It’s been a couple of weeks since I was commuting into London and I’m really glad to not be travelling by train every single day anymore, but it was a really interesting experience and I thought I’d share a few tips on how to survive commuting in London (or any other city!), because it definitely took a bit of getting used to.
1) Be ready to sit next to a stranger, if you get to sit at all – morning rush hour trains are busy, everyone wishes they had two seats to themselves but it’s never going to happen at that time of day. The person next to you cares about you as much as you care about them; they don’t, so just get on with whatever you’re doing (listening to music, bit of laptop work, MarioKart) and don’t worry about.
2) Everything runs like clockwork at that time in the morning – you’ll get used to the train being in the station at the exact same time every day and you’ll see the same faces, the same people yawning and falling asleep on the train, you’ll know every stop the train goes to and you’ll start to get bored real quick.
3) Once getting in to London, you’ll have to join to stream of people heading for the underground. No doubt there’ll be some sort of accident or one of the escalators will have stopped working or someone will be standing in the middle of the stairwell trying to figure out which way they’re meant to be going. The real advice: know which route you’re taking, know if you’re going northbound or southbound (or east or west, you get it) and just head down and go for it, everyone’s in a rush, just go with it.
4) Don’t push past people to get to the barriers – these are seasoned commuters and they’re easily angered. As long as you’re not running late, just go with the flow and let the stroppy men do their thing.
5) Men in suits are the norm and they will judge you for being female, not dressed formally, dressed formally, listening to music, sitting at a table, having a Macbook, having a windows laptop; literally everything. The men who wear a suit to work and commute into London every day either are in a really well paid job, are really stuck up, or hate their job. They’re assholes on the tube and you giving them a death glare will not change them.
6) When getting on a train at the end of the day, the further you walk down the train the quieter it will be – totally worth the extra walk.
Commuting into London, or any city, isn’t particularly fun. For me, work experience on the other end and coming home to my family every night was totally worth it. Have any questions? Let me know in the comments!
Thank you for reading,