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Commuter success story: Millie Heiner

How do you pass the time on your commute?

“I’m committed to sustainability and I do my best to reduce my CO2 footprint. One of the best and easiest ways to make an impact on our air quality is by riding UTA whenever possible. I commute from Davis County, so my trips to the U can feel lengthy at times. Nonetheless, I still make an effort to ride public transportation a couple of times a week.

Many students drive to campus because they want to save time. Some believe riding public transportation is too time-consuming. However, you can take advantage of the time you spend on buses and trains to do the things you normally think and stress about while driving, like studying or catching up on work. Here are some ways I spend my time while commuting to campus.

My 5 favorite things to do while riding UTA

Listen to a podcast 

Podcasts are a great distraction and are easy to access on the FrontRunner, which is equipped with free wifi. Some of my favorite podcasts to listen to while commuting are RadioWest by NPROutsideMaterialism Podcast and Scene On Radio.

Catch up on work

As a social media intern, I monitor the comments, messages, and notifications for social media accounts. Having the ability to complete these tasks while commuting helps me manage my time more efficiently and focus on other projects during my work shift.

Connect with my circle

On a busy day filled with school, work, and more, finding the time to connect with your close circle can be difficult. However, I like to use my commuting time to text or call friends and family — which makes my trip more enjoyable and feel less lonely.

Read a book

Time flies when you get lost in a good book, and before you know it, you’re at your final destination. Lately, I’ve been reading feel-good romance novels like Five Feet Apart, which was relatable due to the pandemic, and the science fiction novel Ready Player Two, which dives into the thought-provoking capabilities of virtual reality.

Sit back and relax

Everyone needs a moment to sit back and relax. Time spent decompressing is just as important as time spent being productive. Simply listening to music, looking out the window and noticing the scenery helps me destress after a hectic day. I can hop off the bus or train feeling refreshed, relaxed and ready to start the next part of the day.

Commuting doesn’t have to be seen as a waste of time. Of course, you can’t control how long your commute will take, but you can control how you spend your time commuting. You can spend an hour of your day sitting in traffic, searching for a parking spot and encountering other driving stresses. Or you can sit back, relax and watch your favorite Netflix show while commuting. The choice is yours.”

                          —Millie Heiner, Senior in Materials Science and Engineering, Sustainability Office Intern