I was enjoying a cup of coffee and reading on a bench outside of Presidential Court one beautiful Sunday morning and admiring the squirrels that leapt from tree to tree.

Suddenly, a new creature emerged from the shadows.

With clomping heels, she scampered past me in a tight fitted dress and sporting a smudge of mascara below one eye. It all happened so quickly that it took me a moment to register the truth: I had spotted the infamous "walk of shame."

For those unaware, the "walk of shame" occurs when a girl awakes in last night's clothes and in someone else's house and must trek the seemingly endless way home.

There are, in fact, different varieties of the walk of shame; if you know how, they are easy to spot.

The early birds awake in time to see mistakes glisten on their partner's face, quickly realize that "you can't see ugly through bloodshot eyes." Without a sound, they creep out the back door and speedily make their way home before most of us have escaped REM sleep.

There are also the stage four clingers who wake up at mid-day after snuggling up next to their partner. They ask to borrow some of his clothes to perhaps look a little less conspicuous, but at the same time have an excuse to see this guy again by returning the attire. These girls are a little less noticeable than the early birds because, let's face it; many of the girls at UT wear oversized T-shirts that cover their shorts anyways.

The extra-large sweatpants and size 11 flip-flops, however, are a dead giveaway.

Lastly, there is the Honey Badger. These are the girls who awoke too late for the early morning sprint and don't feel the need to ask for different clothing. These girls just don't care. So, with the same clothes on as the night before, they stumble shamelessly down Church Row, heels and all, just as every denomination lets out to judge their morality.

Unfortunately we still live in a world with gender stereotypes. Society ostracizes "sluts" and crowns "players" for the same deed. That's why, on any given Sunday, you may also pinpoint the less-conspicuous guy doing the "stride of pride."

The stride of pride can be pinpointed by the un-tucked dress shirt, an unraveled tie in one hand and the other hand free to high-five his friends and say something along the lines of, "Guess what happened last night?"

Many of his peers immediately deem him awesome, and it's hard to blame him for taking his time soaking in the glory.

The guy doing the stride of pride has little to no shame in his actions of the night because this guy is "the man." He will be exalted for his success and greeted with pats on the back and high-fives from his peers.

However, the girl will not be so joyously greeted; instead, a group of scowling friends with their arms crossed will ambush her at the door as she stumbles in. She will then be bombarded with questions and hasty judgments such as, "Why did you leave us last night? Well that's lovely. Hope you had fun."

Keeping this in mind, I hope you have a game plan for your upcoming weekend plans. For the guys, it wouldn't hurt to be a bit more discrete about the whole situation. As for the ladies: perhaps you could pack a spare set of clothes, have a ride arranged or – I don't know – not end up in someone else's bed in the first place.

At the very least it never hurts to just take it like man and transform your walk of shame into a stride of pride.

Kaila Curry is a freshman in English. She is kcurry6@utk.edu.