So who exactly is TJ Greeson? To most he is the guy who is always barefoot. Although this might seem out of the ordinary, Greeson doesn’t see why his lack of shoes is such a big deal.
“I don’t wear shoes because I don’t want to wear shoes,” the junior public relations major said. “I like being barefoot.”
The only time Greeson strays away from his shoeless ways is when it’s raining or if the ground has become too hot to walk on.
He enjoys walking without shoes so much that he would recommend it to others who aren’t fond of oppressive footwear. He offers potential barefoot compatriots some suggestions for going without shoes.
“Be careful when walking on concrete. It’s the worst,” he said. “Asphalt is better to walk on because it is softer than concrete, but grass is the best because it is soft. Walking in shaded areas also helps when it is hot.”
His affinity for going without shoes comes from growing up as a missionary kid in Thailand.
“I started going barefoot when I lived [overseas],” Greeson said. “I had to wear shoes at my school. So my friends and I decided to go barefoot after school as much as possible. And I’ve been doing it ever since.”
Although Greeson’s bare feet were the norm when he was in Thailand, they weren’t quite as typical in the States.
The public relations major said he’s asked often why he’s not wearing shoes.
“I usually just tell people they’re in my bag,”
But even though Greeson had trouble assimilating into American culture when he first arrived on campus three years ago, he began to get involved with campus activities and found his place.
He’s been involved with Student Foundation, Crusader Knights, Easter Pageant and Welcome Week just to name a few.
“Being involved on campus has helped me get more of a community here, and build relationships,” he said. “That has really helped the cultural change and homesickness.”
Through these experiences, he has made life-long friends, who accept him for who he is.
Senior Christian studies major Quinton Payton became one of those friends, and has come to appreciate the way Greeson views life.
“He sees life in such a unique perspective and seeks adventure in everything that he does,” Payton said. “He is able to recognize the little things in life and make the most of his time with the people around him.”
Payton doesn’t even mind his friend’s bare feet.
“I have no problem with him walking around barefoot as long as he doesn’t put his feet up on furniture or show me the bottom of his feet.”
Other than having a passion for people and walking around without shoes, Greeson also loves diving into the adventure and fantasy of graphic novels.
He prefers DC Comics over the rest and thinks often about which superhero he’d be if he had the chance.
“I would be The Flash because he is super-fast and I would love to go places super-fast. He can also vibrate his molecules through solid objects. That’s pretty cool.”
While Greeson sometimes still escapes his unfamiliar surroundings to the world inside his novels, he has also learned to enjoy the American world, as well.