It’s been cold lately. So cold, in fact, that even through my decently warm sweater-jacket-scarf-murder gloves combo, I’ve inadvertently found myself searching for alternative routes to class. I’m a communications major, so luckily all of my classes are located in Strombeck. You’ve probably never seen it though, because it’s the furthest building from the campus entrance, past Neufeld and the Marlie Snider Collegium, bordering the dead marshes.
I’ve heard people complain about the walk to Neufeld, an inconvenience not influenced by temperature, but I don’t mind it. The sedentary student lifestyle takes its toll, so a little fresh air once in awhile can be nice; however, now that the mercury in Langley’s thermometer has dropped significantly, my former joy-walk is becoming a bit of a bitter chore. Especially because I’m part of the frugal, displaced parking crowd and now have further to walk. There is no refuge to be had against the cold along that stretch of road—nor from the cars that refuse to slow for you—but there is hope for residents. Except for Northwest. If you live in Fraser, you can capitalize on your location the most of everyone else, but let’s pretend for the sake of relevance that everyone is coming out of chapel today, journeying to the far south from there.
The trick is simple: stay inside as much as possible. It takes a little longer, but it’s slightly amusing and, for the accomplishment of the objective, warmer, so I think it’s worth it. You start by scurrying from the gym to Fraser and take the second door to your left that leads you past the laundry room. Alas, you’ve already reached the first of three obstacles you will encounter—you have to go through a boys’ dorm to get to the ideal exit door, which is situated directly across from Robson’s dance room door (whether it’s been propped open by a chair or not, that’s another question.)
If you’re male, this isn’t a problem, but if you’re female and it’s not dorm hours, you’ll have to take the next best thing: the door before the boys dorms. If it is dorm hours and you lean on the tentative side of wandering into such foreign places, just pretend you’re on a mission to visit someone. You’re going to see that guy around the corner at the other dorm. “Pay no mind, gentlemen,” you say, and then scuttle out the door and up the stairs into Robson.
Walking directly through the dance room, the foyer and down the front steps, you take a right and then a sharp left around the corner of North Douglas and enter the first door into the reject wing. I lived there, so I’m allowed to say that. Girls upstairs, boys downstairs, take the appropriate floor and you’re in Douglas Centre. You’ve reached the second obstacle—you must go through girls’ dorms to get both to Douglas Hall’s common area and then to the south corner, just a few skips away from RNT. Bonus? The Douglas girls leave candy canes hanging on strings along their hallways…
Once in RNT, all genders alike must face the third and most unpleasant hindrance of the journey: beelining it to Neufeld. Half a minute of discomfort past the sandpit and scattered trees and you’re basically at home base with, literally and figuratively, fresh breath. This is when you can take off your balaclava. You walk the length of the building until you’ve reached Block Hall and take the double doors (the right one, a piece of taped-up paper dictates.) Enter into Wing C, the part of Neufeld with the pretty bathrooms, and there you find at the end of the hall the last exit door you must take. Voila, toasty as a noodle and only a few steps away from Strombeck.
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