6 Simple Things to Do to Make Your Subway Ride More Pleasant

Image Credit: http://www.wnyc.org/story/nyc-sets-one-day-subway-ridership-record/

Image Credit: http://www.wnyc.org/story/nyc-sets-one-day-subway-ridership-record/

If you have to commute to school, you know that NYC subway, efficient as it is, can also be quite distressing. It might be too hot inside the station and too cold or too crowded in the subway car. Plus, there are also all these service changes and delays that make your trip even more stressful. Here are 6 simple things to do that will make your commute more pleasant:

1. Reading a book. If you are a reader like I am, you know that, as you immerse yourself in the author’s world, you might not even notice that your commute took over an hour! Thanks to technology, we no longer have to carry volumes around. Our entire library is stored on our Kindles, iPads and phones, and some classics are available as free ebooks.

2. Listening to music. I find it a great idea to have headphones in my ears even if I’m not enjoying my favorite tunes. It discourages strange people from talking to me, and I can always pretend that I cannot hear them.

3. Talking to people. If you feel sociable, there is always someone you can talk to. You can tell them pretty much anything, since you are highly likely to never see them again.

Image Credit: http://www.aroundme.com/travel/6397/21-things-only-nyc-subway-riders-consider-normal/#page=1

Image Credit: http://www.aroundme.com/travel/6397/21-things-only-nyc-subway-riders-consider-normal/#page=1

4. Peoplewatching / eavesdropping. If you do not feel sociable, you can observe and listen to people from the distance, which may be a lot of fun. I sometimes sit there imagining what story this or that stranger would tell me if we spoke. Why is he dressed this way? What’s in the bag?

One day I was coming back from college, and the train was packed. Suddenly a man came in with a bouquet of flowers. My first thought was, “How is he going to avoid having them smashed?” I was not the only one thinking that. Then one of the commuters suggested that the man give the flowers away to one of the women in the subway car. The man smiled and said that whoever wanted them could have them. Of course, one lady, who already had her hands full with shopping bags, said she wanted them, and she got them. Where else in the world will you see something like that? And they say New Yorkers are rude and not kind to each other…

5. Doing your homework. I know that this is not as much fun as the other activities I have mentioned, but let’s face it: if you have a long commute, you better make the best of it and save your free time for something else. I used to do a large portion of my homework on the train, which included reading textbooks, memorizing and reviewing information, and writing essays. If you’re going to do that, you should try to get a seat to feel more comfortable and be able to spread your books on your lap.

6. Eat your breakfast / lunch / dinner. Even though it is bad subway etiquette, having a bagel on the train is better than going hungry. As I would often go from school straight to work, I would usually eat on the subway, worried that I won’t have enough time. If you do that, please make sure your food doesn’t smell. Otherwise, it will make the ride less pleasant for someone sitting next to you.

Whatever it is you choose to do, make sure you do not get completely distracted. Otherwise, you might miss your stop, or overlook something that you might want to see. And remember: if you see something, say something. Happy commuting!

By Ekaterina Lalo

Ekaterina Lalo was one of the Campus Clipper’s talented publishing interns, who participated in the making of the Campus Clipper’s NYC Student Guide and also wrote articles and restaurant reviews for the Campus Clipper blog, sharing her NYC experiences. 

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