How to Cope With Having to Ride the School Bus

Three Methods:Dealing with Bus BulliesDealing with Transit TensionDealing with a Long Ride

Have you moved to a new house or started a new year in school and are being made by your parents to take the bus to school? To some the bus can be a magical place, to others it can be difficult to tolerate. It might take you some getting used to, but before too long you'll know just how to manage, and maybe even enjoy, your ride.

Method 1
Dealing with Bus Bullies

  1. Image titled Stand up to Bullies Step 1
    Do not let the bully provoke you. It's difficult to keep your cool, especially if you are being bullied in a public place. There are many different ways you can control your temper, but remember that there will be consequences for your actions should you respond to your bully's taunts.
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    Walk away from a bully whenever able.[1] On the bus, this might involve changing seats when the bus stops and moving to a place the driver can see better.
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    Keep your heart defended when a bully is picking on you. By hiding what truly upsets you from bullies, you guard yourself against it being used against you.
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    Use humor to disarm the situation. In tense scenarios, even silly jokes can relieve the tension.
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    Keep a record of what your bully has done. Do not use this as a laundry list to try and punish your bully. Instead, approach an adult and let them know you've been having a hard time, that you're concerned about the bully because they've been acting out, and then if it's still appropriate, tell them about your experiences with the bully.
  6. Image titled Tip a Cab Driver Step 5
    Talk with the bus driver or an adult.[2] Sometimes admitting you need help can be the hardest part. If you feel hesitant about bringing an adult into the situation, remember that you deserve safe transportation free of bullying. If the adult you talk to does not take your concerns seriously, talk with someone else until you feel more comfortable about the situation.
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    Talk to other passengers about the situation. If you feel like you're being bullied, chances are there are others who either feel bad for you or are also being bullied. Bullies usually target people believed to be weaker than themselves, but banding together with your friends might make your bully reconsider hassling you.[3]
    • This is also a chance for you to get to know the other passengers better.

Method 2
Dealing with Transit Tension

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    Distract yourself. Many professionals suggest the use distractions to alleviate anxiety you might feel about your bus ride.[4][5] Self distractions can take many forms depending on your interests and preferences. If you are the sort that likes scenery, you can take your mind off the bus ride by sketching the landscape or playing eye-spy with a friend. Many activities that you do in your room at home can also be used as distractions from whatever it might be that you dislike about the bus.
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    Play a game of "find it first." Decide on common roadway sites, like convertible cars, construction vehicles, wood paneled vehicles, and others. Assign point values to the objects to turn the game into a competition with your friends.
    • Make things more interesting by giving rare objects, like a Rolls Royce, more valuable by assigning a higher point value.
  3. Image titled Make a Naval Warfare Travel Game Step 13
    Grab a pen and paper and brave the high seas. The board for the classic game battleship is numbered 1 - 10 horizontally and A - J vertically. Take turns trying to guess where your enemy's ships are hidden. Keep your paper hidden and place:
    • 1 carrier (5 squares long)
    • 2 battleships (4 squares long)
    • 3 destroyers (2 squares long)
    • 2 cruisers (3 squares long)
    • 1 submarine (3 squares long)
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    Play dots and boxes. Draw a grid of unconnected dots and then take turns with your friends, each turn requiring a player to draw a single line to connect only two dots. When you form a box, write your initial inside to claim it as your own and earn a point! Each box you complete earns you a bonus turn.
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    Explore fictional worlds. Though if you have motion sickness, reading might not be the distraction for you.[6] Check out comic books, genres in your areas of interest (fashion, science, fantasy), or review schoolwork to prepare for your next class.
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    Battle your motion sickness. You might be surprised to learn that anyone can get motion sickness.[7] You can prevent this from happening by eating something light before traveling, sitting somewhere you can clearly see the road ahead of you, and wearing a wristband one and a half inches up your arm from where your wrist bends.[8]
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    Make use of technology. Social media might make it hard for you to concentrate on homework, but on the bus it can make a difficult ride home a little more bearable. If you're not in the mood to interact with other people on the bus, pop in your earbuds and listen to some of your favorite tunes.
    • Handheld games can make your bus ride pass in a flash, but be careful to check bus rules before you play, as some districts do not allow handheld games at school or on the bus.
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    Review rules and safety information. Preparedness can do a great deal to ease your mind.[9][10] Why not see if you can take a tour of the bus and meet the driver before you have to take your first ride? Most school districts and transit authorities provide online resources for bus etiquette, but some major points to keep in mind are:
    • At the bus stop, do not run, do not jostle others waiting for the bus or roughhouse with friends, and try to arrive five minutes before the bus.[11]
    • While on the bus, stay in your seat, remain seated while the bus is moving, talk quietly and try not to be distracting to the driver, and never play with emergency exits.[12]
    • Getting off the bus, do not run, go straight home, and never attempt to chase a bus down to retrieve a forgotten possession. If you drop something around a bus and want to pick it up, make sure you have the bus driver's attention and they clearly know what you are doing.
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    Handle embarrassment with self-talk. Self-talk is your inner voice. It's what you tell yourself in your own head, and it's a useful tool to help you accept your need to take the bus. If, as an example, most of your peers drive to school and you ride the bus, you might feel self-conscious. When you feel this way, ask yourself "Why? Does the bus really determine my worth?" By doing this you will begin to address the source of your embarrassment, which is much healthier than avoiding it.[13]
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    Don't allow loneliness to get you down. It's frequently the case that people believe loneliness to be the result of a personal shortcoming or failure.[14] The most important thing is for you to reach out when you feel lonely and have compassion for the fact that most people feel lonely at least some of the time.[15]
    • Focusing on the needs and feelings of others can help take your mind off feeling friendless and break up negative thoughts you might be caught up in.[16]
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    Don't feel like you have to go it alone. Many schools allow a parent to ride along while you adjust to the new routine of riding a school bus. Or, if you have friends or a relative that go to your school, why not ask them to have a sleepover so you have moral support on the bus the next day?

Method 3
Dealing with a Long Ride

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    Prepare according to duration. If you ride the bus for an hour or more, you might dread having to waste your time in transit. But you can make this time more meaningful by saving tasks you can do while en route. Bring a light snack to share with friends and a thermos full of tea, or put together a playlist that you've been meaning to give a listen.
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    Learn to sleep on public transit. This is more difficult for some than others, but you can give yourself a fighting chance by packing a sweatshirt in your backpack to use as a pillow and ear plugs to deaden noise.
    • Set an alarm so you don't miss your stop!
    • Keep your possessions in hand, zipped up, and close to your body to prevent theft.
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    Take stock of local faces. Long bus rides give you ample opportunity to familiarize yourself with locals who might be future friends. People who live in your area will, much like you, probably be bored with the long bus ride and be happy to join you in some conversation.
    • Ask about favorite classes, teachers, or after school activities, or practice small talk with your new potential friend.
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    Decrease your stress. High levels of stress could make time feel like its crawling by as you wait for your stop on the bus.[17]Meditating is a great way for you to calm and refocus your mind, and has proven benefits for your health.[18]
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    Breathe deeply. This will slow your heart rate, slow your racing thoughts, and help you relax as the minutes pass and your destination draws close.[19]


  • Follow the bus rules.

Sources and Citations

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Categories: Back to School