PERSONAL OP: Bus riding is about more than transportation


Nicollette Arabie, Editorial Team

Last Saturday there was a JV volleyball tournament, for which athletes were supposed to be on the bus at 6:40. Unfortunately (for me), my sister slept late, which meant I got to spend my Saturday morning getting her to Palestine for her games.

While the issue was sports-related, it highlights a common problem for students: waking up on time to get on the bus. While there are some cons to being a bus rider, there are plenty of benefits, as well.

Riding the bus creates a need for students to be responsible. My bus to school leaves at 6:40 a.m. It’s my responsibility to wake up in enough time to get ready for school, not my parents’ or siblings’ responsibility. And when I miss the bus, there is a consequence – for me, losing phone privileges is the usual cost for not being up on time. The benefit, though, is that I am more responsible and tend to be on time for events, whether it’s catching the bus or anything else.

That habit of responsibility can spill over into other areas, as well. Take it from my sister. Evangeline is a freshman volleyball player. All players were told that if they didn’t make it to the bus on time, they would not be playing. Van slept in and so was not allowed to play, even though she did make it to the games, but the expectation her coaches set still inspired good sportsmanship and an opportunity to be a good teammate. Even though she couldn’t play in the games, she still went to support her team, and this whole experience will ultimately create a better character and also serve as a lesson to other members of the volleyball team that the coaches aren’t messing around.

Riding the bus also creates a need to learn and understand social situations. Kids on the bus have to learn to get along with other kids on their bus unless they want a referral to the principal’s office. People learning to get along with other people, regardless of whether they like them or not, is an essential lesson, especially for future job relationships. If you can’t get your work done around a group of people you don’t really like, you’re likely to not have a job for very long.

Not everything about riding the bus is great. Rural riders often have to be up far earlier than they typically would in order to catch the bus, which is especially tough on the youngest riders, like my kindergarten sister. And riding the bus can add two or more hours to a student’s day, which can cut into time for homework, chores and family. But like anything in life, there are plenty of positives to be found, as well. You just have to look for them.