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25 Battles of Every Commuter Student

More than half of our students commute to our downtown campus every day. Here are 25 battles we know all too well. Written by Jessica Lam on behalf of RU Student Life.

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If you've had the dreadful experience of commuting to school, you know how exhausting it can get. As a commuter from Richmond Hill who has driven, and taken both the subway and the GO train, I have had my fair share of battles. My commute ranges between half an hour to two hours. The only way to get through the long, boring ride is to make use of it. I usually sleep, do my course readings, or listen to music. Commuting is a vicious everyday battle, and here are some things you might have experienced, or will experience this coming fall.

1. Waking Up On Time

You have an 8:00 A.M. class. The commute takes an hour, and it takes you half an hour to get ready. You also want some time to grab that delicious green tea latte from Starbucks. So really, you have to wake up two hours before class. Or, you can press that snooze button and be a little late...

2. People Who Live on Campus but Complain About Early Classes

Nope, you're not allowed.

3. Time Spent Commuting

Many students live far from campus. Whether you're driving or taking public transit, the time it takes to get to Ryerson varies depending on both the time you leave and traffic. Make sure you always leave earlier than planned. You never know if a car accident might block 2 out of the 3 lanes of the highway, or if the subway will break down and cause you to have to take the shuttle along with your fellow happy commuters.

4. Union Station During Peak Commuting Hours

As you get off the train and make your way to the subway or the PATH, you’re stuck in a crowd of impatient and pushy commuters. You feel like a pickle taking one step a minute because it's that crowded. Also, on another note, will the construction at Union Station ever end?

5. Subway or PATH Way

As you get off the train at Union, you're forced to make the decision of whether you're too lazy to walk or whether you'd rather save $3 and walk for 15 minutes. If you're late for class, I suggest you catch that train.

6. Getting Off A Crowded Train

During peak commuting hours, the subway can get pretty crowded. If you're unlucky enough to be stuck in the corner far from the doors, you have to make your way through the crowd before the doors close. At least you finally get to breathe.

7. Subway Delays

Wait. Why is the train stopping? Why have we been stuck here for five minutes? What do you mean there’s a delay? Shuttle buses???

8. Not Getting A Seat on the Subway

Remember folks, be courteous to pregnant women and the elderly. I know you're pretending to be asleep.

9. Seat Hoarders

Your bag does not need a seat to itself.

10. People Who Take the Aisle Seat...

... But not the empty window seat.

11. When the Person Beside You Releases Their Gas

You're on the subway, it's crowded, and you can't escape it. You don't want to look rude and cover your nose. All you can do is try to hold your breath for a little bit longer.

12. Waiting for Cellphone Service

As soon as the train stops at Davisville...

13. Davisville Station During the Winter

Is it necessary to keep the doors open for this long in the freezing cold??

14. Snowstorms

This past winter was notorious for vicious snowstorms (and the one ice storm). If it's bad enough, your train can get delayed. Honestly, if it's really that bad, you're better off staying home for the day.

15. When Your Professor Cancels Class... Last Minute

If you have other classes that day, it's not so bad. If it's your only class... Sorry, dude.

16. Making Your Way In or Out of the Ryerson Parking Lot

A majority of students don't look out for cars when they're walking along Victoria. Maybe they're impatient or ignorant, or maybe they really need to get to class. If someone's nice enough, they'll stop walking so you can enter or exit the parking lot. Be sure to thank them.

17. Driving to Class in the Afternoon?

The parking lot is probably full. You'll have to park on the secluded 4th floor. If you're lucky, the elevator just might be working. If not, at least you'll be getting your daily cardio on the stairs.

18. People Who Don't Share the Road

If there's a red light ahead and no more cars can fit, don't be the jerk that blocks the intersection. If someone is trying to change into your lane during traffic, it's probably because they have to make a turn. Play nice, people.

19. Not Being Able to Go to Events

Thursday night? You have to wake up early for class tomorrow. It's a sacrifice you'll have to make.

20. Not Meeting People

Students who live on campus tend to make more friends than their fellow commuters. However, it's not impossible to make friends. Join clubs and talk to your classmates. Don't be shy!

21. Long Breaks Between Classes

If you're unlucky enough, you might end up having 3+ hour breaks between your classes. Make good use of it. Go to the library. Or, there's always the Eaton Centre...

22. Not On Campus Enough to Catch Celebrities

TV shows and movies are being filmed downtown all the time. Dundas Square gets turned into New York City. The church behind Eaton Centre turns into the castle they film Reign in. Some celebrities (ex. Deadmau5, Carly Rae Jepsen) have been spotted around campus. And for some reason, you're never on campus when any of these things are happening.

23. Making the GO Train After Class

Class ends at 3:00 P.M. The train comes at 3:15. Everyday is a battle as you rush out of class as early as possible, race towards the subway, and hope you have enough cash left in your PRESTO card.

24. Coming Home and...

... Probably not being productive. If your class ends late and your commute is an hour long, you're probably just going to go home, eat a quick meal, then sleep so you can wake up early for another lengthy morning commute. But that's okay, because you can do your work on the train, right? Just kidding.

25. Last but Not Least... The Expenses

Fares can get expensive, especially when you’re transferring between multiple transit systems. If you're going into first year and planning on taking GO Transit, make sure to get your GO Transit student ID card for the discount. After a certain amount of rides, you get to ride for free!

Thanks to Farzad Vafaei for helping me out with a few points!