If you know anything about me, you know that I will make any excuse to get in my car and drive. I love everything about driving: the freedom, the wind in your hair, the radio playing cheesy pop songs, etc. So imagine my crushing disappointment when my parents informed me I could not bring my car to campus this year. I have to adapt (ugh,) and find a new way to get around Erie.

The three modes of transportation for students without cars are as follows: 1) walking, 2) begging your friends or 3) riding the bus. With option No. 1 being impractical when I want to leave campus, and option No. 2 making me feel extremely annoying to my friends, it seems I was only left with option No. 3 – riding the bus.

I somehow managed to figure out the bus schedule, and sat in the uncharacteristic, blistering Erie heat awaiting my ride. I thought ahead, however, and pleaded one of my classmates to sit next to me, in order to avoid any awkward conversations with strangers. When the bus finally arrived, I gripped my friend’s hand and ventured onto the vehicle. The other passengers on the bus were surprisingly normal: tired mothers with strollers, teenagers on their way to their part-time jobs and even some other Gannon students.  I plopped down in an empty seat and attempted to enjoy the ride.

I learned that the bus is not so bad. While it is no comparison to the sweet freedom of driving your own car, it’s practical and cheap (FREE!) for a college student. Also, the distance from the start of the trip to my destination was long enough that I could even still enjoy a playlist of my favorite cheesy pop songs. Riding the bus allowed me to partake in another one of my favorite activities: people-watching. It’s amazing how much you learn about a person during a 20-minute bus ride.

If you’re like me, and without a car this semester, don’t be afraid to go out of your comfort zone and try something different – like riding the bus! After all, it’s not about the destination, but the journey itself.