I was lucky enough to move out for the first time during the 2021 Fall semester and find a house that was really close to SFU. The extra hours of sleep I got were very much appreciated but the 8-month lease went by in the blink of an eye and I suddenly found myself back home in Surrey. Suddenly, I had to adjust to the hour-and-a-half transit to get to school, which I hadn’t done since Spring 2020. Needless to say, with 4 years of experience and a pandemic thrown in between, I knew a little more about how to be patient during stretches of time, along with some strategies to become a more efficient commuter than before.
Download the Transit app to keep track of the time
Personally, I have to switch busses and trains 4 times on my journey to Burnaby Mountain, and if I miss one of them it throws the rest of my schedule off. This will change for everyone obviously, but making sure to plan out your trip from the moment you step out your front door will help you to avoid future frustrations.
Segment your trips
Building off of the last point, it may make things easier if you see your commute as a series of short trips rather than a long and boring one. 3 twenty-minute trips seem shorter than 1 hour long trip, even though they are the same period of time, so It helps to have the perspective of a divided up commute. You could say the walk from your doorstep to the bus stop is one, the bus to the Skytrain station is another, the Skytrain itself another and so on.
Get familiar with your surroundings
Another thing that helps is to treat your stops as their own destinations. If you have time one day, explore the surroundings around your bus or Skytrain station. For me, my stops have some places to eat around them so I’ve checked them out when I’ve had more time. This aids with helping your perception of the stops as simply transit but rather to that of a multi-destination tour that you have something to do at if you wish to do so.
Listen to that album or watch that TV show your friends have been telling you about
I’m personally really bad at getting things crossed off of my watchlist, especially those shows that I tell my friends I’ll watch soon. If you have the opportunity, download that TV show you’ve been meaning to get to. If that’s not an option, listening to music or a podcast is also a good way to pass the time.
Get familiar with people who take the same route you do
This could be classmates or just people who you just so happen to take the bus or train with whenever you go to school or back home. Don’t be afraid to start up a conversation if you want to–you’ll never know if you’re going to make a friend.
I’m not going to lie, having to wake up earlier to get to class isn’t the most fun thing in the world. But I have gotten better at making sure that my time spent on transit doesn’t feel like a chore but rather something I look forward to, and hopefully these tips can help you do that too.