One constant in the life of any DU student is metro rides. It is a quintessential college experience shared by us all. The love affair with the Delhi metro begins with a lot of excitement and sees extensive documentation through aesthetic Instagram stories but it soon loses its charm and fades into the mundane. The daily commute becomes a banal part of life, a tiresome to-and-fro between destinations. For some lucky ones this drudgery of the daily commute is rather short, while others may spend hours of their day traveling. Yours truly falls in the latter category. The trip to college translates to almost two hours spent on the metro daily. Scrolling through social media and managing the inbox gets stale far too quickly. The conditions make it almost necessary for one to be innovative and come up with more productive/entertaining ways to spend the time. Here’s a tried-and-tested list of things to do on your next long metro ride –
- Explore Music
Use the time to discover new songs and genres of music and organize your existing favorites into playlists. Going through my friends’ curated playlists is also something I enjoy doing. I like to believe it’s almost like a small window into their souls. This should be obvious but be sure to carry your headphones along. Follow basic public transport etiquette and be considerate of your fellow passengers, instead of being that person.
- Listen to Podcasts
Music isn’t the only thing you can use your trusty headphones to listen to. If you haven’t got your favorites already, your commute is a great time to give Podcasts a try! They’re a fun and convenient way to learn new things, follow your interests, get new discussion topics and to hear stories. Podcasts are available on most music streaming platforms. You can also find free audiobooks on sites such as librivox.
- Catch up on the News
You can utilize the time spent on your commute to keep up to date with the news and stay informed and aware of what is happening in the country and around the world. While you could always carry the morning newspaper along with you like in the days of yore, there are also other options available. You can watch the YouTube lives that most news channels broadcast, read online articles, give curated news apps a try or even listen to news podcasts ranging from one minute recaps to in-depth half hour news breakdowns.
- Watch a TV Show or Movie
The metro ride is a great time to catch up on the latest TV shows. It could be something light and fun or more serious documentaries. You could watch movies too, if you don’t mind some distractions and breaks in the middle. I find casual series with short 30 minute episodes to be best suited for the purpose.
- Go People Watching
Simply observing the surroundings and fellow passengers on the metro is also a valid, and sometimes quite therapeutic, option. Let your brain take a rest after a busy day and just take in the action and expressions around you. It’s also fun to come up with hypothetical narratives and back stories for the people you see.
- Read a Book
Devoting the time on the commute to a book is a great way to maintain or get back into the reading habit. Carry along a paperback or download potentially hundreds of ebooks on your phone. If books aren’t really your thing, you could read comics or webtoons too!
- Make a New Friend
If you’re feeling social, you could always start a conversation with your seatmate. The metro has a varied demographic of travelers and you can meet the most interesting personalities. You can also take the opportunity to make friends with students from other colleges as they tend to travel at the same time. It may be seen as a violation of personal space and the unsaid etiquette of public transport so be tactful about doing this.
- Learn a New Language
Set aside the time for self-improvement and put in the extra effort to learn a new language or skill. Participate in online courses or use one of the many easy language learning apps available. Making it part of your daily routine with set timings will make it easier to be consistent.
- Complete your Work
Often, I’m too drained to do work when I reach home. I find it much easier to tackle if I do part of it during my commute. You can use the time to go through your course readings, finish up small internship/society tasks and work on pending assignments. I’ve written a number of Her Campus articles while aboard the metro.
- Puzzles and Word Games
The perfect way to challenge your brain and get it awake before classes, completely caffeine-free. My morning Wordle on the metro is almost a sacred ritual. You can try a range of things from classics like sudoku and crossword to the song guessing game heardle and app-based puzzle games.
Here’s hoping your next metro journey, instead of being tedious, will seem like a pocket of me-time with endless possibilities!