Photo: Tagwa Moyo

The commuters’ guide to avoiding weirdos

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By Alexis Perikleous

As Ryerson is predominantly a commuter school, many of us can relate to the struggles of the commuter lifestyle. Whether you take the subway, the bus or the GO train, you face day-to-day issues that residence kids just don’t understand, one of which is weirdos. Ah, weirdos, invading your personal space, violating your privacy and sometimes just out-right scaring you. Here are four golden rules to staying weirdo free on your agonizing trek to school!

Don’t make direct eye contact 

Whatever you do, do not make direct eye contact with the weirdo. I know you can feel their deep glare penetrating a hole into the back of your skull, but whatever you do, don’t turn around. Remain seemingly unaware of the weirdo. Looking at them is acknowledging them and ultimately giving them the courage to approach you.

Bring headphones 

Have you ever tried to talk to someone with headphones in? Did they hear you the first 10 times you screamed their name? Exactly. Wearing headphones is just another way to seem extremely unaware and uninterested in what is going on around you. And with your luck, Clark the close talker won’t have enough courage to try and start up a conversation while his chatter is drowned out by Justin Bieber blaring in your ear drums. However, on the off chance that he’s feeling particularly brave, oops, sorry, you can’t hear him.

Read a book 

Look at you, you highly intelligent individual, fully immersed in the literary works of… PEOPLE Magazine. All the other passengers are much too intimidated to start up a conversation with you. Adding a head nod or thoughtful stare will only enhance your facade of extreme intelligence. Books are also great tools for blocking your face from unwanted photographs that the creepy guy in the corner is trying to take of you.

Be proactive

Lastly, be proactive. You need to strategically think ahead if you truly want a quiet, uninterrupted subway ride to play Candy Crush in peace. If you notice a particularly strange character boarding the same cart as you, simply switch into the next one. Or if you’re already seated, very nonchalantly place your backpack in the empty seat beside you and take up way more space than a normal human being needs. This being said, be observant and courteous to other less creepy passengers, such as elderly people, pregnant women, etc.

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