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Intern Diaries: How to Survive Your Commute

I’m extremely close with my family, so after a hard freshman year away from home, I was thrilled to find an internship close to home for the summer. This meant I’d be able to soak in the comforts of home and my family, sleep in my own bed, eat home-cooked food, and hang out with my friends on the weekends. But it also meant a commute. 
First, a bus ride to New York City (that can range from half an hour on a good day, to 2 hours in gridlock on a rainy Friday evening), and then a 12-block walk from Port Authority to the office. In theory, it seems easy enough, until I fell into the disconcerting pattern of having to stand for 45 minutes each morning because the bus is always full.
After a month of blisters on my heels, shoes soaked from walking in the rain, and a large credit card bill for bus tickets, I’ve come to terms with my commute–and even found some upsides to it! 
Here are some tips I’ve discovered to making the morning and evening trek a little bit easier:

What to pack in your bag…
 
A book– If you’re the type that can read on a bus or while waiting in line, it’s a great time to catch up on reading! I recently bought the Amazon Kindle. Despite my initial reluctance to turn to eBooks, my Kindle is a lot lighter than a bulky hardcover, and much easier to tote around! 
 
An umbrella-Even if it is 80 degrees and sunny in the morning, you never know when the fickle New York weather will change.
 
Band-Aids and a pair of comfortable shoes-I’ve noticed that a lot of women working in the city wear flip-flops to work and leave a pair of work shoes in their desk. This is probably the most important thing I’ve learned while observing my fellow commuters! No one wants to walk a mile with a blister!
 
Bus/train schedule-Useful for the days I leave early or late, so I can quickly change my travel plans.
 
How to liven up your commute…
 
Take alternate routes to work-If I ever get to the city with time to spare, I walk an avenue out of the way and take a different route to work. Walking through Times Square at 8 am allowed me to see it in a whole different light, and a sojourn on 9th Ave left me salivating at all the amazing restaurants lining the street.
 
Time yourself-For an extra workout, see how fast it takes to get to work one day, and try to beat yourself next time!

 
If time allows, slow down!Enjoy the walk! Notice something new about your route, like the fruit cart at the street corner or the mom-and-pop diner.

Catherine Ku is a soon-to-be sophomore at Princeton University and lover of running, books, and food, in no particular order. 
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