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  • Bernice Cooke

For the love of College

Updated: Oct 4, 2019

Cars, buses, lorries, trains, all traffic, in general, the joys of commuting to college. It has its ups and downs, traffic jams, frayed nerves, people rushing, aggressive driving the list goes on. Don't get me wrong I love to do my bit for the environment and take public transport when I can, but at a cost of over four grand per year to travel in and out to college, it's money I am not willing to spend when bringing my car costs far less, just under two grand and that includes petrol, new tyres tax and insurance, plus student parking.

Beep beep traffic jams

There are many negative impacts of bringing my car to college, the first is the environment - another car on the road. The second is the actual traffic jams, on average it takes me over 1 hour and 45minutes to get home from college in Galway city at 4 pm, it is only a 40minute journey without traffic. So to avoid the dreaded rush hour and the anxiety and stress of traffic jams, I get up at 5 am and I leave my home at 6 am, driving to the city in forty minutes.

The only downside to this is I have 2 hours to kill every morning, so what do I do?

Early morning sunrise in Galway city

Well, I do love to run, so I bring my running gear and run the prom in Salthill about once a week, where do I change and shower? Got that one sorted too, Leisureland opens at 7 am, so a quick swim in the pool after my run and then into the shower. Now, sometimes this may not always go to plan, I don't always feel like running so I walk, I don't always feel like a session in the pool so I go to the adjoining gym and with a student card, it means I don't have to pay the full rate. We have been blessed with the weather in September so early mornings were not as bad and the sunrises were amazing, not so much towards the end of the month when one needed a boat and waterproof's to last the day. Family life still continues on while I am enjoying student life. A big high five to my lovely husband, he is house husband for those three days I am in college, taking care of my business, doing the school run, homework, laundry, dinners, dog walking, etc.

Thursday is a different state of affairs because traffic is so awful in the city I join the other commuters and get the train from Athenry, it ensures I am back home to collect my youngest from homework club on time. This is the best day of the week as I meet some very unusual and sometimes nice people on the train.

Train Travel at it's best

On Thursday I met a lovely lady who missed her bus to the airport (she fell asleep in church) and had to get the train, I obliged to help her find the next bus to the airport, not a problem when there is wifi on the train and we have timetable's at the click of a button.

Another time it was a wet evening home, a lady decided that she would use the seat beside me for her handbag, even though seating was limited and a lot of people were standing.

Some days I can understand driver's frustrations as after a long day at work, you really don't want to be stuck in a traffic jam moving at a snail's pace. Personally speaking the lack of bus lanes, the expense of commuting and the very limited public transport really adds to all the stress.


Sing like no one is watching


Radio/music is my sanity, turning up the volume and singing to my heart's content while hoping no one hears me, gets me through the worst of the 2 hours. I'm off now to make a new playlist. Happy October, I know I should have completed this in September but my lovely college course got in the way.....

Stay tuned for further adventures at the end of the month :)

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