The Struggles of Commuting
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The Struggles of Commuting

Congratulations, you are officially adulting.

The Struggles of Commuting
Mauro Grigollo/Stocksy

It's official, you got the job (or internship). Congratulations! But wait, how in the world are you going to get there everyday?

Living in the tri-state area, I have grown accustomed to travelling in and out of New York City fairly often. Taking NJ Transit into Penn Station, followed by the subway or a taxi up and down the city streets, is not something that stresses me out. However this summer, after 2 full weeks of commuting in and out of Philadelphia for a summer internship, I can say that I have a newfound hatred for the devilish mixture that is public transportation and commuting.

It all starts at that ungodly 7 am hour. The rush, the stress, and the struggle. Although I have yet to be late (knock on wood), that doesn't mean I haven't needed to kick it a bit in order to catch one specific train. By the time I reach the train from my 10 minute walk, let's just say I'm usually sweating. The perfect start to an early morning.

The biggest struggle in this public transportation vs commuting battle is being on someone else's timeline. Most often debated is which train will in fact get you to work on time against all odds. The first step is to calculate the commute backwards. Realistically speaking, when not in a full sprint, how long will it take you to get from locking your front door to sitting in your desk chair? From there add on 5 minutes walking value just in case that obscure incident happens where you suddenly get a charlie horse or break an ankle along the route. Uncomfortable shoes? Add 10. Next, figure out how many forms of public transportation will need to be used. Not only do you have to calculate the time it will take you in between these methods of transportation, but you also need to ensure that if one is late and/or cancelled you have a backup plan. Brutal, I know. Basically it is up to you to account for each and every possible slip up that your chosen mode of public transportation could incur. Tornado? Hurricane? Flash floods? Plan accordingly. A slight drizzle that *might* make the rails a tad bit slippery? You better assume it's going to take an extra hour for the train to make it to you. Basically expect that anything and everything will go wrong every single day, because at some point, it will. And when you deadass sprint into work 34 minutes late, spoiler alert, your boss may not be entirely impressed. God forbid you have a presentation that day, or *cringe* an interview. Pray, and maybe book a hotel room next to your office. That is just asking for public transportation employees to go on strike and shut everything down for the day.

Overall lesson here, always expect the unexpected. As frustrating as it can be to have a complete lack of control over your commute, you need to trust that public transportation will (eventually) get you to where you need to be. So have a little faith, and a foolproof backup plan, and get after it. Once you get into the swing of things you will learn your system. And once you achieve that level of expertise you will be able to navigate it, twice a day, with your eyes closed. Add in some headphones, a good book, or a phone call with a friend, and the time will fly by.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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