I didn’t realize what a luxury it had been to wake up at 8:45 and have plenty of time to get to my 9:30 classes at Pitt. I’ve been lucky to only have had to walk five or ten minutes to get to most of my classes over the past two and a half years. I could go home after each class to eat or to do work, and I didn’t have to worry about trying to catch a bus to and from my apartment.
At SKEMA Business School, I am finding out what it’s like to be a commuter. From Tuesday to Friday, I wake up at 6am (or 6:05, 6:10, 6:15, or 6:18, depending on how many alarms it takes me to wake up on each particular morning). I have just enough time to get dressed, eat breakfast, and pack my bag. At 6:50, I walk to the bus, which is around the corner from my apartment. The bus I take to school is different from the regular city busses. This one has two levels, both of which are usually full by the time we make all of the stops in Nice. I tend to see the same faces on the bus– a mix of college students and older people on their way to work.
The bus takes about 45 minutes to go from Nice to Sophia Antipolis. When I arrive on campus (which consists of two academic buildings) I walk about five or ten minutes to get to the building where my classes are held. I don’t usually have to go between the two buildings, unless I want to go to the café in the main building.
The busses stop at SKEMA once every 30 minutes in the afternoon, so I usually run to the bus as soon as class is over to make sure I don’t have to wait too long for the next bus. Occasionally, I miss the first bus, and I wait at the bus stop for a little while. I have met a lot of new people at the bus stop because I try to start conversations with people I recognize from my classes.
The nice thing about having 8am classes is that I’m out of class by 11:15 most days. I go back to my apartment to have lunch, then I have the rest of the day free.
I think waking up early and commuting to school will help prepare me for when I am out of school and I have to commute to work. However, I don’t know if I’ll ever have a commute with views like what I have now. Every day, the bus drives parallel to the Mediterranean for half of the trip, and the rest of the trip provides views of the snow-capped French Alps.
I don’t have a ten-minute commute here like I have at Pitt, but I wouldn’t trade these views for anything.