One random Tuesday, my last class of the day ended early. I thought it would be the perfect time to try riding a CABS bus so that I could both get home a little earlier and finally figure out how the bus system works. Little did I know that I would soon find myself miles from campus, completely disoriented and surrounded by farmland.
When I walked to the bus stop, I had little idea of what was going to happen. I was confident in my navigational skills; when I’m out driving with friends, I’m usually the one who knows where to go. I also thought that even though OSU has one of the largest campuses in the nation, there was no way I could possibly get lost. As soon as my bus left campus bounds, however, I got a harsh dose of geographic reality.
I originally did not intend to ride the bus I was on. Standing at the bus stop, I waited for five minutes for the “South Campus” bus. After watching three “West Campus” buses go by, however, I began to doubt whether or not I was making the right choice by continuing to wait. When the fourth “West Campus” bus rolled around, I hopped on thinking that I could ride for a bit and get off near the medical center.
When the bus drove straight past the turn for Morrill Tower, I became confused. When it chugged past the Athletic Recreation Center, concern gave rise to worry. When it started passing streets I had never heard of before, panic began to rise in my chest. By the time I saw actual farmland, I thought that I would never make it home. After watching street after street roll past and thinking “it will get better,” I decided to cut my losses and get off at the next stop.
When I finally stepped off the bus, I literally had no idea where I was. Looking around, I saw an expansive parking lot and the sad silhouettes of Morrill and Lincoln in the distance. I’m usually very calm and collected, but being stranded in the middle of a lot with absolutely no idea how to get back was definitely grating on my nerves. I can’t say I was thinking all that rationally when I decided to hop on the next bus that rolled around, which happened to be one heading for the “Academic Core.”
Another bus change later, I finally found myself heading towards South campus. Altogether, the journey took me one whole hour as opposed to fifteen minutes on foot. Needless to say, I will definitely be reconsidering when and how often to use public transportation. The whole experience has honestly scared me enough for me to arrive at the conclusion that I should just stop being lazy, get some exercise and just walk from now.