10 Ways to Make Your Commute Less Painful

Photo: TTC via Facebook

Photo: TTC via Facebook

One of Ryerson’s greatest strengths is the diversity of its students. The university attracts students from different cities, provinces and countries around the world. While some students find themselves a walk away from campus, many come from different corners of Toronto. Whether you are commuting from Etobicoke, Richmond Hill, or even Bloor Street, the ride from school to home and back can be a tedious one.

It would come as a surprise to many that there is more to do on the bus or subway than twiddle your fingers. Traveling from checkpoint A to B can take quite a while in the city, so we’ve racked up some ways to make the most of your time while commuting– or at the very least, to make it a little less tedious.

1. Read a book

Are you one of those people who love to read but never seems to find the time during the school year? Leave your iPod at home and bring a book instead. If you don’t want to carry around a heavy hardcover, that’s what the small mass-market paperback books are meant for! Even if you only want to read during part of your commute, bringing a book is a sure-fire way to get ahead on your reading list. This way, you don’t have to wait until break to finally crack open that new book you’ve been wanting to read.

2. Audio Books

If you happen to be one of the many people who feel squeamish reading on moving vehicles, audio books are the next best thing. Most of the time audio books are narrated by their authors, which provides extra personality to the story. Don’t wait to buy Amy Poehler’s memoir Yes Please? Download her audiobook, which she narrates.

3. Podcasts

For people who are more likely to turn to YouTube or Netflix, podcasts will be your saviour on that two-hour commute. You can basically find a podcast about anything, whether it be about a show, hobby, or particular topic like healthy eating. Think of podcasts as YouTube videos without the visuals. The best part? There are a lot of podcasts you can subscribe to on iTunes for free!

4. Make a to-do list for when you get home

When you have a lot to do by the time you get home, it can be hard to keep your eye off the time during your commute. Commuting takes a lot of valuable work time out of the day, but to clear your head and calm your nerves you can start drafting a list of the things you want to get done once you get home while you’re on the go.

5. Find a commuter buddy

Sometimes the hardest part about commuting is sitting by yourself, or next to a stranger who is blasting their music a little too loud. A foolproof way of making your bus or train ride faster is to coordinate with a friend so that you can travel together. Once you start chatting, the time will fly by.

6. Check your Pocket app

The Pocket app allows you to save Internet pages, whether they are site pages or articles, on your phone. Don’t have Wi-Fi or data? No problem– you can read these pages without Internet, making going underground a lot less painful.

7. Homework

While this seems obvious, many don’t believe work can be done on the subway. You can do course readings, outline essays on your notepad, or review that stack of research you just printed off for your next paper. Bring a highlighter and your textbooks and you are bound to get something productive done on the way home. This way, once you get home, you won’t have as much on your plate.

8. Do something crafty

It’s not rare to see people knitting or crocheting on the bus. If you can find something to keep your hands occupied, people will be jealous that they didn’t think of it first.  In the summertime, expect to see people with different threads and strings making camp-inspired bracelets. In a time where DIY activities are swarming YouTube and Pinterest, your commute may be a good time to try your hand at one!

9. Luminosity

Luminosity is an app that boasts an array of games designed to test your mind. The games don’t require Internet, which means you won’t be wasting your data and you can use it when you’re underground with no service. Luminosity is the perfect way to challenge and distract yourself during your commute.

10. Take some time for yourself

Sometimes commuting can be a good thing. Whether you commute for 30 minutes, an hour, or two hours, quiet time can be useful when getting yourself prepared for the day ahead. This alone time is key when unwinding after a long day and will help you be more rested when you get home to spend time with your loved ones.

[P]hoto: GO Transit via Instagram