On and Off Campus Blog: My Commute

December 13, 2023

By: Yancheng Zhao ‘26

One of the great things about private schools is that people don’t have to live in a specific district to be able to attend. BB&N has students from 95 towns, some quite far away from Cambridge. While some people live within walking distance, others take over an hour to get to school in each direction.

My average commute to school takes about 20 minutes. I take the school bus every morning, even on Tuesdays with the late starts. Although it doesn’t offer the best flexibility, I’m glad it allows me to alter my commute if necessary. Although it can be subtle, one’s commute can greatly impact the school experience. If I need to return to school in the evening or on a weekend, my parents can usually drive me. However, for some other people, that’s much more difficult. It may just not be practical to leave school and then come back.

I get to school around 7:30 in the morning— the same time some of my friends wake up. However, I’m also aware that others are already getting to school when I wake up. I’m not at a point where I can drive to school, but that is something I am starting to consider as I’m learning how to drive. To all the students scrambling to find a parking spot in the morning, I do not envy you! I’ve heard tales of people coming so early that they go back to sleep in the parking lot just to get a spot.

I have never been a morning person. My typical wake-up involves multiple presses of the snooze button before eventually forcing myself out of bed for fear of missing the bus. As the year gets colder, getting out of bed becomes ever more difficult. Every day, I play a game of “how late can I stay in bed while still making it to the bus stop on time?” Miraculously, I haven’t been late yet (knock on wood).

I’d like to shout out my bus driver, Joyceline, and all the other transportation staff who have to wake up at ungodly hours to get us to school. Having gone through driver’s ed, I’ve seen plenty of videos on how dangerous drowsy driving is. Somehow, the bus drivers are able to be awake and get us to school safely every day.

During the start of the school year, traffic kept delaying the bus. I’ve had moments where the bus was 15 minutes late. I know the bus would never leave early, but if you’re standing there for even over five minutes, you can’t help but fear the possibility that the bus has passed you already. Supposedly, a bus tracker is in the works. Honestly, I don’t see why it is taking so long for them to put a few AirTags on the
bus (joking).

On afternoons that I have sports or activities, I mostly always have to be picked up by my parents. The bus simply leaves too early for me to be able to take it. I know that it’s unreasonable to have the bus leave after practices; it’s just too late. I appreciate that the school offers shuttles to Harvard Square— that is, in theory. My experience with the shuttle may have been a one-off, but when I had to get to Harvard Square, the shuttle was nowhere to be found. I’m glad that things such as a tracking app are in the works, and I look forward to the transportation system improving. And if you wanted to look for a cheesy takeaway in all these commutes, you could say that we students all have a unique journey. In the end, no matter how much our paths differ, we all make it to school. And maybe that says something about life too.

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