Making the Most of the Commute

Making the Most of the Commute

Having a commute is the one thing that makes me feel most “adult.” I had a very distinct childhood fantasy of myself rocking ( and I mean Hillary Clinton rocking) a pantsuit and running out the door, fumbling with keys and a coffee thermos, off to an important destination where I’ll have responsibility and authority. The fact that I’m consciously categorizing anything using the terms “grown up” or “real person” as I have been, means that I’m far from real adulthood. And though I know I’ll develop professionally inside the office, rather than on my way to or fro, I do embrace this personal time. Coming up on week 4 in the office I’ve perfected this period of my day and I’m able to pinpoint what makes it great.

 

Music

 

Last week I took the plunge for a Spotify Premium subscription - something I’d been debating for years now. The new student discount is what put me over the edge. If you’re a student reading this and have 5 bones to spare every month, I advise you to join the fun. Offline playlists have been essential to my weekday mornings, whether it’s Vampire Weekend or the Beach Boys putting me in a great mood.

 

Literature

 

When I enjoy the luxury of a seat on the metro, I am thrilled to be able to to whip out some reading material. Reading is something I don’t make enough time for, so this has been a great way to fit it into a busy schedule. I recently took a trip to Second Stories Books in Dupont, and for less than 10 bucks I picked up a novel and book of poetry which had been on my list for a while. This place is amazing, and it seems like they only hire enthusiastic literature geniuses - my kind of people. My point being that if you come in with a vague idea of what kind of book you seek, you're just an inquiry  away from an expert with a tailored recommendation. This place has charm that I forgot existed outside of the chain book stores.  Though you might think reading is anti-social, having a book in hand has actually sparked several conversations. People will ask what I think of the author or express interest in the title, and then I’ll have a nice chatting partner for the rest of the trip.

 

Technology

 

I take the red line on the metro, which is notorious for experiencing delays. Fortunately, my phone has a few ways to anticipate this issue. I use a handy app, iTrans, which is helpful for both navigation and anticipating delays. When a line is delayed or shut down, a warning icon appears. Personally, however, I prefer to check the twitter handle @metrorailinfo. My internship supervisor clued me into this gem, which gives a quick update of what’s going down on the metro. I find this format easier to grasp. If you’re already checking your twitter (as I usually am - working in the communication field it’s pretty inevitable), then the updates arrive conveniently. Then you can plan your transportation accordingly.

 

Pacing

 

The most difficult but most important lesson I’ve learned, walking to or from the metro, is to pace myself. I’m usually a speed walker. It doesn’t matter if I’m late or early, I’ll be weaving through a crowd like I’m in hot pursuit. It didn’t take me long to realize what horrible a strategy this is when it’s a hot and humid day and you’re dressed business professional. I won't elaborate on the consequences.
Now that I’ve slowed down, I’m fully embracing a leisurely pace. D.C. is full of fashion and interesting characters, so the people watching is prime. As I pass, I smile. Between that, smooth transit navigation, and a good song on my headphones, I arrive at the office - even on a Monday - in great spirits.

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