Coming to Rutgers, I wasn’t given the impression I’d be walking a lot. For some reason, the whole idea of buses made me think that I’d be maneuvering by foot a lot less than most traditional campuses that do not require public transportation. However, I was completely wrong. These past few weeks at Rutgers I’ve realized I’ve been walking more than I could’ve ever imagined—whether it’s running to catch class, or it’s walking to get something to eat, or it’s climbing the stairs to my dorm. I walk A LOT. And for this, any freshman needs to be prepared or else you’ll make the same mistakes I did and either end up with blisters, broken shoes, or bad ankles.
Now… I’m not saying you need to wear Skechers Shape Ups. But you can’t be wrong during the day wearing sneakers to class. I like to wear my Nike running shoes, especially when I have back-to-back classes or have a 10 minute walk to class. I was really against wearing sneakers at first because I’ve always liked dressing nice, but as time goes on, you learn that comfort definitely matters more than how cute your outfit is. Even if you don’t wear them all the time, it’s nice to give your feet a break when you’re running around.
Along with my Nikes, I like to wear my Converse. I used to wear my Converse all the time, so now they’re falling a part a little, but they do the job and they look better with my outfits than my running shoes (so I guess you can say that’s a perk). I’ve always loved my Converse, so they’re a nice go-to and also doable for running to class if it’s on the opposite side of campus.
Flip-flops are something I have found myself living in, and I HATE it. First of all, make sure you have at least TWO pairs of flip flops with you (one for the showers and one for wearing around). Additionally, make sure they’re comfortable. I default to wearing flip flops a lot because they’re easy and it’s hot out, however my laziness has also allowed me to deal with a wardrobe malfunction because my flip flop broke, and pain in my feet because they have no support. I also got blisters! After a while, your feet get tired and you’re going to want to wear real shoes. If you have an easy day or you’re walking to the dining hall for a quick meal, wearing flip flops is fine. However, if you’re running around to classes all day, you’re going to want something much more stable on your feet.
Which brings me to my next point… be prepared for rain. The other day I underestimated the rain and was rushing to catch a bus. I slipped on a pair of flip flops and found myself soaking wet from trudging through puddles and pouring rain. I was also sliding around on the bus because there were no seats and I had to stand. Definitely bring a pair of rain boots! A lot of people were wearing them, and all I could think about were mine in my dorm, sitting in my closet. If you don’t want to buy rain boots, then wear sneakers—just don’t get caught in flip flops in the rain.
Do not wear flats that give you blisters. My feet literally started bleeding after walking around in my flats for a couple of hours. First of all, they provide no support for my ankles, and second of all, they literally broke my skin. I thought they’d be fine because I used to wear them all the time in high school, but in college, you do a lot more walking. Do not wear the cute flats, or if you do, bring a pair of comfortable shoes to change into for when you’re almost crying in pain and debating to walk barefoot across campus! (I may or may not have walked barefoot across campus).
The last bit of advice I have is one that I once always asked people: do not wear heels. Don’t do it. Don’t wear them to class, don’t wear them out at night. Unless you’re a supermodel that has mastered the art of heel-walking and can accomplish any possible task with them on, avoid them at all costs. I brought two pairs of heels (classic black pumps and a fun pair) because I kept thinking I’d need them. So far, I’ve only worn them around my dorm, making jokes that I’d wear them out. Don’t wear heels around campus.
Hopefully this helps you out with what to wear around campus. I’ve realized that comfort is more important than anything else. I may be guilty of taking off uncomfortable shoes and walking to my dorm barefoot. I may also be guilty of having a broken flip flop and having to walk to my dorm barefoot. And trust me, that is NOT something you want to do.