[ By Gloria Ngu ]
Traffic jams, however annoying – to put it mildly – they can be, are part and parcel of our daily lives.
Having said that, the traffic congestion on our campus has reached an astounding level, with people spending an absurd amount of time just trying to get from one end of campus to the other.
A lecturer posted, “Today’s update: exactly 41 minutes to move from [staff] carpark to the basketball court. Absolute standstill.” while another Facebook user lamented her hour-long crawl from the parking near DK Senza out of campus. Even on our very own Taylor’s University Confession Facebook page, students have been lamenting the long, arduous drive out of university grounds.
Now, instead of complaining and road raging, why not occupy your time with something else?
We have compiled a list of ten (relatively safe) things to do in your car that does not involve using your phone, tablet or laptop.
1. Do origami
Paper folding is an essential life skill for entertaining small kids, picking up girls and acting smart. It is also easy to do in the car, because the dashboard serves as a table on which you can practice your folding skills. And we’re not talking about just boats and airplanes – you can level up your origami game to dragons, people.
2. Listen to an audio book
Because reading an actual book would be deemed unsafe.
3. Listen to a seminar/ podcast
Similar to the above, you can download podcasts and listen to them while battling traffic. Instead of focusing on the ridiculous number of cars on the road, focus on the content, and you’ll emerge from the traffic (eventually) a more well-rounded and intelligent person!
4. Learn a new language
If you really want to learn how to speak another language, there’s no better time than while stuck in the car. Systems like Pimsleur and Earworm produce CDs and also applications where you can learn a foreign language by just listening and repeating the words.It’s not like you’re doing anything else anyway, right?
Video logs are just like blogs, except they are in video form. You could talk about an issue that has been bugging you, reflect on your day or even talk about a specialist topic like technology, sports or anything else you are interested in.
Here is an example of a vlog! A famous Malaysian YouTuber and Vlogger talks about his experience at Tae Yang’s concert (he shoots part of the Vlog in his car!).
This does not only save time and your health, it also saves your wallet as you won’t need to go to the gym anymore! For exercises that are safe to be done in cars, click here.
7. Solve a problem
Challenge yourself with this one. Select a specific problem for the week, and every time you get stuck in that never-ending line of cars, start thinking up solutions to that problem. It could be something on a more personal level like how your computer overheats, or a problem at a societal level like infrequent garbage collection. When you start thinking, you’ll be surprised at how many solutions you can come up with, because it’s at these moments, when the brain is idling and not focusing on a specific task, that we have the most creative capacity.
8. Record a cover
The car provides amazing acoustics, and you can choose to sing acapella, with a minus one track or even with small instruments that can fit in the car like a ukulele!
Or if you’re hopeless like me, you can lip sync, just like this couple!
9. Make a to-do list
And make sure you follow it!
As university students, many of us are often bogged down with work and lead a very hectic life. Instead of fuming over time wasted in the car and upping your stress level, take time to just relax and breathe! If you’re really serious about meditating, take a look at this link.
Of course, the only way to actually solve the problem of the congestion is to reduce the number of cars that enter and exit our university. Public transport and car pooling are two of the best ways to lessen traffic. But until more people start making an effort to reduce traffic, my carpool buddy and I are going to wait it out in the comforts of the library.
And for those who are actually going to try this out, drive safe!
Disclaimer: ETC Magazine is not responsible for any possible accidents that might happen. Attempt at your own risk – your safety is in your own hands!