Before you learn to drive, you learn the rules of the road. What side of the road you're supposed to drive on, how fast or slow to drive and how to get around those going too fast or slow for you. But what if you could use some of these concepts for when you're walking on a sidewalk? Wait, that's right, you can!
There's an unwritten and generally unspoken "rule" that a sidewalk should be treated as a road in several ways. For starters, you should generally stay to the right side of the sidewalk when you're walking, so that the people on the left side of the sidewalk end up walking towards you, in the opposite direction. Treat sidewalks as if there's an imaginary line right down the middle, just like the solid yellow lines on a road.
When the sidewalk is narrow, only walk one-by-one if there's traffic on the other side too, or two-by-two if you're the only ones there. Please do NOT create a wall with your friends and take up the whole sidewalk, no matter how wide or narrow it is, unless you're the only ones around.
That being said, if you are walking along the sidewalk with a friend or two and you're hanging off onto the other side unnecessarily while someone else is walking towards you on the other side, MOVE OUT OF THEIR WAY. It seems so simple, but people really don't seem to get it. All you really have to do is step in front of or behind your friend while you pass the other people on the sidewalk, then resume your original position if you so choose. If you make them go off the sidewalk when they didn't need to, you're the worst person. If you run into them or make them run into you, you're the worst person. If you give THEM a dirty look, you're the worst person.
Don't even get me started on the golf carts on campus and people on the sidewalks. Simply put, treat them like cars. Let them go when you can/when they have the room to and move out of their way whenever you can.
It's fine if you listen to music while you walk or if you're on your phone, but please pay attention to your surroundings at the same time. Look up when you can (or even put the phone away if you can) to avoid running into people or running them off the sidewalk.
If you are a slow walker, that's fine too, but don't walk in the middle of the sidewalk so people can't get around you unless they go into the grass. I'm a fast walker and I don't mean to offend you by passing you, I just prefer not to walk slow. I'd personally rather let someone pass me if they think I'm walking too slow than to hear them shuffling so close behind me.
Thanks for coming to my TED talk, this has been a crash course on sidewalk etiquette.