It’s about that time of year for a lesson on CyRide etiquette. It’s getting cold, we’re all getting lazy, and therefore the buses will be blatantly more crowded as the weeks progress. Whether you’re an energetic new freshman or a settled-in super senior, we all need a little reminder about the dos and don’ts when shoved into a CyRide en route to classes.

Let’s get one thing straight: Not one person wants to be packed into that bus early on a weekday morning. That person standing, swaying, squatting, or straddling next to you is just as uncomfortable, if not more, than you are. Trust us. So don’t think you’re alone in your silent fuming whilst being uncomfortably shoved next to your neighbor.

But there are a things each person can do to make the ride less excruciating for everyone.

Rule one: When the bus driver says move back, pick up your feet and move back! People are going to keep shoving themselves into the bus, so you can either be the jerk who causes everyone in the front to feel so suffocated they can’t breathe, or you can take a few steps back to clear some space for everyone. Even if it’s just a few inches, the poor girl with a backpack shoved in her face by the giant guy standing in front of her will be eternally grateful.

Rule two: Hold on. The bars and handles that run across the top of the bus are there for a reason, that reason being so you don’t tumble into the laps of those unlucky people around you. It’s not a game; don’t try to see how long you can balance yourself as the driver slams the brakes every two feet. No one wants an awkward lap dance while you bob around trying not to fall on your face. Grab on, grip tight and hope you don’t hurt anyone in the process.

Rule three: This is a public transportation system, not a private therapy session. No one wants to hear about your relationship troubles, the drunken weekend you can’t remember, or how your grandma is doing after her gallbladder surgery. Converse quietly with the people next to you. The only thing worse than overhearing very personal conversations is being forced to listen to them as they are being yelled halfway across the bus.

We could go on for ages about how much riding a bus with 75 other people is not a pleasant experience for anyone involved. But the truth is there’s no avoiding it unless you choose to brave the harsh Iowa winter and trudge your way to class on your feet. So if you take the bus, keep these three simple rules in mind for the benefit of all students respectively. Oh, and don’t forget to put on deodorant.

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