The Ritual Of The Daily Commute

The Ritual Of The Daily Commute

A place for personal enlightenment.

When the stress of finals and packing up dorms and saying goodbye to friends are finally over, millions of college students now face the problem of how to spend their next three months before the next year of college begins. As each summer rolls around, many college students are off to their next adventure- a summer internship. Interning over the summer is no easy-breezy part-time high school job, it is a feat that often requires networking, recruiting, and application efforts that may even take up the majority of the school year.

With internships becoming more and more competitive, getting a spot at a big company or an innovative position has become more and more difficult and desirable for high-school and college age students. The effort of gaining an internship is not for naught, however, and is often coveted as personal, on-the-job experience that has a direct impact on future employment opportunities for many students.

Internships can mean hours and hours spent at desks, offices and meetings that are very different from the typical college student’s day. However, putting all the office work and responsibilities in the workplace aside, there is another major responsibility that many students don’t consider when starting an internship: the commute. Commutes can vary greatly in length, duration and execution, but serve as the quintessential “adult activity” that millions of people engage in every day.

The average American commute is now estimated to be 26 minutes, increasing almost 20% from the previous length of 21.7 minutes in 1980. Since this measures only the commute to work, it is often doubled or tripled when you account total travel time, including the commute back home. With more and more Americans driving, traffic rates have increased in America, which is another factor in the lengthening of commutes. With the immense amount of time that is spent on commutes, many lament the “wasted potential” that people spend on commuting in their day, and efforts have been made to facilitate the shortening through advancements in traffic controls and transportation systems.

However, I have found that my hour and a half commute (which totals to 3 hours each day) traveling to and from my summer internship has been a personal place for me to think, read and reflect. Coming from such a fast-paced life at school with friends, activities, and responsibilities surrounding me almost 24/7, my daily commute has been a time for me to think, and has begun to change my view on alone time and reflection space.

As someone who is extremely extroverted and has a general dislike of being alone, my daily commute has begun to teach me the value of thinking through things and the productivity that comes from being alone. Through my daily commute, I have discovered new music genres, the general fascination of podcasts, new books that I love, and additionally the curious nature of people watching- I would say that my commute is not a waste of potential, but rather a catalyst for personal development.

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27 Things To Do With Your Friends When You're Bored

A little bit of fun for any season.

I am sure many could relate: you are texting or sitting around with your friends and no one knows what they want to do, everyone is bored, and everyone is flat out of ideas that are actually realistic and achievable. Boredom makes an appearance at it's finest moments... always.

Here are 27 things you can do with your friend in just about any season (some are exclusive to a particular season) when boredom takes over!

1. Find a local coffee shop to try out.

2. Or better yet, find a local restaurant that you’ve all been wanting to try.

3. Go shopping at each others' favorite stores.

4. Tie balloons with positive messages inside of them to random places in your town to uplift a few souls.

5. Cook a homemade meal for a homeless person and deliver it.

6. Get crafty and create a time capsule that you and your friends can open after (x) amount of years.

7. Make your own sushi.

8. Plant flowers in little pots for your homes.

9. Road trip to random local cities and do some exploring.

10. Have a photo shoot.

11. Buy or create a blank page’s journal filled art, writing, sketches, and pictures of your friends that can be used as a memory book.

12. Visit a pumpkin patch.

13. Go stargazing in the middle of the night with a blanket and a few midnight snacks.

14. Go to a haunted house.

15. Go to a movie with the group.

16. Have a giant sleepover with board games, snacks, movies, and crazy pajamas.

17. Have a game night with the peeps.

18. Have a gingerbread making contest.

19. Have a bonfire when it gets cool outside.

20. Make homemade ice cream.

21. Search on maps for the nearest natural spring or river and go swimming or canoeing.

22. Take a camera, your group of friends, and stroll around town taking pictures of your adventure.

23. Use the pictures you take on your adventures and create a photo wall in your home.

24. Have a "Madea" movie night.

25. Throw a themed party.

26. Write letters of encouragement to children (or adults) in hospitals.

27. Look up random keywords on YouTube for possibly some of the best videos ever.

Cover Image Credit: aurimas_m / Flickr

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In The Chaos of Summer, Don't Forget To Stop And Smell The Flowers

And remember, vitamin D is more important than that assignment you're stressed about.


I have only finished three weeks of summer and I am stressed. Who let me work 40 hours a week and take 2 summer classes? Apparently optimistic April Emma was feeling like a superwoman. Now, don't get me wrong, I love my job. I love working 40 hours and doing what I absolutely love. The classes? Not so much. Those are the reason I cannot sleep at night and have oddly been at peace with turning assignments in late. Side note: when did summers become stressful instead of a break? Is this what it finally means to be an adult?

However, with all of these things (well okay, only 3 but it feels like a lot), I have been learning that it is extremely important to stop and take some time for yourself.

What does that look like? Sometimes, you just have to sleep. Take an L and try again tomorrow. Or, go for a nature walk. Or, watch that one episode of your favorite tv show that's been on Hulu for weeks and you're super behind because of your schedule. Or, try a new workout class. You can also practice some mindful meditation or try painting a picture that sparks joy. There are so many things. The most important part is that you enjoy them.

I don't think that we should ever become too busy where we forget about ourselves. I've found myself doing that lately, and I need to learn how to let myself have some downtime. And you know what that's actually going to look like? I'm going to spend some mega time with Jesus. It's been a hot minute because of life, but at the end of the day, He's more important than a math class.

Summer 2019, you might be stressing me out to the max, but I'm going to take my summer back one period of downtime at a time.

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