We’re All Friends on the MATBUS

FILE PHOTO | THE SPECTRUM
None of us enjoy riding in these, so make it fun!

The bus is like a cafeteria. You think, “This should be fine,” but there’s a part of you that’s hesitant. You know that something might be just a little off. Even though we use campus buses populated by students, the bus oozes apprehension. It forces you just a little too close.

Believe it or not, there is something that can make the ride more enjoyable. All you have to do is grow up and sit down next to a stranger. Ninety-five percent of the time, nothing bad comes of it. The other 5 percent? They might smell a bit odd.

Study after study shows standing is for dumb losers and sitting is way better. Unless you want a wrist and ankle workout that keeps you from flying through the windshield, just sit. Even if it makes you uncomfortable, it is going to be more and more crucial as we get closer to winter.

As it gets cold and snows, the path to class gets wet and painful. Rather than walk or bike, we’d rather sardine ourselves into a bus. People use every inch available, cramming themselves into the floor space and trying not to go ahead of the yellow line. Past the line is the bus driver’s turf, and he’s a little more sensitive about personal space. I cannot tell you how many times I’ve seen people suffocating in the front because people in the back won’t just sit down.

If it makes you feel better, just lean away from them. Pretend they aren’t there. If that’s not your speed, play the “first day of class” icebreaker game with them. Tell them your name, your hometown and hit ’em with two truths and a lie. Honestly, I don’t really care. Be their new friend or uncomfortable neighbor. It’s better than being a waste of space.

You’re a part of something bigger now. You are the reason 20 people have a great bus ride or a crappy one. That’s a lot of responsibility. Someday soon you’ll even be on the other end. You’ll be the person smooshed in the front, begging someone else for mercy, wishing they would pretty please … just … sit … down.

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