The top 10 alternative walks of shame: Exeter edition

There’s no embarrassment quite like the walk around the library trying to find a free seat


Okay let’s face it, most of us have done at least one walk of shame in our lives. There’s no way to describe that unique combination of crippling shame, acute discomfort and eagerness to get home.

But, being British, there are endless facets to our embarrassment so we’ve compiled a list of what we think are the top 10 alternative, if slightly unorthodox walks of shame. Intrigued? See if you agree…

The walk to the club in a tiny outfit without a coat

You’re smart. You’re savvy. You know your way round a night out and have quite frankly nailed it. You’re not wasting time and money on a coat-check, or risking losing your precious North Face jacket by leaving it hidden under a Fever booth for the night (yes you’re not the only person that does this).

You’ve stripped it back and gone for zero complications – no coat no problems right? But the only thing you didn’t quite think through was that slightly humiliating and undeniably cold trek to the club, without quite enough booze to form a nice beer jacket.


Need we say more? Technically this is more a queue of shame than a walk of shame but honestly, with the distance from the back of the queue to the till, it defo counts. Guaranteed to see at least two ex-flings in the queue too.

The fancy dress morning after walk

Fancy dress is always pretty good fun. Whether it’s Halloween, a toga themed society night or just a 70s themed house party, we can’t deny we love getting stuck into a good theme. And if we’re honest, they usually turn out to be cracking nights  – but what’s a cracking night without a great ending?

The walk of shame is never great, but a freezing cold trudge in the early hours from the Pinhoe area back to Penny road is arguably up there with one of the worst jaunts a person could undertake. Bonus points if you’re still in your ones, or an alcohol covered bedsheet that you’re not quite sure how you pinned together the night before…

The walk up Forum Hill when you have to stop halfway because you’re out of breath

Important to note that it is usually at this point that a sleek, Gymshark legging-ed individual will jog past you, hair intact, barely breaking a sweat. We keep telling ourselves that the hill will get easier, that we’re just out of practice, but the cruel truth is that it never does. At the top, even after taking a quick breather, you inevitably walk into forum looking like you’ve just run a half-marathon.

The walk back from campus

…but your bag is so heavy it keeps slipping off your shoulder (and occasionally knocking an unsuspecting wing mirror as you go). The super slippy stash coat material doesn’t help either. You keep hastily replacing your bag precariously on your shoulder, praying that no-one saw. They did.

The walk around the library trying to find a free seat

Regardless of the absolute labyrinth that is Forum library, finding a seat is hell. The constant circling of the endless workspaces, trying to decide in a split-second whether it’s worth sitting at a sofa, striding confidently up to a seemingly free table against the wall, only to discover it has no chair and an obnoxious DO NOT SIT HERE sign on it.

Don’t even think about going in with more than one person as the chances of you getting a seat together are lower than  the chances of you going to your 8:30. Who do you think you are? It’s in this moment we all contemplate whether the trek up to campus was worth it. Should have just stayed at home…

When you’ve forgotten your keys and are waiting for your housemate to let you in

Okay so once again we’ve diverged, as this is more of a wait of shame than a walk, but it’s still definitely up there with one of the cringeyest moments ever. That horrible wait where you’re stranded outside your door, irrationally thinking if there’s any way you can pop open one of the ground floor windows.

Momentarily considering knocking on your housemates window to see if you can climb through their bedroom window round the back of the house. Those texts you send your house group chat growing in frequency and level of panic – it’s all cap locks by this point.

The walk into a lecture theatre after your lecture has started

Whether the lecture hall is full to the brim or a less-than-half Monday 9.30 attendance, this is one of the ultimate walks of shame – a grown up version of being a scared year seven accidentally walking into the wrong classroom and disrupting a year 13 economics class.

Once you get there, you inadvertently draw more attention to yourself by doing that awkward fast walk trying to counteract the lateness. You instantly slide into the closest free seat right at the front of the room, regretting it as soon as you do. The seat with no power outlet, a slightly deflated seat and wayyyyyy too much eye contact from the lecturer. Pure, unfiltered embarrassment.

The hungover walk into work

Who can relate? To all my fellow worker bees, I salute you. It’s that horrible walk where you’re half-sweating, half-shivering. Your hair is still wet from half washing it 10 minutes before you left the house, with the remnants of last night’s make up still on your face. And of course having to act fresh as a daisy in front of your disapproving, eagle-eyed boss… if you work in town, at least you can pick up a Pret on the way in.