For the students lucky enough to be living in the heart of the 6ix here’s the explanation you’ve been waiting for after wondering why these borderline crazy students run into lecture late looking like a complete disaster. Simply put: they’re the definition of the UofT Student Commuter Struggle. A day in the life of a UofT commuter is usually an absolute disaster.
While you were busy arriving all pretty and fresh to lecture because your journey was nothing more than a hop out your condo door, a skip to the nearest Starbucks, and a jump right in to your cozy seat in Alumni Hall, these commuting students were basically Taylor Swift dodging a bunch of Kim Kardashian exposure snapchats trying to get to lecture on time!
Here’s a play-by-play, as told through memes and gifs, of the daily struggle of a commuting UofT student that isn’t lucky enough to be putting “The 6ix, ON” as their address.
When your alarm goes off, and you’re still in the early stages of falling out of sleep and into reality, you only focus on what your day will be like and who you’ll bump into on the way!
BAM! It hits you… before you can reach the magical land of downtown Toronto you have to face your commute!! And so you think…
Depending on the season there may or may not be delays. Just kidding… there’s ALWAYS delays, rain or shine!
Toronto public transit will never fail to get you to your destination I must admit, but you will 8/10 times be late to that destination. And so you do some breathing exercises to prepare for the long journey ahead.
Then you realize the plus side to delays is extra sleep time!
In the winter you’ve got your parka to keep your head from falling in all kinds of directions, ultimately making you look like a tired fool!
But in the summer time when everyone strips down to tanks and shorts you try to think of new ways to cushion your noggin to successfully get some extra naptime!
Finally you settle into your seat on the Go train on the upper Quiet Zone deck, put your 30 bags in place and find a good position to hold your head still.
You close your tired eyes and then that ONE person who took 16 shots of espresso before 7am begins taking phone calls! Goodbye extra sleep!
After you arrive at Union Station, you hop off the train, run down the platform and see the clear hallway!
You pick up the pace and build some hope that you’ve bet the crowd and will get the first subway that comes without a struggle!
Until you actually get to the core of Union and see the massive wave of people cramming to get through, running to one location like a rare Pokémon awaits to be caught!
You get down to the subway platform and immediately push to the front of the line of people waiting for the doors to open on the arriving subway.
You’ve done this too many times to be polite about waiting your turn. Plus all the bags containing your lunch, gym clothes, lab equipment, and textbooks are cutting off your circulation and so you NEED to get a seat.
Put your music louder, wipe your sweat, and embrace the death stares!
“The next station is Museum, Museum Station”.
Alright, this is the last stretch before you can get off public transit and rely on your own legs to get you to class.
And then… it happens… “Attention all TTC customers…”
You begin to feel the sweat forming on your forehead again. Please, no! You pray the robotic female voice will be wrong this time!
“… an emergency alarm has been activated on the North bound train at our Queen’s Park Station. An emergency crew has been dispatched to the scene.”
You had One. More. Stop. It hits you. Class begins in 3 minutes. You’ll never make it!
“Attention all TTC customers, we are currently experiencing a delay North bound at our Queen’s Park Station”
You suddenly want to kill the robotic voice, and slowly begin to accept the fact that you’ll never ever make it to lecture on time. All part of a day in the life of a UofT commuter.
“Attention all TTC customers…”
“…the delay we were experiencing North bound at our Queen’s Park subway station has now been cleared.”
Have I told you how much I love you, you beautiful female robot!
The doors open and you’re off!
Flying up the subway stairs (you don’t have time for the escalator), you pop out onto the street clutching all of your belongings. Sprinting to Alumni Hall as if the ground is crumbling behind you! You’ve never ran so fast, unless you live a day in the life of a UofT commuter.
The relaxed “downtown-livers” throw strange looks in your direction as you burst through the doors, not able to wrap their heads around how you could possibly be 20 minutes late to lecture.
You make your way to the front row (the only empty seats) with a smug smile, thinking how they literally have zero idea what kind of hell you just survived.
Lecture finishes and you cannot wait to get on the train home.
Running to the nearest subway station, thankfully there are no delays. You run to the GO train with 2 minutes until departure.
The crowd spreads like the Red Sea and you make it onto the platform just in time to hop through the first train door that’s open.
The doors close behind you…
“Welcome to your 5:35 train to Allendale Waterfront in Barrie”
Ah another day of commuting! That wasn’t too bad… You clue in right then that it’s absolutely packed and you’re stuck standing the whole ride home.
Honestly, you can’t win. Another day, another somewhat successful commute.
Rethinking your day you repeat your motto and get ready for another long day of planes, trains, and automobiles tomorrow! Stress is a constant part of a day in the life of a UofT commuter.
So now you know! Being a commuter isn’t as easy as we all make it look. Despite the delays, noisy people, and body checking through crowds, the commute is the most exciting part of our day.
Without the struggle of getting downtown from the suburbs, us commuters wouldn’t have any interesting stories to tell our fellow downtown-living friends.
Just be mindful next time you glare at the person who strolls in 20 or 30 minutes late to lecture. Sometimes it’s out of our control, but know that we’re totally basking in the joy of actually making it to class… on time or not! Now you finally understand a day in the life of a UofT commuter!