How to survive the "Walk of Shame"

The walk of shame is one of the most common yet most embarrassing college experiences. Most of us have at some point made that early morning journey back home from someone else's house, walking as quickly as possible and keeping our head down to avoid seeing anyone we know. Things seem to be twice as far as normal, and running into a friend can only lead to awkward conversations. Fortunately, there are some ways to make the walk of shame a little less shameful.

One of the simplest things you can do is alter your route. It might seem like the best way home is the shortest, but if you want to avoid being seen then you should consider a less direct, but more discreet route. Whenever possible, avoid more popular places like Main Street and Court Street where your chances of being spotted by friends headed to Bank Street for breakfast are pretty high. This is especially important if your friends are the type to stop traffic while they honk their horn and yell for you to get in the car. You are much better off cutting through campus, where you might see a person or two headed to the library or going for a run, but they'll be too busy being overachievers to do much judging.

Keep in mind that it isn't as obvious that you are doing the walk of shame as it may seem. If you walk purposefully with your head up, you can probably pull off the lie that you're going to meet up with a friend for brunch. This type of story is vague but plausible enough to be used in run-ins with casual acquaintances or your friend's parents who are up visiting for the weekend.

Remember, no one but you actually knows that you are just getting home. Anyone you run into may not even suspect that that is what is going on unless you bring it up, and even if they do wonder they won't know unless you say so. However, this rule does not apply if you are still wearing the outfit from the theme party you were at the night before. Even in Geneseo it's not acceptable to walk around in a schoolgirl outfit at 11 a.m. on a Saturday.

If you really aren't up to making the walk of shame due to hangover, poor weather, improper footwear or whatever reason, it might be a good idea to call a friend and ask them to pick you up. It's an embarrassing phone call to make, but chances are you'll end up telling your friend what happened anyway. If they aren't too enthusiastic about leaving their warm bed to come rescue you, feel free to throw in a bribe like "If you pick me up and bring me to Dunkin' Donuts I'll buy you a breakfast sandwich!" Then be really nice to your friend for at least the next week.

The walk of shame is only as embarrassing as you let it be. After all, what seems really awkward this week will be just another funny story next week. And you can always feel a little better on your walk of shame knowing that you certainly aren't the only person out there just now heading home.