Reflections on bus behaviors

By Edward Holman | 10/30/11 11:18pm

Since enrolling at Grand Valley State University and riding the bus almost every other day for more than a year, I have had some time to think about and jot down a few bus behaviors.

One might think that an intellectual like me would spend time studying and writing world-changing poetry. Oh well. I am a psychology student so my excuse is watching human behavior, even if I do have better things to do.

The most telling (or not telling) feature of a bus ride is the extreme quiet. For the most part, students are not talking very much. This makes sense because a person is usually surrounded by strangers. I have had two conversations in my GVSU bus career and have to say that both were satisfying. I made personal small talk with a professor and a student. I suppose I could have gotten a small crash course from the professor, but the ride was only a half hour so I kept it light.

Most conversations on the bus are not too deep probably for fear from individuals not wanting to put their business on the street. However, I have been privy to eavesdropping on a few juicy conversations by students who, let’s just say, were not too shy.

The talking on the bus does relieve some of the tension of sitting so close to a bunch of strangers. Some students study on the bus. However, studying is not the most prominent behavior. Studying is probably done by a lot of students who have an exam on that day or the following day. I guess a few guys might pull out their anatomy and physiology text to let a cute girl know they are going to be a doctor. But mostly, the studying is probably very genuine. Most practical students find free time very valuable and try to make the most of it.

The bus can be a place to relax and watch what the people outside are doing or just look at the pretty trees. While relaxing one can check out other students and try to guess their major or say “Aren’t you in my psychology class?” to break the ice. It is also a place to listen to headphones, catch up on Facebook or play games on your phone.

Most of all it is a quiet place. And that is probably for the best.

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