Dear Incoming Freshman – How to Navigate the Mercy Halls


The dreaded Mercy stairs 🙂

By Rose Homoelle ’19

Mercy is filled with twists and turns, ups and downs, and several different staircases. By the end of the year, everyone seems to have their own pathways to get from place to place. It can be hard to decide which staircase is the fastest to take, so hopefully this little experiment can help to eliminate some of the options.

I have timed myself walking up and down several different staircases to several different places. I chose the most obnoxious climbs to test out. Below I have a table displaying all of my routes with all of my times. For each set of destinations, I tested two different routes that I have seen people take.

Tech Wing → Ms Blum Gym Lobby → Ms Blum Tech Wing → Ms Haby Gym Lobby → Ms Haby
Walk to opposite side of main staircase, up staircase A – 2m4s Up main staircase, right at end of main staircase, up staircase A – 1m56s Up staircase D, left at top of staircase – 1m29s All the way up Main staircase, left at end of hallway, up staircase E – 2m21s
Up Staircase D, right at top of staircase and follow the hallway – 2m Walk to main staircase BUT turn right, up staircase A – 1m37s Up staircase D to first floor, walk left and take staircase E to third floor – 1m25s Walk towards main staircase BUT turn left, up staircase B – 2m19s

I walked at the same pace for each test, at two steps per second. I was not carrying a backpack and there was no traffic. TIP: The more you switch staircases, the less traffic. If you stick to one staircase for the entire route, there will more likely be more traffic.

My Discoveries

Some general rules: 

  1. If you are debating whether to go up and then across, or across and then up, go up first. It’s a bit faster if you do the climbing before the walking.
  2. If you are tight on time, don’t take the main staircase. The main staircase goes straight through the middle of the school. Most of your classes will be on the sides. I would stick to the side staircases unless you have a class by the main staircase.
  3. If you have tired legs and are trying to get to the third floor, the main staircase may be the way to go. If you take the main staircase, you can have a break from climbing when you walk across to the side staircase.
  4. The Main Staircase will ALWAYS take longer.

I hope this helps you to navigate your way around the Mercy halls! It will be confusing for the first few days, but eventually you will find the path that suits you. Good luck, and welcome to Mercy!

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