Since I’m entering my third year of studies at UBC and I obviously know everything now (or nothing, just a bit less nothing than I knew in first year), I thought it would be worth it to pass along the greatest bit of advice that I’ve come across since coming to this university.
BUY A BIKE.
Seriously. You’d think this was a given, but I spent my first two years living on campus, so I didn’t really have the need to bike anywhere. I finally live off campus, and luckily enough, I’m pretty close (only about 5km away). Because I arrived in Vancouver before September started, my U-pass wasn’t valid, so I had to pay a minimum of $3 every time I wanted to bus. In change. Do you know how hard it is to carry around more than $5 worth of change at any given time? It’s very hard. So I went out and haggled some old guy down on a price for a bike. The bike isn’t the nicest bike in the world (thankfully, otherwise it would get stolen in a heartbeat), but it functions. I can change gears and it isn’t broken and it gets me to campus in about 15 minutes, which is exactly the same amount of time it takes me to bus to campus. Since my ride to campus is 5km, I’m biking 10km a day whenever I bike to school. And since I’ve biked every day in the last week, that’s 70km ridden. And boy, does it feel great.
I could put a whole paragraph in here about how the exercise is great and how the calories burned have probably earned me a latte or something, but that’s not why I bike. I bike because I love the smell of the forest (Pacific Spirit Park) as I ride through it. I love the feel of wind on my face, and I love the fresh air. When it’s raining, I love feeling the raindrops smack against my face as I pedal to the music building (although I don’t love the fact that I have to bring dry clothes to change into). Honestly, I just love biking, and the fact that I get to do it through beautiful Vancouver makes it all the better.
So yeah. Buy a bike. In my opinion, it’s definitely worth it.
(also buy a helmet, because it pays to be safe. Also you can get a ticket for not wearing one. Also you can die if you don’t, so weigh your choices carefully)