Survival Guide to Riding the Bus
by Vanessa Palencia
Riding the bus for the first time can be a bit daunting enough as it is. You have to do some serious research to find out exactly what bus line(s) you need to get on, where they stop, what time they arrive, and when to pull the cord to get off at the right place. Then you meet all of these unique people with different stories behind them, some of which are either highly intriguing and others that are just plain disturbing. There will be days that you won't mind talking with some of those people on board and other days when you just really want to be left alone. If today is one of those days, then we are here to help.
Here are some ideas to steer everyone out of your way as politely as possible (unless you want to scream at everybody to stay the eff away. Do you, boo-boo.). Just follow the tips below and you should be golden.
Keep your head down. When sitting by yourself and a guy/girl comes along and decides to sit next to you and you don't want to talk to them, by all means keep your head down! Head up means permission to initiate a talk fest.
Pop that phone out. Your phone is your best friend. You talk to it, you caress it, you take care of it, and it will take care of you. Scenario: Some creeper spots you and decides to play the staring game with you, just whip your phone out! Pull up Snapchat, Facebook, Instagram, or just text your friends! It’ll help keep your mind off of that creeper’s stare. Your ride will be over before you know it. Bonus points if you fake a call. Just be sure to have realistic pauses in-between otherwise you’ll blow your cover. All hail the phone!
Headphones. You don’t even need a phone for this. If you don’t have anything to plug them into, just tuck the end of the cord into your back pocket or inside your shirt. Anywhere works as long as the end of the cord isn’t dangling or else you will force yourself into a conversation when someone comes up and tells you that your earphones aren’t connected to anything. They’ll tell you how silly you are, and you will laugh as if you’re thoroughly amused with yourself but really you’re just dying on the inside because you can’t believe you left the cord dangling.
Bring sunglasses. It’s so easy to fall asleep on the bus. Especially if you are riding it to school and you just pulled an all-nighter. Except, falling asleep on the bus isn’t always the wisest thing to do. It makes you an easy target to get robbed. Thus, if you must fall asleep on the bus, wear sunglasses. It won’t guarantee that you’ll be safe from a robbery, but it may deter strangers on the bus from approaching you as they won’t know if you are awake or not. That is, if you make sure to keep your head up. If your head is down and bobbing along with the road, it’ll be really obvious that you are asleep. Sleep cautiously, my friend.
Blend in. This goes without saying. If you’re wearing bright clothing, are singing along with your music, or keep staring at everyone who hops on board, then your chances of becoming a bus buddy rises significantly higher.
Of course, results may vary, so it isn’t guaranteed that these tricks are foolproof. They are meant to be a general guidance and cannot protect you against persistent individuals or disguise your charisma. However, If you have any unique stories about how you successfully avoided people on the bus, please comment below! We would love to hear about other ways we could learn to survive riding the bus!