How to Not Get Lost in the Maze


Nicholas Bussey

Map of 1st floor “maze”

Nicholas Bussey

Have you ever second-guessed yourself when turning a corner in the 1st floor “maze” at Whitney Young? Here are some tips to not get lost!

Unlike the open, square layout of the other floors, the maze has slightly more twists and turns, and a tighter layout of classrooms than the rest of the school. There is an outer hallway on the west wall, as well as at the northeast corner. The rest consists of a square in the center, combined with a line running straight through east-west. More simply put, “it’s like a hash,” Jake Gerenraich ‘19 observes. Because it is like a hash, with an extra hallway splitting it in two, there are a lot more intersections between hallways, making it significantly easier to get lost than the rest of the school, where open spaces such as the lunchrooms and theater limit the numbers of individual hallways that intersect.

What makes it worse is that the room numbers aren’t arranged in a predictable manner. The goal in the room number layout was to cluster together the 110s, 120s, 130s, and so on, but it ultimately ended up as tiny numbers on the doorways in the maze which “just aren’t labeled well,” according to Elena O’Grady ‘21. Without the help of consistent signage to guide people through the maze, anyone could spend a while wandering past the same intersections again and again, looking for one room.

However hard it is to navigate, there are some tricks that could help the helpless wanderer. Jordan Cunning ‘22 suggests that the maze is “not as bad as people say,” and that through the middle hallway, “the bust of Whitney Young shows straight through.” If you’re lost in the maze, just look for the statue of Whitney Young to orient yourself. It is right by the main office, where you can also find maps. Also, it should help to recognize that the square in the middle connects all four staircases in the main building, as well as the existence of the numbering on the doorways.

Feel free to share more tips on how you find your way in the maze in the comments below, and if you already are familiar with the maze, offer a helping hand next time you see someone trying to find their way in the maze.