Find yourself overwhelmed by your school’s environment? Feel like you can’t escape your tiny dorm room? Want a moment of peace to yourself? Many first-year students face these same dilemmas. A simple solution lies ahead to solve your problems: the hot girl walk.
When I first started at UCSB, I felt lost.
The girls on my hall didn’t magically coalesce into my future bridesmaids like I expected. To top off my loneliness, I shared a room with others for the first time. For years, everyone told me that college made the best years of one’s life. College meant independence, not only because I was living away from home, but also in a social sense. I expected to find a group of lifelong besties within my first few days. After I moved into my dorm, I wondered where my perfect college experience lay. On social media, people seemed to slip into their new lives so easily. I felt jealous snooping on Snapchat and seeing my old friends going out with their new college friends while I stayed in bed on a Friday night. The days passed me by, every single one indistinguishable from the rest.
During this time, I relied heavily on my parents and close friends from home, calling them multiple times a day. When I made these calls, I left my room, not wanting to disturb my two roommates. Instead of sitting out in the hallway or finding a study lounge to occupy, I decided to walk and talk. After all, I did live a five-minute walk from the beach on one of the most beautiful campuses in the country, and everyone knows that pacing while talking on the phone makes for an all-around better call.
This marked the birth of the hot girl walk.
Let me give you a rundown of the essential checklist. First, take account of the weather. Will you need a jacket? A hat? Make sure you dress for the outdoors, ensuring you wear comfortable shoes. Second, get your listening device. Usually this takes the form of AirPods, earbuds or headphones. Make sure you can still hear your surroundings to stay safe. Third comes listening material. Do you feel like talking? Call someone up! Do you want to learn something new? Throw on a podcast! Do you need a breather from your day? Put on your favorite album! You can customize your hot girl walk in any way you want.
Habit slowly turned into ritual. Every night after dinner, I donned my headphones and walked laps around the dorms. Lamps kept the area well-lit and I only walked around in populated areas so I felt safe walking around at night. I averaged over 10,000 steps a day. I called my parents and my hometown friends, making sure I talked to someone each day to curb the loneliness I felt. I looked forward to these walks every night, taking time to decompress in my own company. This connection to home and small bit of alone time eased my transition to living at school.
My hot girl walks helped me get comfortable with my physical environment as well. Before I found the path I wanted to stick with, I explored the whole campus on my walks. From Storke Tower to Campus Point, I knew the layout of my school like the back of my hand. My everyday walk consisted of strolling through grassy areas, gravelly paths overlooking the water and brightly lit dorm windows. I found comfort in my new routine and the now familiar surroundings.
As time passed, I made friends and found my place at school.
Instead of quick dinners alone in the dining hall, I sat at a boisterous table full of people. However, I still hot girl walked every night. I used this time to catch up with myself, doing a little mental check-in and seeing what I needed each night. Many nights I still made phone calls, but I also listened to a lot of podcasts and music. After sharing a tiny room with two others, I craved the time alone.
One night, my new friends and I talked about how we felt when we first moved into the dorms. I found that my friends faced many of the same issues I did in my adjustment period and came to a similar conclusion of hot girl walking. Somehow, we all missed the memo about needing to take time to create your best life in college, expecting it to just happen one day on its own. Some nights, we even hot girl walked together. We braved the smelly lagoon and the grassy hills in the dark, forging great memories along the way.
When starting college, many wish to better themselves, whether physically or mentally. For me, the hot girl walk fulfills both goals. Walking serves as an underrated way to get outside and get some exercise, all while taking time to yourself. Don’t wait! Start hot girl walking today— you’ll feel better for it.