Blistered, battered, bruised, beet red: they can have this charming effect on you. Caged, buckled, tied, even roped and chained, they hold a part of you captive each day. To restrain? No, quite the opposite. They help mobilize you, your goals, and your vision. Symbolically, they tell the story of you revealing where you’ve been, where you’re going. Although one pair may speak louder than the next aesthetically, acoustically, we all have the potential to be heard at the same volume. We walk one foot in front of the other, we put our shoes on one at a time. Admitted to Seton Hall University with a personal statement about shoes—my shoes and all of them I’ve worn—it is only just that I make my written exit on that same topic I still adore. Chaines across the studio dance floor, ankles held tenderly by delicate pink ribbon, each consecutive turn began with an arm to lead and a foot to follow, toes pointed atop a block of wood built into the shoe. Painful? After about an hour. Beloved? Absolutely. Much like the sequence of spins, life before college moved like a carousel going round and round with the music never to cease. With the hum of my parents’ guidance I took on each new year, new classroom, new academic or extracurricular challenge sitting beside the same classmates with whom I would learn and think, the same friends with whom I would gossip, the same teammates to stretch with for cheerleading practice. In my laced white sneakers or flashy sneaker wedges, I had loved every cyclical moment. In hindsight I know the real new beginning, the crushing new opportunities were a diploma away: just the ticket to hop off the carousel horse’s back and board the cart of the ferris wheel. I stepped out onto campus freshmen year in shoes that made a statement; furry white boots and black heels in a room full of flats. I was here to make a name for myself, a most reputable one at that and have people remember it. Dancing across campus paths in my powder blue Nike’s each Thursday to get my hands on the latest issue of The Setonian to see my byline page 7, popping on a pair of black leopard spotted white stilettos to don before the cameras of Pirate TV, and trading them in for a patent leather pair of black ones for my interview to become Pirate Life Editor: my shoes have brought me to new heights—figuratively and literally—giving me new perspective, refined vision, further inspiration. I have now worn the shoes of a student, blogger, editor, writer, intern, and have kept in my soles eternal optimism and abounding ambition with each new pair to grace my feet. While the tilted fedora has been considered the age-old symbol to represent journalists, along with the trench coat, I prefer to think of my journalistic journey as one marked by footsteps operating under the emblem of the stiletto. Not quite as loud as the thunder booming in the background during an interrogation in a dimly lit room, nonetheless the clacking of stilettos leaves an impression just as bold. I wear shoes I can strut, walk, and sprint in and be back in time to write the story. May your shoe selection be in accordance with your passion. You’ve got a long way to go, wear the pair you won’t regret. Michelle Foti is a journalism major from Lyndhurst, NJ. She can be reached at michelle.foti@student. shu.edu.
Strutting through life in stylish shoes: Wear the pair you won’t regret