Students at the University of Calgary like to bitch. We bitch about the Students' Union, the Administration, our facilities, parking--a truly depressing piece of Canadian non-fiction could be written about our complaints. But where is our fairy tale? Where is our love sonnet? Where is our book of happy cliches?
Our story lies hidden in the Calgary Transit system.
It's an unlikely tale, I know, but I like our transit system, it has served me well. Life wasn't always like this though, once I was like many U of C students.
Once upon a time I was a vehicular commuter...
This sordid tale started in high school with my mom's old car. Those were happy days, days where the Westside Connection was perpetually pumping and the transit system was taboo. I became accustomed to paying for gas, insurance and parking. I also became accustomed to lying to myself, telling myself this was a smart idea.
Years later I smartened up and started riding transit again, and I discovered some pleasant things.
The C-Trains almost always run on time and, more to the point, the schedule is convenient enough to get me to class with reasonable punctuality. Also, by simply checking the route information on your computer or cell phone, you don't have to wait in the cold--unless, of course, you're stupid.
Well, that's not totally fair, sometimes buses are full and can't stop to pick up passengers, but this is no more inconvenient than rush hour traffic on Crowchild.
Transit is also a great way to catch up on your reading. Instead of your hour long, frustrating and unproductive commute in your car, why not enjoy an hour of relaxing study on the transit vehicle of your choice. Sure, you may have to listen to eleventeen-year-olds talk about their quasi-boyfriends, but what better excuse is there to invest in an MP3 player with fancy noise-blocking headphones?
In spite of all these benefits, many students still bitch that they don't like paying for a U-Pass when they live too far away to use transit.
Well, why do you live so far away? It took me two days to find an apartment five minutes from a C-Train station.
You live with your parents at home? Use the money you will save by giving up gas, parking, insurance and maintenance to pay a few hundred bucks a month for rent in your own place, close to transit.
Your parents pay for your gas, insurance, parking, and maintenance? Shame on you. Don't you think it's time you grew up and stopped relying on mommy and daddy like you did in high school?