It is ten degrees below zero in Vantaa when my friend and I are leaving from the blue-yellow doors of a well-known furniture chain. We try to keep a tight grip on my new affordable desk with our mittens on. The desk fits perfectly in my student cell by its dimensions. The cardboard in the package is as slippery as the ice under our shoes, and the slippery sleeves of the quilted jackets don’t help at all. We move slowly, stopping a little towards the bus stop. Cold wind burns my cheeks, and I hope the process of piling up the table looming in front of me is worth all this effort and pain.
I tense my arm to hold it hooked and squeeze the package with my fingers as tightly as I can, but the package slips out of our hands and drops onto the sidewalk. I thinking about kicking a package or order a taxi, but I can’t afford either, as the month is only halfway through. After saying a few swear words, we raise the package and start carrying again.
I can feel the package slipping out of my grip, but I get to stick to it again. And again. And again. It hurts my pike, my fingers, and my elbows. I’m not sure if my fingers have already frozen in the grip, as the feeling from my fingertips has started to fade. At the same time, I can feel the sweat flowing down my spine.
We step on the bus in embarrassment and apologize for dodging other passengers. The corner of the package bumps slightly into the leg of another passenger. We stay standing in the middle of the bus with my friend and my desk. I can feel every resentful look in my back of my head. I am ashamed to have to carry a package of this size on public transport. I am currently the most annoying passenger on this bus.
The bus bounces on a bumpy road, and I squeeze the package with both my hands and my knees. I lose my grip when a tight turn on the bus shakes the package to the floor. The screws on my table sway in their small plastic bag and the tabletop rumbles on the hard floor. My friend helps lift my square brown package, after which he stays holding it upright on the other side.
I couldn’t expect moving to a new town would bring such challenges as this.
Urban Policy Program for the Student Unions of University of Applied Sciences in the Helsinki Metropolitan area: Cities need to create a framework and encourage car-sharing.
82 percent of the respondents to the Student City survey (2019) owned a driving license. 31 percent of them use a car a little and 23 percent owned a car. In addition to the development of public transport in the Helsinki Metropolitan Area, it would be worthwhile to invest in the public transport on behalf of the city, especially because public transport would be easily and cheaply available for occasional needs.
Half of the respondents to the Student City survey (2019) said that they had moved to the Helsinki metropolitan area in pursuit of their studies. 15 percent of them had moved from Uusimaa and the rest from outside Uusimaa.
By voting in municipal elections, you can influence how your mobility in your place of residence is developed.
This blog is part of the student union Helga’s municipal election campaign, which aims to raise awareness of the importance of voting in elections for students. You can access our municipal election page here.