Think first, act second

One cannot receive a full college education without at least a handful of well-meaning instructors preaching “think outside the box.” A call for independence that, ironically, uses an incredibly  overused and common phrase as its punchline.

Forget the box.

We don’t need the box idea. What is most important in a lesson on independence and originality is taking the time to ask the question, “Why hasn’t anyone else done this?”

More often than not there’s a damned good reason as to why nobody does that. Following the crowd isn’t necessarily the best decision, but when the crowd is running away from Godzilla, one can verify the crowd is correct.

Consider this for a moment: an emergency of some sort shuts down the Lloyd Expressway overpass. How do you leave campus?

There are only a few options, fewer so are actually legal outside of an emergency situation. One can leave via University Boulevard/the Lloyd Expressway or Schutte Road.

That’s it.

Imagine an ice storm full of freezing rain pops out of nowhere this afternoon, classes are canceled and the school is shut down. Suddenly dozens of cars are attempting to leave campus as a thin layer of ice starts to cover every exposed surface.

Both Schutte and the Lloyd are backed up and moving at a snail’s pace.

How does one expect to escape campus when the two bottleneck? Well, thanks to this exact situation happening last year, there’s precedent.

I know of a person who thought outside the box and took another paved path: the path to Burdette Park.

That is definitely outside-the-box thinking, but it lacks in foresight.

Hitting a hiker on their way back to their car, sliding off the road and becoming trapped — many things could’ve gone wrong in this instance. Yet, in the end, it worked.

Make no mistake: this is not intended to condone breaking the law.

There’s a reason nobody is allowed to drive on the paved path between campus and Burdette: it’s a walking path. Take this tale of winter-themed quick thinking as a lesson in independence.

Don’t come crying to me if something stupid gets you busted. I can’t afford my Audible subscription, let alone posting bail.

Be original, just don’t be dumb.