Down time, People, Student Life

Summer commutes and that half-eaten granola bar

So I’m taking summer classes. I love summer school because I don’t have to juggle 5 courses at the same time. The focus on one subject for two months instead of 5 in four months has always made more sense to me for some reason. This is an unpopular opinion but there are pros and cons to everything! There’s also not that many people on campus during the summer which means I always get the seat with the power outlet.

Not a lot of people want to spend the best weather to grace Toronto in months indoors but I actually end up spend more of it outdoors…waiting for my bus.

I commute from a suburb in the GTA and it takes close to an hour and a half (if the commute Gods are in my favour). I change two buses to catch a 20-minute subway ride to get to our beloved St. George station and I try to love every second of it. The reality of it is that most of us at U of T are commuters and there’s always a solemn undertone whenever two students exchange this truth about them; “Me too, I commute from Ajax, ohhh it’s not too bad,” followed by a moment of silence.

Picture of the view from a public transportation bus

Sad Bus # 1 (approx 40 mins)

The summer commute is better than the rest of the year because there’s no ice storm to hold me back. I’ve used this time to get to know myself better and really reflect on my personality; here are just some things I’ve noticed about myself while on this journey.

  1. Despite having taken the same buses countless times, I still end up leaning over and pressing “Stop Requested” by accident about once a week. Has the heat started getting to my head or am I destined to awkwardness for eternity?
  2. I have a half-eaten snack or snack wrapper in my bag AT ALL TIMES.
  3. I check that I ABSOLUTELY have my Presto on me a total of 19 times in the two hours.
  4. I never, ever, ever sit on a seat that isn’t directly facing in the direction I am going. I prefer to stand rather than do that because facing backwards or sideways makes my head hurt. Yes, I am a pleasure to take on a roller coaster.
  5. If there was an apocalypse and I was being chased by something, I probably would only give it about 70% and at some point, sit down and accept my fate, embrace my weak stamina and salute my friends goodbye. BUT GIRL, WHEN THAT BUS IS STANDING THERE AND THE NEXT ONE IS IN 30 MINS, I AM ROADRUNNER.
Three random plastic spoons still in my bag that were probably used to snack on something at sometime. Sorry for grossing everyone out.

Three random plastic spoons still in my bag that were probably used to snack on something at sometime. Sorry for grossing everyone out.

Among a lot of other things, I’ve really learned to do my readings, finish a blog post, or get caught up on my emails during my commute because I know that once I get home, I’ll be oblivious to a world that exists outside my bed.

It’s weird during rush hours because I’m struggling to find a little bit of the handlebar to grab so obviously I’m not going to take out a reading and casually paper cut the people around me in the face.

A much fuller bus in which I have to stand and hold on to the handlebar

The wonderful view I have for an hour and no seat to sit on

But I have downloaded a guided mindfulness audio clip in my phone that I play in the times I start to get frustrated. And most of the times, I’m happy just standing there trying to memorize all the stops on the bloor-danforth line or listening to one song on repeat. It’s good times.

If you’ve been commuting this summer and find yourself alone on this path to campus, fear not, I am with you (in spirit). Let me know if there’s anything you’ve noticed during your commute and I hope you catch all (5 of) your buses today!