life through the doors of union station and con hall

I spent my first year at U of T, like most students commuting to school. I'd love to say commuting is cool, but it isn't. On a scale of coolness, commuting is Charlie Sheen and living in residence/extremely close to campus is Matt Damon (even if you do live in residence, chances are at least for one of your years at U of T, you'll be commuting from somewhere in the city). But all hope is not lost! Still, like Charlie Sheen, you can still be winning when you commute! Submitted for approval of the Student Life society, I present to you; the story of the crazy student commuter. My daily commute to school takes up about an hour; riding in on a GO Train from suburbia. Now, I love trains. Thomas the tank Engine, the Polar Express, Hogwarts Express; what's not to like about them?  But I soon found myself frustrated. Going to school wasn't the problem, maintaining my energy on the commute back home was (especially on days that I had night classes). I would go to class full of energy and board the homeward train exhausted. So, I decided I would sleep. This did not turn out so well, as I once awoke from my eternal slumber, I heard someone mumble "LAST CALL FOR THE DOORS". I turned to face the window and to my horror, I saw my station.  I managed to tumble out of the train just before the doors closed. I would not sleep on the train again. And so my frustration continued for about a semester. I would come back home, collapse and not be able to give my work the full attention it needed. Then I discovered the Tim Horton's kiosk at Union Station, and I could finally achieve things on the train! So, for me, it was all about boosting that drained energy with the stuff parents drink as they watch their kids play hockey on commercials.  For you, sleeping on the train may be an option. If you find that it does recharge your batteries effectively, recharge away. Anything to get the Energizer bunny in you drumming again. Now comes the question of what to do on the train. Now, if you are me and lack creative artistic skills, you could do the following:
My rendition of a GO Train.
  • Work on your homework and catch up on reading.
  • Do other non-school work.
  • Read your novel that isn't Fifty Shades of Grey.
  • Listen to that 80s band none of your friends seem to understand on your iPod.
  • Watch TV episodes.
  • Look at people.
  • Look at trees.
If you are creative you could (fyi, these are totally serious suggestions):
  • Start a what-I see-on-the-train blog/tumblr (Hipsters on the train?)
  • Paint/draw avant-garde pieces of art.
  • Write a novel.
  • Make sock puppet companions and talk to them.
  • Have a tablet? Make a webcomic.
  • Create an alternate universe in your head where the train is actually the Hogwarts Express.
That being said, there will be days where commuting just sucks. You'll get fed up by the crowding, the missed trains, the ladies who read inappropriate novels and the rude people (although the weird people provide some amusement). In this atmosphere, it's easy to become disheartened and lose sight of your goal (which is to be awesome at U of T). I like to remind myself (highly corny) that this train is taking me on a journey to my future, and well it is.  U of T is where you will find yourself and set your course for life. And if that doesn't inspire you out of your commuter induced grumpiness, just remind yourself that at home, you can indulge in a big bucket of ice cream that will cause you to forget all your commuter problems. 🙂 Stay awesome U of T. - Abdullah Any questions about commuting? Frustrations? Weird stories to share? Feel free to leave  a comment.  

2 comments on “life through the doors of union station and con hall

  1. I’m going into my first year this fall. I shall be commuting from richmond hill, and i was wondering which method of commuting is more time/cost effective: go train vs go bus vs driving to the subway?


  2. Hey Deena.

    I commute from a place that offers all day GO Train service, so it’s pretty convenient for me. The Richmond Hill line only offers GO train service during rush hour. Off peak, it’s GO buses. Cost wise, taking the TTC will def. be cheaper, although convience wise, I’m thinking GO.

    Keep in mind however that GO will take you to Union Station (so you will either have to walk or TTC to campus, I do both), whereas taking the TTC will take you straight to the campus.

    Ultimately, it’s up to you; do some research, how far are the TTC and GO stations from your house, how often do GO Buses run?

    Hope this helps. 🙂

    – Abdullah

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