Hear Me Out: earphones or headphones as comfort bubbles  

Hannah Giron Daygo

Headphones/earphones are more than just an accessory or for the aesthetics.

It has been my routine to double-check everything before taking the bus, if not, it just grew into one. 

I always take a two-to-three-hour bus ride every day to college and vice versa. During those long travels, I noticed that most of the passengers wear their choice of earphones and headphones, whether it’s wired or wireless, they always wear them when travelling. 

Hear Me Out is part of the feature section where students can feature their own thoughts about anything that other students might want to hear/read. 

Just like them, I also carry my headphones with me and even before taking the bus I make sure it’s inside my bag. But there are also days where I do forget them. Which brings me to the realisation, that if I don’t have my headphones with me, I tend to panic. A lot.


What if you forgot to check your bag and realise you don’t have your earphones/headphones with you?

Imagine, your bus is in two minutes…you’re not going to run back home to get your earphones, right? Wait, would you?  If you’re not going to go back and get it, how will you survive without them?

Hell breaks loose, when I realise, I don’t have my earphones inside my prepared bag. Having my earphones with me while travelling feels like I’m in my own comfort bubble.

It’s the closest to experiencing peace amidst the loud reality. Without them I just feel exposed. Actually, in general, I just feel uncomfortable without it. 

So, I was wondering if other people felt the same way as I do….

After a few discussions, different students spoke to The College View about how they feel with or without their headphones/earphones when travelling, if they also think that earphones/headphones make travelling comfortable and less chaotic.


When asked about the importance of earphones or headphones when travelling, Dana (20), multimedia student from DCU, said that: “Earphones are important because they help make the journey less boring.”

She said that when she travels, she’s able to listen to “music, voice, and video messages, watch videos, movies and shows” in her “own comfort without disturbing anyone.”

“Personally, I just love listening to music out and about it feels like you are in a movie and it’s the soundtrack playing in the background of the scene,” she added.

She’s right that sometimes it does feel like a “movie,” when you’re just sitting inside the bus, listening to your own choice of music. Sometimes, just listening to mellow music sets the “feels,” just as Dana describes the feeling of listening in your own comfort.


According to a Thrive Global, “music is there to decrease your stress levels, help you calm down.”

Personally, listening to music while travelling actually helps reduce my motion sickness.

Thrive Global also said that a study from the journal Trends in Cognitive Sciences, said that researchers found that “patients who listened to music experienced less anxiety and lower cortisol levels than patients who took anti-anxiety drugs.”

Maybe that is why anxiety comes up when I don’t listen to music when I’m travelling. I just became music dependant.

 However, without having earphones when travelling still feels weird.

“Without earphones I would feel naked. Like one time, on the bus my phone died but I kept my earphones in, but to be honest I would be more anxious if I didn’t have my phone at all,” Dana added.

When asked what’s her go-to-music, she said that she prefers “slow mellow music” like “Space Song” by Beach house or “Seasons” by wave to earth.


Silencing bus ride noises for two to three hours while in a chaotic atmosphere can be really overwhelming. Having a muted environment feels like you’re in a different dimension, it’s like being away from chaos. However, there are also students who prefer not using headphones inside the bus.

“My mother taught me to never use headphones or anything that inhibits your reaction time or makes you less aware of your surroundings,” a Cork student, spoke to The College View and shared her views about wearing headphones when travelling.

Despite her mother telling her to be aware, she still brings her headphones with her to watch movies or listen to music for distraction.

“Something to pass the time,” she added.

When asked if she ever feels anxious without them, she said: “Without the headphones, I wouldn’t particularly say that I’m anxious… maybe a bit nervous… but at the same time I do feel better without them cause… I could hear everything; I can pay attention.”

Not everyone feels the same with earphones or headphones, but I hope you’ve heard me. I just think their capabilities as an accessory extends like a comfort bubble. It calms you down when bus journeys get so hectic. And listening to music or podcasts is the only way to distract yourself from a long travel.

I’m still wondering if other people think the same, maybe headphones or earphones are more than just an accessory. What do you think?

Hannah Giron Daygo