Bus Rides

Discuss an accomplishment or event, formal or informal, that marked your transition from childhood to adulthood within your culture, community, or family.

Every bus ride is marked with either utter serenity or galling racket. At eight years old, I found both equally unbearable. "The world," my mother would often say, "isn't always going to be the way you want it to be." Innumerable repetitions of this proverb eventually convinced me to tolerate the situation, but bus rides still made me uneasy. The crowd of swarming people during rush hour always made me uncomfortable, the violation of space sometimes severe enough to stifle my breathing, and my aversion toward buses only grew over time. As a preteen, I had to endure countless school field trips. The bus rides were always an ordeal: either an hour of screeching cacophony or an eternity of dull silence. It wasn't until I was 17 that I had a change of heart and found buses bearable.

I took the Greyhound alone and planned to mitigate those miserable hours by spending the time doing homework. Of course, all the seats were taken. Just before I decided to jump out the window into oncoming traffic in an effort to alleviate my pain, a kind man offered me his seat. I thanked him for his generosity and sat next to a college freshman. I know she was a freshman because we talked for the entire ride. Time froze as we conversed about our...

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