“As a college gal moving from the suburbs to the city for higher education, nothing is more exciting than a four hour commute to and from school” – said no one ever.
Imagine living in a part of the universe where taking public transportation would be deemed as “exciting” or “enjoyable”. Decisions on where to live, work, and go to school would be so much easier. It wouldn’t matter if you had to commute for thirty minutes or five hours, the NJ Transit train party would never end.
Okay people!!! Back to reality! that part of the universe doesn’t exist. Train and bus rides are long, uncomfortable, and a complete snooze-fest on any given day. You wake up that morning ready to start a new section of your life, but one minute into the train ride, and you’ve already mentally added teleporting to the list of things you need to invent.
My solution? A book. Yeah, you heard me right, A book. I can hear you now- “Girl, this is the twenty-first century, go back to the stone age. Books aren’t a thing anymore”. I know, I know, we’ve got e-readers, laptops and music players, all things that are great at keeping us occupied during those uneventful commutes to and from school; but seriously, get a book.
The very first time I commuted to campus by myself, was to meet with my school’s pre-health advisor. I could have driven to school, but that’s a two hour drive, and the lazy girl in me was very convincing on why I was not about to do that. So I got on the train with a bag full of devices, and thought I was prepared for anything. Boy was I wrong. I turn on my laptop, only to find out that the train itself didn’t have wifi. It connected for two seconds whenever the train stopped at a station, but disconnected whenever the train was on the move. Streaming movies on two-seconds wifi every ten minutes came to be very annoying.
Alright, I can’t stream movies, or go on any websites on my laptop, that’s fine, I’ll just do all of that on my phone. I’ll use up all of my data, and we’ll cross that data bill bridge when it’s in my mailbox. Twenty minutes later, my phone dies with no outlets in sight. First no wifi, then no outlets, this train needs a serious update.
Now we’re back to the laptop with no internet. Using it wasn’t as torturous as I imagined. I could listen to music, play some games, even read a downloaded book without a problem. The problem did come about an hour later when the laptop decided it was going to die as well. What Now? I had no back-up plan, and these devices were both dead from constant use. Literally, there was nothing to do but surrender to boredom, twiddle my thumbs, and cry on the inside.
–What’s your solution to staying sane when your electronic device dies out?–
The second time around, On my way to orientation, I knew better. I brought two handheld, paper back, physical page turners with me. I mean, I had my electronics too, in case the books died or something.
Here’s the thing, I didn’t use my laptop once during that train ride. The book I was reading was a gut busting laugh-out-loud book. It had me crying messy snot-filled tears, relating to the protagonist in ways I never thought I could. It was hard to put down, and get this, I never did!! Granted, I almost got off at the wrong stop, but that’s okay because I would’ve had my book to read while I waited for the next train to come around.
So, If you’re not as fortunate as me when it comes to university housing, and you find yourself a victim of the commute to school, get yourself a good book; and watch as you find yourself in the part of the universe where the commute to campus might be considered “enjoyable”, but never will it be exciting.
Until next time, keep reading!