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The Joys and Woes of a Commuter

The Joys and Woes of a Commuter

Every commuter has experience different pros and cons of the trek to and from class.

Kara Nelson

November 15, 2013

On Its Way

It lurches to a Stop!
Spits out some dazed victims,
Gorges itself on more…
Then it crawls, growls, and roars,
Begins to move forward….
The bus is on its way.

It mixes and digests us,
Mashing our limbs together,
No one is safe until…
It lurches to a Stop!
We stagger off the bus,
Barely get off before…
The bus goes on its way.

I wrote this poem as a cathartic release when I was taking the bus for my twice-weekly, about 64-mile commute to school. I got up at 5 a.m. to catch the bus in a little bit over an hour.

Oh the frenzy! Don’t want to be late! And then after a long day at school, I’d catch the often-late – and packed – 4:30 bus.

I often had to stand on the way home, until I learned the “Eye of the Tiger” survival method: position yourself as close to the entrance as possible when the bus is stopping, and charge in at the first opportunity!

While taking the bus wasn’t ideal, it showed my determination to get to school using whatever means necessary.

Sure, it was packed and fragrant (in a bad way), but it allowed me to meet interesting people, learn from seeing people making bad choices sometimes, and was also an opportunity to study and do homework. If I was sitting and able to do homework, that was considered a bonus.

When I transferred to my four-year university, I began to drive. I get up even earlier to get to school and don’t get home until after dark most of the time. I can’t stay up all night cramming since I need to be a safe and coherent driver. I also leave enough time as much as possible so I don’t arrive late to school.

The pros of driving in: listening to Adele or my favorite songs, praying, and being ALONE.

But the biggest cons are being tired and not being able to do homework during a long commute (more than 72 miles).

Some of the survival tips for commuting I’ve learned along the way:

1. Leave enough time to drive to your destination or to get to the bus stop. You don’t want to miss the bus – or class – for a trivial reason.

2. Aisle seats. Someone recommended that the aisle seats on a bus are safer, because if you sit in a window seat, you never know who will sit next to you and perhaps “corner you.”

3. “Listen” to music or “read” a book. Sometimes pretending to listen to music or read can help you avoid conversation with people who may bother you.

4. Mechanic buddy. Have a friend help you check that your car is running well. You don’t want a break-down on test day!

5. Be careful. Whatever means you take to get to school, be cautious. This goes for all Fastwebbers – whether you drive, take public transit or bike to school.

Whether you take the bus, a car or other means of transportation, keep up the good work! Know your suffering or, at the very least, hard work is going towards an education and shows your complete determination to get that education by any means necessary.


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