Screen Shot 2023 07 18 At 10.35.00 PM

How to not take an L on the L train

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Saira Ahmed, middle, and Ruby Dowling, right, chat on the L to pass time on the way to Chicago. Photo by Charlotte Zhou

Silence hung in the air as the feeling of mundaneness crept through the train car during the 45-minute ride that separated cherubs from Chicago. The train sped down the tracks, rocking passengers to sleep from the nonstop lull.

“You can have the best experience on the L, or you can have the worst experience of your life. It depends on the hour,” said Juliet Allan, a community and academic associate.

And after rigorous days of writing, all cherubs experienced the L, Chicago’s rail system, during field trips to the Windy City.

Cate Bouvet from Bothell, Washington, said she didn’t have the best experience on the L during the boat tour field trip.

“It was pretty cramped with everyone there, and I fell asleep on the way back,” Bouvet said.

Cherubs returned to Chicago for the media tour and with smaller groups, but this time, Bouvet said she didn’t mind the trip.

Allan said the unpredictability of the L is typical. To ensure cherubs get a positive experience, Allan said she advises people to stay awake for safety so everyone is vigilant of their surroundings.

Bouvet said future cherubs should dress for the occasion by wearing closed-toed shoes and not carrying a backpack.

Although many cherubs didn’t follow Allan’s advice about sleeping, the cherubs made it back to campus without a major incident.

“When I found out I had to take 14 kids on the L downtown, I was terrified and nervous about it for weeks,” Allan said. “My group was helpful, and it made the experience way less scary.”

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