From first year to third year, I lived beside the CN Tower and had a 20-minute to commute to campus. Life was soo good. But with a recent turn of events in my life, I’ve decided to move back to my parent’s house and commute to school for my fourth year. Drive to the GO station (20 minutes) + GO bus/train to Union 1 Hour and 10 minute TTC ride = 1.5 h. It does not sound so bad in writing, but let me assure you the traffic during my commute, the over-populated buses and the lack of time I can spend with my family is really driving me CRAY. But mostly because I am a commuter NOOB and I don’t know how/when/where to eat, what to wear, when to leave my house to catch the train on time, how to spend six hours at school etc. Its just all NEW to me and the transition has been super rough for me. Bouts of anxiety, tearful bus rides home and a WHOLE LOT OF COMMUTER RAGE characterize my commuting experience thus far.
Are there any intermediate/expert/guru commuters out there who can help me out in the following departments and make this transition easier?
1) FOOD: What to eat and how to spend the least amount on it.
Recently, I learned that keeping my tummy full helps me control my anxiety by 1,000 percent. Problem is I don’t want to go bankrupt after graduating university by spending $10 everyday on food. I want to keep the money I will be earning from my many jobs and save it for a summer graduation trip. So I don’t understand how I can maintain my savings and keep my stomach full as a commuter. Homemade lunches are an option but what is a homemade lunch? The concepts are so foreign to me or at least need to be reintroduced. What do you pack to school for lunch? Know of any places on campus which have holistic and cheap menus? Where can I get REAL food instead of the backup poutine or fries?
2) Massive Schedule Gaps
How in the world do you survive six-hour gaps in your schedule? Even with all my courses, extracurriculars and part-time jobs, I still can’t find a way to efficiently occupy these times.Tried going to the library, fell asleep for three hours (on the first day of school). Tried hanging with friends, hyper-social behaviour = exhausting. Tried studying, fell asleep. How do you spend your six-hour gaps?
3) Neverending Fatigue
How do you stop from being tired and sleepy ALL THE TIME. It’s like the Sandman is following me wherever I go. Paradoxically, with no time to sleep, I find myself sleeping all time. I don’t drink coffee either. So commuters, how do you stay alert and awake on 7am-10pm days?
4) Lack of family time
The main reason I chose to commute this year was that I wanted to spend more quality time with my family. But I don’t even see their faces any more. When I come home from school , I go straight to bed and wake up a mountain of readings. At least when I lived downtown I would be physically away from them and force myself to work hard and go home every weekend homework-free. I feel so terrible about always being in my room and ignoring the existence of my loved ones. Commuters, is there a way to balance family with commuting schedules?
If I don’t figure out how to solve the issues I above I might just have to move back downtown in January. Please share me with your pieces of commuting wisdom!