How to survive a long subway commute

Make sure your phone is charged

Back in the good ol’ days of when I had to commute to New York City from my Long Island hometown of Jericho, I desperately needed ways to pass time (two and a half hours worth of train, bus and subways each way). This is how I survived:

Exhaust all of your social media

First thing, being addicted to my phone and social media like many others, I would go through Facebook, Snapchat and more in an attempt to alleviate boredom.

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Above is a screenshot of a snap of me snapchatting that my snapchatting friend snapchatted (quite a tongue-twister) on a public bus. However, sometimes I feel like my social media addiction has gone too far, in which case, I :

Find mindlessly addictive games to play

In my case, Candy Crush and Flappy Bird have devoured countless hours and probably took many years off my life in how much frustration and energy I devoted to them. After the umpteenth time of deleting the app off my phone, the multi-colored candy kept luring me back.


When seeing real candy or hearing about candy made me reach for my phone (instead of the candy), I knew I had to find another way to pass time.

Check books off your book bucket list

I am always telling myself that I should read more as I keep adding books to my book list. The long commute to work was the perfect chance to do some catch-up reading. Reading transported me away from the monotonous real world where I’m sitting on a train, to the world of thrill, fantasy or other fun lands. I’d rather fight dragons than listen to the repetitive clickety-clack of the train track any day.

Socialize and make some new friends

When I could muster up the courage and using wise judgment, talking to my [equally bored] neighbors would sometimes make for great conversations. Sometimes, stating a good morning with a smile and seeing if the neighbor glared or smiled back was a good way of judging whether they would like to converse. If they glared, well that’s a no. If they smiled, it meant maybe a conversation would be welcomed. Of course, I always had my stranger danger instincts turned on and looked to see if they were occupied (earphones, on the phone, etc.) before starting any conversations.

This is probably the most risky and character building of the boredom alleviating strategies. However, other humans are sources of the most fun, entertaining and moving stories. That’s why Humans of New York (HONY) can make people laugh and also make people cry. So just try this out, like I did, and see how it goes.

Last resort: Sleep

When there were no creepers lurking nearby or untrustworthy friends, and I could no longer muster up the energy to resist the gentle rocking of the train lulling my eyelids shut, I let myself take a “little” nap. Nevertheless, it would be a nightmare if I overslept and wound up hours away from home at the last stop at midnight. So, since I sleep like a rock, I always remember to SET THE ALARM(S). Plural – most of the time, it looks like this:


The Finale

All in all, that’s how I survived my many summer months of long commutes! You may be able to come up with other creative ways to pass time. However, sometimes just looking out windows and pondering life may be all you need because you may notice scenes like this:


That may make your day.