Both during my VCE and now at university, I take the train a lot!
To get to school I usually took two trains and sometimes a bus. At uni this varied from a combination of train, trams, and buses- the whole works. On average I spend 3 hours on public transport and that is a big chunk out of my day so I needed to figure out what to do with this time.
So I have put together a list of activities that I have found to be really effective with the time spent on public transport.
The morning/afternoon peak hour trains: now these trains I must admit are the worse! You have barely enough breathing room and you are required to stand for extended periods of time just to get to get to where you want to go. So what possibly could you do during this time? Well….. During year 11 I was required to memorize the first 25 elements in order ( this then became the first 36 elements and their atomic number in first-year chemistry) and I found that I could just go through the elements in my head without anyone noticing. This works especially well for biology and psychology (or any content-heavy subject really) where definitions need to be learned. I always keep the definitions on my phone so If I forgot one it was right there in my hand and I didn’t require much room to get my phone out. This may seem like a hard task to do on the train but it saves you from doing it when it’s really late at night and you try to remember the definitions but the words don’t seem to stick. The key is repetition.
What about when you have a seat?
Sidenote for V/Line travellers : First of all, if you are able to get a seat and you take a V/Line velocity train ( new purple/red ones) then always go for the middle carriage ( for the trains that have 6 carriages – go to carriage 2 and 5, doesn’t matter what end you count from). These seats have a tray that you can pull down and you can put your laptop on there. It is an absolute lifesaver!!!!
But for the normal metro trains, there is a lot of things that I have done to make use of that seemingly wasted travel time.
1) Take it as your “stress-free” time. With this, I do not mean that I scroll on Facebook the entire journey because we all know that that is not stress-free. I mean spend the time worrying about nothing. Listen to some calm music, colour in that little “stress less” adults colouring book that I know everyone was given one at some point. If not, go buy yourself a small one to take on the train. But would I do this? Colour on the train? Well, life is full of stresses and full of things to do and since you are stuck on the train for the next hour you mise well make the best out of it and calm yourself down- set yourself up for an amazing day.
2) Now if that is too “free flowing” for you then what about going over those study cards you made ( or are going to make). Study/cue cards were a big thing at my school during year 12, everyone had them. At first, I didn’t understand the big deal about them but that was before I tried them. Now at uni, I can not live without them! They are brilliant for memorising little chunks of information and to go over the main concepts. The best thing is that you can take as many or as little of the study cards that you like depending on how well you digest the information.
3) Read your textbook! I can not stress this enough. But before you go off at me, I do not mean take your gargantuan textbook and try to sit it on your lap and then try and read it. I am talking about the pdf versions of the textbook that you have been forced to buy. You may not have pdf versions of the textbook of every one of your subjects and that is ok- read the ones that you have access to the pdf. Almost everyone has an iPad/mini so store your textbook on that quirky little device and you are set. There is nothing better than sitting in a class and knowing what on earth the teacher is going on about instead of being puzzled for the entire class ( like we all know we have been some point in our lives).
4) This is not a study tip- but more of a public service announcement. Around 21% of school children skip breakfast on any given day. This is astonishing! One of the reasons is that they “don’t have enough time to eat breakfast”. Now, if you take public transport and you so happen to be one of those people, grab an apple, some toast or a quick shake. Any of these can be eaten quickly on the train without any fuss and that means you at least have something in your stomach for the start of the day.
With all that said I am going to leave you with a cute picture of a praying mantis, I found one day when I was catching the train….
And a cute dog standing on a trailer mounted to a bike.. So sweet!