The Art of Line Waiting

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By Alexandria Sese>Freshman>English>University of Illinois

Waiting in line is crucial to your college experience. It can teach you essential skills you need to survive college and beyond. The key is using your time productively while waiting in line. Knowing the nature of when and where you line up can help you manage your line waiting time efficiently.

But in reality, college students could find more enjoyable ways of mastering endurance and patience than standing in long lines with all their textbooks in hand. In addition to the wait itself, is the excruciating anticipation felt as you approach the front of the line After all, waiting in a long line to use the restroom is anything but pleasant.

The trick to standing in line is to prepare for the wait. David H Meister, author of Psychology of Waiting Lines, claims that understanding how long a line might take helps a person prepare for it and therefore, be ready to be more patient of the situation. Take lunch times for example. It’s common that most college students will have lunch in the middle of the day and will crowd eating places. Knowing that trend will help you become less easily aggravated when the person standing in front of you can’t quite decide if he wants a drink or fries just yet.

Better yet, why not make the most out of the great opportunities waiting in lines offers? Don’t think of that person in front of you as another five minutes you have to wait in line. Instead, consider them as a networking opportunity. “The Lineage Mileage Technique” ( is just that. Waiting in lines, especially long ones, gives you ample time to strike up a conversation with the person next to you. Talking to someone will certainly make the time go faster and can be a better use of your time than idly waiting your turn. You’ll be surprised at how easy it is to make a new friend, add a contact to your growing network, or even check out the competition if you’re at a job fair.

Much like everything else in your college experience, waiting in line will do wonders for you only if you utilize it. With these tips, you are on your way to mastering those essential life skills that you won’t have to wait in line for.

College Magazine Staff

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