Rarely a week goes without reading an magazine article about the tube. Yet whenever the topic comes up you read it every time - why? Because the tube, for all its glories, can also be viciously unpleasant, most prevalent at rush hour and we are constantly looking for ways to make it more bearable.

Despite my comparatively short time living in London, I feel I've experienced most of the underground's rubbish aspects faced by your average commuter (strike action, feeling so squashed/hot you might be sick, delays, rude people, but no arse grabs as yet - huzzah!). The novelty of having an Oyster card has definitely worn off, so let me share with you five newbie tips for getting through your journey in someone's sweaty armpit.

1) Do - stand in the aisle
I may as well say now, these nuggets of advice will revolve mainly around getting a seat. Because getting a seat on a rush hour train is like the holy grail. You resent the smug pricks sat in them reading their Metro in peace but as soon as you get one it feels like god himself has selected you as his chosen one. The most basic thing you can do to make this happen is stand in the aisle. It might seem silly on a less than packed train at Tooting Broadway but by Balham you'll be laughing into your latte.

2) Do - locate the nearest schoolchild
See that small boy with his mother in a school uniform? It's likely they'll be getting off soon as (probably) no one bothers to travel that far to send their child to school. If they do bother to it's because they're rich and can afford to get an Uber instead. If you feel like going one step further for a more accurate estimation of seat availability, try and decipher the name of the school on the child's jumper as an indicator (discretion advised as staring at children not really the done thing).

3) Do - consider becoming pregnant
For the more committed among you - get yourself a bun in the oven and you'll have people practically begging you to take their seat.

4) Do - carry a bottle of water all year round
I sound like my mum but those Evian adverts weren't just a clever ploy to convince people to buy their water, it really is sound advice to keep a bottle on you. The airless, stuffy heat combined with the unpredictable swaying of a carriage could challenge even the hardest of stomachs - it could mean the difference between a gulp and seeing your Cheerios over someone else's Barbour...

5) Don't - be a dick
We're all in the same boat (or train, if we're being literal) so don't be selfish and be aware of the people you're sharing a space with. Look up from bookface, move down inside the carriage as much as possible to create space and do give your precious seat up to someone who needs it more than you. Similarly, don't be the sarcy bastard who shouts for people to move down, adding 'it's not rocket science' - yeah mate, we've all moved down so if you find any more space that will be rocket science, actually.

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