Photo Credits: Justin Main
Sick of the TTC blues? The Mike has got you covered
Isabela Villanoy, Associate Arts Editor
You’re standing on the train platform — tapping your feet to the monotonous beat of heavy sighs and churning stomachs (yours being the loudest) — as you wait for the train that’s already been delayed for eight to 10 minutes. The rush hour traffic makes you anxious and claustrophobic inside the train. You either stand at the farthest corner of the cart and away from the opening doors and the existential Pisces in you gets triggered — or you sit by the train window looking up at the ceiling because you’re trying to entertain yourself with the Casper advertisements and all the funny cat videos you’ve saved on Facebook. As a commuter, I experience all of these things in a single trip going home. And sometimes, it’s not the most fulfilling way of using commute time (unless cat videos give you life; then I respect that). Here’s the top five relaxing and/or productive activities that you can do during that long ride home:
Take a nap
I cannot stress enough how helpful this nap will be, especially for those of you who plan on pulling all-nighters, or for those of you who woke up at the crack of dawn to get to your 9 a.m. class that day. Sure, you don’t have your soft pillow and your thick blanket to keep you snug on the train, but believe me when I say that if you sit by the window and rest your head on the glass, you won’t even notice the inconvenience.
Start on your homework or readings for class
This is the most productive way of using your time. Use your remaining energy to blast through the assigned readings for the next class. Try to prioritize the more time-consuming and difficult assignments before the easier ones. Although there may be too much to do in one sitting, at least you’ve gotten a head start.
Plan the rest of your night or week
For those of you who will be spending the night studying, use your commute time to strategize which tasks to do first once you arrive home. By planning your study sessions ahead of time, you’ll be able to work on assignments as soon as you get home.
Listen to your favourite songs, albums, or podcasts
For those who need time away from schoolwork or who have a shorter commute, listening to your favourite playlist or podcast may be the most relaxing and convenient method for you. I personally enjoy bopping my head to Conan Gray’s latest songs “Comfort Crowd” and “Maniac” because of their upbeat melodies that keep me wide awake on the train (just so that I don’t miss my stop). I recommend Cavetown’s album Lemon Boy or Bruno Major’s album A Song For Every Moon for a more rejuvenating commute that will put you at ease. During days when you’re in a creative rut, give Elizabeth Gilbert’s podcast Magic Lessons a listen. It contains a diverse array of conversations with creatives and professionals who share their advice on overcoming challenges within their respective industries.
Read or listen to a book
If you don’t mind the subtle train movements every now and then, reading a book is a mentally stimulating and productive use of your time — without having to work on assignments. Page-turners like Mr. Mercedes by Stephen King or The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafón are novels that will keep you at the edge of your seat — you’ll be so immersed in their mysterious and thrilling narratives you might even miss your stop. For avid non-fiction readers who want to improve their planning skills, give Atomic Habits by James Clear a chance — a book that will give you a fresh perspective on time management and habitual behaviours (good or bad) that will definitely help you throughout your university life.