The Wellesley Exchange bus (and Senate on the weekends) is a strange and terrifying place. It exists outside of the normal bounds of space and time – sometimes a trip that should take an hour takes 20 minutes, and other times you’ll feel as if you’ve been staring at that oddly psychedelic seat pattern for days. The bus is a liminal space, and characters will challenge the levels of what you thought you could bear. The least you can do is be prepared to face them.
- The Entrepreneur – Move fast and break things. Those words send a shiver down your spine. Immediately, you tense up, aware of what you’re facing. This guy is telling anyone who will listen about his startup ideas – he’s really eager to “disrupt” the toothpaste industry. To be clear, he doesn’t actually have an idea yet, but he “knows he’s not cut out for a 9 to 5.” Avoid him by acting clueless – you’ve never heard of MIT and you don’t know what Facebook is.
- My Father – Unfortunately, this character comes in a number of varieties. They might be the girl from your econ class who loves to share how “my father” taught the value of hard work when he gave her an internship at his company. They might be a visiting Harvard guy talking about how “my father” was a major donor and that he got to meet Bill and Hillary. Whichever kind you meet, be sure to Venmo request them for the labor of listening to their unbearable father.
- Phonathon – You’ll hear her before you see her. Maybe you thought you could catch some extra sleep on the 7 a.m. bus, but you’re in for a rude awakening. This girl has FRIENDS who make her LAUGH, and she wants you to hear it. Blessedly you can’t hear the other end of the conversation, but it must be pretty hilarious to earn that kind of response when the sun isn’t up. Naturally, this girl is immune to shame, but it’ll still be satisfying when you join in solidarity with everyone else suffering on the bus to glare at her for the next 40 minutes.
- Boyfriend who knows how to read – Not all heroes wear capes; this kind hero on the bus (random guy sitting next to you on his way to visit his girlfriend) is generously willing to share his book recommendations, and you didn’t even need to ask! He noticed you reading a Sally Rooney novel – hasn’t heard of her. But, have you read Salinger? Not everyone gets it, of course, but this guy does. Your best strategy here is simple: pretend you don’t know how to read.
- Messy Eater – Technically, no food or drink is allowed on the bus, but a daring few are willing to push the limit. An apple or travel mug full of coffee isn’t likely to get you noticed, but at an elite college like Wellesley, someone will always think of new ways to ruin your commute. Will it be the junior eating soup out of a dining hall bowl? The MIT student whose Anna’s chips and salsa are leaning dangerously off the tray? The girl from your psych class who somehow has a bowl of milk and Rice Krispies? Not knowing is part of the fun. Pack a bib.