Returning to Campus: Getting back to Commuting

Hi everyone! I hope you all are enjoying this back to school season and getting to return to our beautiful campuses! I'm so excited to be joining the team this year and getting the opportunity to share my final year and reflections of my time here as an undergrad at U of T.

When classes first went full-time online, it took about six weeks for me to finally be comfortable with this new style of learning, find the motivation to stop joining my classes from my bed and actually find ways to stay active. Slowly, I began to enjoy these classes and working from home once I created a designated work-from-home space, and of course, bought a second monitor.

Work-From-Home set up featuring my mini library

When it was announced we would be returning to campus for our fall semester. my immediate reaction was immense happiness. With starting my final year, the biggest fear I had was the possibility of graduating from my bedroom. However, what I didn’t think about was what commuting would be like again.

My commute can be up to 1.5 hours from Brampton and can rely on three transportation services; Brampton Transit (bus), GO Transit (train) and the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) (subway or streetcar).  Before COVID-19, I had my schedules memorized, and spent time finding ways to be more productive on the trains. When it came time to prepare for my first commute back to Toronto in over a year, I realized how much I actually forgot.

My first day of commuting was as exciting as it was exhausting. I missed the bus, but luckily my parents took pity on me and gave me a ride to the train station with 5 minutes to spare. When I got to Union Station, it felt oddly like coming home and luckily, I still knew where I was going and started walking towards the TTC with all of the returning students and staff of the city.

For old times' sake, I got off at Museum Station near Victoria College not realizing that the Goldring Student Centre was still closed and so was the EJ Pratt Library. So, I ended up sitting outside the library reading my syllabi until my class at 10:00am - luckily the weather is still pretty warm, so it wasn't all bad.

Entrance to Museum Station
View of Old Vic from the benches in front of the EJ Pratt Library

After classes, I decided to stay on campus and explore - I ended up working from the Sidney Smith Commons until they closed at 5:00pm and finally headed home. I got back to Brampton at 6:30pm and frankly, went straight to bed.

Over the next few weeks, I can't wait to get back into the swing of things and while tiring - I am happy to be back on campus. For commuters who take many services, my best advice is ensuring you are checking service updates, safety guidelines and of course, what buildings are open on campus.

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