UC Berkeley commuting customs

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Sophia Elia/File

Let’s face it — no matter where you come from, whether there are running functional buses in your town or everyone travels by personal taxis, when you come to Berkeley, there’s no way you’ll survive without taking public transportation. The 51B bus and BART are integral to our lives as students and we wouldn’t have it any other way. But everyone has a different attitude on the bus or train, leading to the important question: What do your habits on public transportation say about you?

When the elderly or parents with children board, you might get up automatically and direct them to your seat. This shows that you are well-mannered and truly understand how to follow those rules posted throughout all the vehicles, reminding you to prioritize specific groups of people. You’re the type of person all significant others want to bring home to meet Mom and Dad.

It doesn’t matter if you’re standing or sitting. Once you board your form of public transportation, automatically the earphones are plugged back into the ears. You might even take it a step further and avoid eye contact with every single person there and hide yourself at the back of the vehicle. You are shy or just misanthropic. There’s absolutely no shame in that. We’ve all been in that “I hate everybody” phase at one point in our life (or day).

As our current occupations are students, even the time spent commuting elsewhere cannot be wasted. There are many of us that study and read while commuting, or you might even use this time to catch up on sleep. You’re a practical and efficient human being. Taking advantage of all the time that you have to its maximum usefulness, even getting off the bus or BART can make you feel like an accomplished student.

On the other hand, as cell phones are such a large part of our generation, there’s no doubt there’ll be a person who always needs to finish their phone calls on public transportation. You’re a social butterfly and like to use your commute to catch up with your parents, friends from home or former roommate, who you haven’t seen in a while. Keep smiling and chatting, you cutie pie.

Despite the rules, you might still eat, drink and chew gum illegally. You’re not only a rebel, but you also know how to take care of your bodily needs. Hey, when the stomach calls, you pick up. But remember to take your trash with you, please. And just please, dear god, don’t pull out a bag of hard boiled eggs and start munching away.

Finally, there are the remaining newbies or just untimely students that miss every single bus or train that passes by and end up resorting to Uber or Lyft to get to the desired location. You’re either really bad at time management or have just been recently exposed to public transportation. Fear not, both can be worked on diligently, and soon enough you’ll be a master at commuting.

Contact Sunny Tsai at [email protected].