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What Happens When a UIUC Freshman Rides the MTD Bus for the First Time

My name probably sounds new to you. It’s because I’m a UIUC freshman. I love it here and I’m finally starting to understand how this campus and college life works. After stepping in vomit on the bathroom floor during my first night of college, I realized I should probably wear shower shoes.


If there’s something I don’t understand, it’s the MTD bus system. But that all changed last Saturday night when I left the pit of hell that’s called Taft-Van Doren and stormed off for my first college bus ride! Yep, I decided to ride the bus for 90 minutes on a Friday to see what would happen


All of the following events and times are absolutely 100% true.


7:19: I walk out of the dorm. My RA already judges me for wearing the boating hat I have. Joke’s on him, he’s an RA.


7:20: I walk outside and take a selfie with the sign because that’s what everyone does, right?


Freshman Rides Bus UIUC 1



7:20:20: Car of most likely non-sober people drive past me on their way to Huff Hall for a volleyball game and yell “Go fish!” to me. I assume they’re talking about the card game.


7:24: I walk to bus stop at the Ike. I missed the bus.



7:25: I look at the futuristic digital sign that has all of the bus times. Next bus isn’t coming for 26 minutes. I swear to myself and decide to stay at the stop.



7:26: I take a selfie with the bus stop. I feel like I’ve done this before.

Freshman Rides Bus UIUC 2 (1)


7:30: I realize the next four buses are all going to Wal-Mart. I decide it’s time for a different bus, although I did need some more ramen and a 24-pack of Fresca.


7:31: I miss the crosswalk at Fourth and Gregory. I consider jaywalking, but I also consider that I enjoy my loaded wallet. #NorthShore


7:33: I end up jaywalking because I see a bus. F the police.


7:33: I walk on bus. Does this bus take café credits?


7:35: I’m the only one on this bus wearing a hat. Perhaps Champaign Fashion Week was last week.


7:37: A guy gets on bus. He starts pole dancing on the pole you use to stand up with. I didn’t want to throw my money at him and I was pretty close to asking him if he takes café credits.


7:39 Group comes and sits behind me. One girl says to other: “Damn girl, you have Google Maps? Apple Maps is where it’s at.” I’ve never heard someone ever care that much about a map app that much… aren’t we all on the same map?


7:40: I still don’t know what bus I’m on.


7:42: Guy in front just did a pull-up on the handles on the ceiling and sat back down. #swole


7:43: Everyone else got off the bus so I got off. I saw one guy stay on, so I got back on. Peer pressure is real.


7:44: New guy gets on. Tells me he’s gonna stand up on this bus. You do you, man.


7:45: Do you ever think about the squirrels that pee on the trees in the Quad and then people sit on those trees? #FirstTimeBusThoughts


7:46: we haven’t moved from PAR in 5 minutes. I silently pray for those who live in PAR because that’s basically as far away as Madagascar.


7:48: Two guys are sitting in back. One guy asks other, “Do you have a Snapchat? Snapchat everyone the next time I’m screwing Emily.” Emily must be a lucky girl.


7:48-8:06: Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, JSwipe, Tinder, Ashley Madison break.


8:06: Guy behind me tells friend he’s been reading Emerson’s essays.


8:06:15: Nope, they’re Thoreau’s.


8:06:20: Nope, definitely Emerson’s.


8:07: I move further up so I can make a friend (maybe?).


8:08: Bus driver asks me if I’m going to the Sweet Corn Festival. I say, “Yeah, my mom and I were actually close to buying a 3-day pass.”


8:09: Two girls get on the bus. One says to me “Nice hat.” I respond with “It’s my bus hat.” Aren’t I smooth? By smooth, I mean single.

Freshman Rides Bus UIUC 3

8:09: They have no idea what a bus hat is.


8:10: I keep talking to her. Her name was Edith! I got her Snapchat!

Freshman Rides Bus UIUC 4

8:11: I see the Panda Express on Green Street in the distance. I pull the lever on the window and get off. I love this school.



After devouring my Panda Express with the money my mom gave me, I realize I can’t get on the bus back to Taft Van-Doren Dormitory. I remove my bus hat and start the long trek home. Now, I’m going to go Snapchat Edith… or see if my mom got those corn festival tickets.



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