What does a commuter love more than on-schedule public transit?
And an entire week of it, no less.
See, last week was….. *drumroll please*:
Commuter Appreciation Week at U of T!
Well, okay, it’s not really an officially designated week but the Off-Campus Students Association put together several fun community and food-related events around campus from February 2nd to February 5th and naturally, I clicked ‘Going’ on almost each one.
At all the events I managed to actually make it out to, everyone seemed to be relaxed, cheery and having a great time. I overheard snippets of conversation where people were exchanging commuting stories, chatting about their respective modes of transport but mostly just enjoying the food and the atmosphere with new and old friends.
It was great to come out to the events and feel like part of a community similar to residence, where you can grumble and laugh about living situations and possible TTC woes with people who understand where you’re coming from.
Which, I think, is the whole point of Commuter Appreciation Week- connecting with the wider U of T community and for once- celebrating being a commuter.
I mean, I know I’m the first to whine about #commuterproblems, (a recurring theme in my posts this year) but last week, during my pancake-induced sugar high, I really took a minute to think about all the positive sides to not living on campus.
For starters, commuting gives you the ultimate conversation starter: whining about public transport.
There’s nothing like shared frustration at delays and suspensions to kick-start a friendship.
Secondly, you must have noticed that subway stations make for the best places to get in some interesting people-watching and sometimes….. even to engage in a little ~*wildlife interaction~*
Not to mention, managing yourself, a five-tonne winter jacket plus a heavy backpack when you don’t get a seat during rush hour= mad balancing skills. After the aches and sores wear off, there’s a definitive sense of accomplishment in telling your mother that you rode twelve stops without falling once.
But on a more serious note, it is sometimes nice to leave campus behind every other day, watch it all flash by from TTC windows and retreat in a different environment with different people.
I hope you’re all feeling the #commuterpride too!
What makes you proud to be a commuter, U of T? Share your thoughts/struggles with me in the comments below or on Twitter at Life@UofT!