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How To Commute Like Sun Tzu

Commuting can be difficult for many students. From dealing with unreliable public transportation to the FOMO you get from being off campus on the weekend, the commuter struggle is very real. Luckily, sixth century BC general and philosopher Sun Tzu offers some great advice for battling the commuter blues in the Art of War.

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1. "One who does not know the enemy but knows himself will sometimes win, sometimes lose. One who does not know the enemy and does not know himself will be in danger in every battle." [03.24]


AKA Be aware of your surroundings. Know you're route. A thousand commutes, one L.

2. "Therefore, if able, appear unable; if active, appear inactive; if near, appear far; if far, appear near." [01.14]

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If you are still at Spring Garden and class is starting in 3 minutes, act casual as you come in 20 minutes late. You're professor won't notice a thing.

3. "One who knows how to use both large and small forces will be victorious" [03.19]

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Not making friends? Try Small Talk(TM)!

4. “If you take care of your health, avoid fatigue, you will be united, and will build strength.” [11.22]

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Remember to eat, drink water, and go outside. Hey, maybe you'll even have an enjoyable college experience!

5. "What enables the enlightened rulers and good generals to conquer the enemy at every move and achieve extraordinary success is foreknowledge." [13.05]


Plan ahead. Commuters don't have the advantage of walking ten minutes from our house to class. You can study all you want but if you don't sleep you will fail.

6. "What enables the enlightened rulers and good generals to conquer the enemy at every move and achieve extraordinary success is foreknowledge." [03.08]

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Act like you live on campus and the campus will become your kingdom. This is as much your college as it is the rest of the student body's. Capture the campus without attacking it.

7. "He looks upon his troops as children, and they will advance to the deepest valleys. He looks upon his troops as his own children, and they will die with him." [10.19]


Treat your on-campus friends well. They might just swipe you into that all-you-can-eat dining hall!

8. "Warfare is the Way of deception." [01.13]

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Trying to get into that frat? Act natural. "Of course I know a brother! Yeah-- Oh his name? His name is Ca...Cable? Cable! My good friend Cable sent me an invite." Boom! You're in. Deception!

9. " Even in the midst of the turbulence of battle, the fighting seemingly chaotic, they are not confused. Even in the midst of the turmoil of battle, the troops seemingly going around in circles, they cannot be defeated." [05.11]

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You will fail at commuting if you lose control of yourself. Control comes from studying and practicing the art of the commute. If you are ready, you might even be able to move in to an apartment nearby.

10. "The energy of the army can be dampened, and the general's mind can be dampened. Therefore, in the morning, energy is high, but during the day energy begins to flag; and in the evening, energy is exhausted." [07.20]


Start each year, semester, week, and day with a positive attitude. Commuting is hard, but it doesn't have to be awful. :^)

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