Die Hard 34.0

Standing alone, you know the challenges that you face. You’ve told yourself that you mustn’t be defeated, that you must stay strong and fight till the end. And then it happens…


It’s cold. The sky is grey. Around you, dozens of people are milling, with a look of fierce determination on their pale, sullen faces. Standing alone, you know the challenges that you face. You’ve told yourself that you mustn’t be defeated, that you must stay strong and fight till the end.

And then it happens.

The 34 bus pulls up. Game on.

You’ve all been there. Whether it’s the 8:40 on a morning, or the 17:02 in the evening, each student has experienced at University rush hour what Katniss goes through in the Hunger Games- every man/woman/Quidditch society wizard for themselves.

As students, we’re united. We have an SU, designed to cater for our needs. We take part in sports and societies that encourage us to make friends, and engage in hobbies together. We hate that we love Ocean, we love to hate Trent, and Hallward is like Mecca for our sorry overworked souls.

And yet, we leave our respective lectures or homes and forget about our fellow students. We forget manners, forget the old fashioned rule of ‘ladies go first’, forget that people with crutches should take a seat…we ultimately forget our humanity. We have a destination, and we intend to get there, and it’s bad luck to whoever doesn’t quite make the cut.

In preparation for the bus we operate in several ways:

The team player: Don’t get confused and think that the trio of smiling girls are angels. No, they are more predatory than a desperate virgin at Fresher’s Finale. They’ve formulated a plan. Usually this is something along the lines of ‘spread out, prepare your elbows, and we’ll take up as much pavement as possible…hopefully the bus will stop in front of us.’ You know what? They normally succeed…bitches.

The sit back and smiler: Hey, Mr Cool doesn’t need to push and shove. Mr Cool is way too laid back and nice for something like that. In fact, Mr Cool will just sit at the bus stop and smile. Mr Cool will just….oh hang on, there he is at the front! Sneaky git.

The distracted texter: Looking down at their phone, scrolling through messages without actually committing to a text. Pretending they are distracted, and marching through the queue as if they haven’t noticed. Head down, phone out… and ooh, accidentally pushed to the front of the queue.

And, then me.  I’m the ‘stand and pray’ type. The ‘edge to the front but is secretly too much of wimp to shove’ type. The ‘person who finally gets on the bus, only to have no change’ type. Yes, I’m the type of person who has had to resort to getting on the number 13 bus into the City Centre, in order to catch another bus that will hopefully take me along Derby Road.

This is my story. Or rather, it’s your story. The story of every lost soul who has had to stand in the rain whilst buses drive past full to the brim. The story of every student who has run for the bus which has driven away at the last second. The story of every student who has actually had to resort to physical activity in order to make it to their seminar.

The 34 bus chronicles. Each week, a new horror story from the bus route. You thought you were safe? DON’T MAKE ME LAUGH.

Starting next term….

Got any stories from the bus you wish to tell? Any juicy secrets you’ve overheard, any fights you’ve took part in, any grudges against drivers? Email me at [email protected]