Photo by Sho Kitamura

Five million years of evolution, 7,000 years of human civilization, billions and billions of dollars in research and development and several iterations of the roller skate, and we’re still stuck walking up and down hills.

One would have thought that in that time, we’d have come up with a better way to travel, but since we haven’t yet developed the necessary traits for sliding around on our stomachs like penguins or for flying, like eagles, walking is a way of life.

Some people talk about the friendly public transportation system, which is not inherently flawed unless you are going literally anywhere besides the CRC, East Campus, or the Business School. After all, there are certain stigmas against revving your obnoxious Stingerette van all the way up the Freshman Hill sidewalk and down to Tech Green. It’s just bad taste.

So we walk most places. That’s fine. We’re a group of tough kids.

It’s 90 degrees and blazing hot? Work on your tan.

It’s a mile-long walk from the CRC to North Ave? Goodbye Freshman Fifteen.

Your class is at the top of Freshman Hill? Hello toned calves. There’s a reason that Tech kids were voted America’s Sexiest Nerds.

Spoiler alert: it’s because we were the ones who came up with the competition and counted the votes.

Speaking of voting, there is one annoying downside to walking.

“Have you been registered to vote? Sir. SIR! HAVE YOU BEEN REGISTERED TO VOTE!?”

Yes, you have been registered to vote, but the forcefulness with which you’ve just been asked by the random person on the sidewalk makes you reconsider your life and most of your values.

Have you really registered to vote? Or just technically? Will you make the right decisions? Is your ideology correct? What is the significance of the Elephant and Donkey, and which is perceived to be better? What does the Fox say?

There is a strange sense of respect that you have to have for the never-ending Tech Green Boardwalk Sidewalk Chalk artists and club members. They get out there nearly every day and do their best to sell you on the Underwater Tango Squad or the Dead Vogon Poets Society, knowing very well that Vogon Poetry is the second worst type of poetry in the universe.

And so the vultures get creative, or they give you free food. Or both. Favorite highlights include the random distribution of North Korean Liberty Freezy Pops and breakdancing with a cause performance complete with Vitamin Water.

The final leg, the walk up past the Campanile along the outside edge of the Student Center, is tough, but if you can time it just right, you can look down on the greatest parts of Tech and Atlanta as the sun sets over West Campus.

It’s at this time, nestled in the trees, looking out across the long shadows on Tech Green and watching the golden light of day start to fade away, that you realize just how awesome this place truly is.

After all, the character of Tech is so tightly woven into those small, little things that you stopped or didn’t stop for: the aggressively friendly clubs, the crazy projects that we all get caught up in and the people you know along the way.

So before you hop on a bus or ride your bike, consider walking. There’s about twenty two thousand people out there to bump into.

Besides, you can work on your impressive tan, lose that awful Freshman Fifteen and finally get those  nicely toned calves that you have only dreamed of.