 17 seconds to walk from my dorm room door to the Union. To go from my dorm room door to the Shumaker parking lot, scrape the ice off my car, park in the commuter, walk up to the PLC and over to the Union it took me 10 minutes and 24 seconds. 

Next time you are running a little late for your 9 a.m. class on the Hill, leave the car keys in your room. Walking is faster, easier and more enjoyable.

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