Here’s a secret — I graduated from the University of Georgia this past May, but I didn’t start riding the buses till my senior year. That’s right, I’ve been unnecessarily sweaty and gross from walking around hot Athens due to my own stubbornness.
In my senior year, upon riding the cool, air conditioned buses I realized how much of a fool I was. The bus routes were daunting, yes, but nothing my teachings at the “birthplace of public higher education” couldn’t prepare me for. I’m not even alone — I’ve had plenty of friends forgo campus buses because of mistakes or confusion as well, but I’m here to put an end to it. The buses are great, and you should learn how to master the routes.
The reason I chose not to ride the buses all those years started during my first month at UGA in freshman year. I had extra time before class, and I thought, instead of walking from Russell hall — old, dingy Russell before the renovations — I would instead hitch a ride on the next bus. I waited about ten minutes for it. Then it turns out the Russell Hall stop was when the driver takes a break, so I had to wait about five more minutes before the bus actually started moving. I was sweating at that point, but I knew I still had plenty of time left.
Until I realized the bus was going the opposite direction. Turns out there were two directions for the buses, not just one, and I was moving farther from my final destination. I was trapped on a rolling metal box because of that stupid mistake. I got off on the nearest stop and had to run. I was really sweating then.
That one mistake cost me pit stains, heightened blood pressure and a few wasted minutes of my very expensive education. I decided never again. Even if it meant leaving early and walking in the Athens heat, I would not ride another bus. I don’t like the lack of control, the waiting. Walking was slower, but I controlled my route.
While walking is healthy and ultimately a good habit, fourth year senescence hit me hard. As I aged, my legs grew weary of the hills. My back ached. My blood pressure was actually high. I realized my fatal flaw — disregard of the UGA mobile app detailing the routes, which buses were heading in your direction, where they would stop and how long it would take them to get to where you are.
Imagine my surprise. When you graduate, you realize all the great opportunities you missed while in college, and that app was definitely one of them. I checked it constantly my senior year, and I never got on the wrong bus since.
Take it from me — learn your bus routes. You’ll save yourself time getting to class, and it can help you when you’re unfortunately caught in the frequent Georgia downpours. I, an old graduated fart, highly recommend it.