On Campus

Travelling on a student budget

How riding the Greyhound bus is like attending a lecture

We here at Maclean’s On Campus believe in understanding the student experience – hence we eat the best and worst of cafeteria food, report on the best and worse of campus politics, randomly visit campuses asking all sorts of questions and have a limited travel budget – Greyhound or bust!

I am writing this post from Highway 401 leaving Toronto on my way to Ottawa to cover the budget. I’m on the 0005 departure from Toronto which makes its way to Ottawa via Peterborough. The bus is packed (all 53 seats filled) with Trent, UOttawa, and Carleton students returning to classes after reading week. (There are a few other people whom are clearly not students but you can count them on one hand.)

The Toronto bus terminal was packed tonight – I would say there were at least 250 people trying to get back to Ottawa who were thinking the same thing as me – take the overnight and sleep. (Also thinking about the cost – it’s only $56 each way! You can’t beat that.)

As with any bus trip, there are the people who think they are entitled to one seat for themselves and another for their bag. We had one of those on the bus. She ended up being forced to move her bag and is now sitting with one of the non-students beside her – and this person is what people may call "shifty."

The person beside me is quiet, just reading the British version of Cosmo.

I used to visit a magazine store to purchase British military magazines and a friend would make me pick up a British Cosmo for her. I will admit to actually reading it. The British version is ten times better than the Canadian version.

My attempts to sleep so far have been unsuccessful – which defeats the whole purpose of taking the overnight.

One thing I notice is how similar this is to being in a lecture for me. I am crammed in a small space, uncomfortable and blogging on my laptop – pretty much describes attending a lecture to me. I’m near the back – another similarity. A few laptops are open, again like a lecture. All of the laptops open are watching movies or playing games – all we need is a professor at the front and we have a full-fledged lecture!

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