The Thanksgiving battle

No doubt about it: as Queen’s students, we pride ourselves on our prestige. We see ourselves as intellectual individuals with class. Why then are we incapable of lining up like civilized people? For most Queen’s students, it’s that time again: luscious pumpkin pie, seasoned stuffing, and oh that tangy cranberry sauce on a slice of roasted turkey. Call it human nature, but daily Kraft dinner and shake & bake just doesn’t do it for one’s appetite (or health) after a while. Hence the annual bus battle of who gets home to the feast quickest.

Second to Reading week, Thanksgiving holiday at Queen’s is a long-awaited mid-term break. Most in-province students take the brief break to see loved ones and mooch off their food, or to otherwise reunite with some comrades of days past. Assuming that, then puzzling is our keenness for learning, that desperation to return to Queen’s on Sunday night. At least from my past two years, it’s an even bigger battle at Scarborough Station, with pushing and shoving and scratching and ‘budding’ to throw our luggage into the trunk, thus guaranteeing our seats on the bus.

I consider myself a veteran. After my first Thanksgiving return during first-year, I remember resolving to arrive at the station earlier the next year, in order to avoid the mayhem. To my horror, the return bus battle my second year was even more disorderly. Once the buses arrived, the many divergent ‘lines’ dispersed, and soon students from all directions were flocking towards the drivers. The struggle was so ridiculous that my mom compared us to fleeing refugees—torn from our loved ones amidst chaos and confusion.

Forget procedure by common sense, respect, and honouring the ‘first-come first serve’ rule. Can we blame it on carnivorous urgings or a draft of home-sickness? Are we just plain rude?

To be fair, the Tricolour bus system lacks, if any, a consistent protocol for students in terms of loading buses. In my experience, some drivers take tickets at the door (from whoever succeeds in shoving his or her ticket at the driver’s face). Other drivers load luggage first and take tickets later, guessing whether they will have enough seats.

Those are just two variations of the Tricolour “procedure.” More appalling are incidences where seats run out and students are forced to wait for the next coach, be it in five minutes, or even hours later.

My point isn’t to criticize the Tricolour bus system per se, but instead our demeanour in light of the situation. It’s true that we cannot help the disorganization of the system, but we can at least be courteous to one another.

Besides, Tricolour Express is finally offering two Toronto returns on Sunday, in which we hope will relieve this Thanksgiving madhouse.

Cutting the line and pushing each other doesn’t exactly call for efficiency. It should be our responsibility as smart individuals to restrain our selfishness and use our brains. After all, as Queen’s students, we are intellectual, educated, and civilized people.

So let’s keep it classy.

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