Today, I spent 3 hours on public transportation, trying to get to and from work (don’t I sound like an adult?!). The bus was crowded both ways and that summer heat caused some pretty serious BO. This week will be a little worse than normal- thank you, Taste of Chicago– so here is how I plan to beat those commuter blues this week and for the rest of the summer.
I’m no stranger to commutes, now that I’ve been living off campus for a year, but my 15 minute bus ride was nothing. Now, I’ve joined the masses in the mass migration downtown. The worst part about this is that I’m not even working in the loop, but I have to go all the way downtown to catch the L out west.
This week, I am hitting new records of travel time (but I really don’t mind!) Here is how I’m using this time.
Find Your Rhythm
I think the key to surviving any generally unpleasant experience is a great playlist. (It got me through that marathon for sure!) I’ve been enjoying Future Friends, Superfruit’s EP and Harry Styles‘s new album.
If music isn’t your thing, podcasts are an awesome way to spend some time. Lately I’ve been listening to By the Book, a podcast where two women live for two weeks exactly as instructed in different self help books, and I’d highly recommend it.
I also try to listen to a little bit of the news. Part of my job this summer involves me attending events that are entirely in Spanish, so I’ve been listening to CNN en Español when I get a chance to keep my listening skills sharp.
Making Your Phone Work for You
Most people on the bus and the train use their phones to keep themselves entertained. Whether its watching Youtube videos or going through the endless scroll of your newsfeeds, your phone can provide some pretty stellar entertainment. I’ve talked about using your phone better before, so I’d recommend checking out that post for all my tips.
The Skimm has honestly changed my life. I like to be informed, but sometimes the news can be repetitive and stressful (and honestly, who has cable?). The Skimm emails me the most important stories from the past day in an engaging way so that every morning it is waiting for me when I wake up. It’s the first thing I look at when I get on the bus because it makes me feel like I can take on the world.
So Many Books, So Little Time
I like to read during my vacations, but during the year, schoolwork tends to get in the way. My commute is made for reading.
I’ve finished two books since starting my job a couple weeks ago, and I am just starting my third. My coworkers have started to expect to see me with a new book every week because I have so much time to read.
Although audiobooks are a great choice when you’re driving, I found that books have the added benefit that reading the physical book makes me feel a little safer on public transit. Between my headphones and the book, I find people (creepy old men) are less likely to mess with me than with the headphones alone.
Just don’t use your U-Pass as a bookmark because I learned the hard way that sometimes they fall out. (lmk if you want to donate to the get Rosana a new U-Pass fund)
Call Your Friends
I know that person loudly screaming into their phone on the bus at 7 am can be really annoying, but in the afternoon your commute can be a really great time to connect with your friends and family.
One of my friends lives in Jordan and so finding time where we are both awake and free can be hard. Last week, I got to talk to her for a whole hour because I was on the bus for so long.
All of these are great options as long as you don’t miss your stop!
How long are your commutes? What do you do to keep yourself occupied?
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My favourite way to keep myself busy during a commute is by reading. I don’t like using my phone too much as it hurts my eyes and I get stressed when my phone battery really gets drained.