5 minutes… 10 minutes… 20 minutes? Yes, any moment now the bus/train/DART should arrive.

Don’t panic, you should just make it on time for your lecture; maybe a little late, but you will get there. 25 minutes… 30 minutes… 35 minutes? Ok then, you shall not be gracing your lecturer with your presence.

My fellow commuters can relate to this situation without a doubt. It seems that anytime you’re on your way to a must-go class, public transport lets you down. Let's face it, commuting to college is massive a pain in the derriére. Avoid it if you can. Unfortunately, for the majority of us, daily hour-long commutes back and forth to college is a part of our lives.

For those lucky enough to live on-campus or in student housing beside your chosen university, this article is not for you. Us commuters can only look on with envy as ‘residential’ students stroll into class at 9am, having only woken up 15 minutes previously, while we try not to fall asleep due to being awake since 6am to catch the bus.

Some may say I have only myself to blame for my lengthy commute, as I chose a university in north Dublin while I live in south Dublin and could have done the same course in a closer college. But for the rest of us, who can’t afford to live on-campus, we simply have no choice but to go far distances to attend college, as there are no alternative courses closer. Our punishment for being such goal-oriented, high-achieving and dedicated students? See above title.

 

Here are some experiences that highlight the plight of the perpetual commuter:

1. Doing a Usain Bolt to catch the bus at your stop, only to miss it by two seconds (not to mention having an almighty sitch in your side for the next hour).

2. Watching the electronic timetables for the trains, and becoming delighted when it states ‘Heuston: 2 mins’, only to discover two minutes later that the timetable says ‘Heuston: 10 mins’. This process continues at least four times before the train finally arrives.

3. Unable to get a seat. At peak times, buses and trains are filled with people, and you are squashed in between snotty and loud secondary school students who appear to have no regard for the silence that one deserves after a long day in college.

4. You are able to get a seat but are stuck beside a complete and total nutter. I once had the pleasure of being seated next to a guy who proceeded to ask me, out-of-the-blue, “had I ever tried horsemeat?” Most excruciating journey of my life may I add.

5. Waiting for bus. Rain. No jacket or hood. Umbrella breaks. Enough said.

6. Running late. You’re already annoyed and are at breaking point; just when things can’t get any worse, the bus breaks down. Cue mental breakdown.

7. Traffic. They are really too many cars on the road in my opinion; contributing to global warming and they block the bus lane.

8. Clocking up more hours travelling to college than actually spending in college itself. How on earth is that right?

9. Never knowing how to time your journey. Leave too soon and you will be too early; leave a little late and it could be a huge mistake.

10. Leaving the house when it’s dark, and returning to the house when it is dark. You are too tired to do anything else but sleep.

 

That’s just the tip of the iceberg; if a big chill hits Dublin , good luck to all the commuters out there. Add an extra two hours onto your journey…..well make that four, you need to get home as well! Of course, you always think that you have the worst commute to college and you think of yourself as a martyr, that is until you realise how difficult someone else’s journey is.

I know a girl who walks 20 minutes to the train station in Kildare, gets the train to Heuston station, gets the Luas to Abbey St, and then walks through the city centre towards her college. She does this five days a week. I feel like she should be nominated for an award for her troubles. Makes me think twice for complaining about my hour-long commute.