When I was 16, the pressure was immediately there to start getting my license and driving because it’s what everyone does at that age. I was excited about it too- I had my first job, I was slowly making money, and I could afford the 12 hours of lessons and all the other fees included in a learners permit.
And I got my learners on the first try, I studied super hard and I was really excited about it. But when the time came to learn to drive, I waited a few months. Actually, I’m pretty sure I waited from fall to summer before I even sat behind the wheel for the first time. A friend of mine brought me to a parking lot and I had so much fun for that half hour that I booked my lessons that same week.
During that summer (when I was 16 turning 17) I did all of my driving hours, but I think my instructor was kind of easy on me. At the time I thought I was really good, but whenever I practiced parking for example, he always set me up to drive into the spot instead of just letting me do it myself. I realized a bit too late that I was missing a few important things to pass my final exam.
Anyway, when fall came back around, I booked my appointment for the final exam, and I was nervous as all hell. The night before my exam, I practiced for 2 hours with my mom but I was SO nervous and she was driving me nuts and it didn’t go well at all. The next day, things happened, it was nerve-racking, and I failed. It sucked pretty bad, and I did something that I’m not really proud of… I kind of gave up.
I was 18 and I had a million things I wanted to do. I live in an area where driving isn’t a necessity- I have so many buses around me that get me to wherever it is I want to go and I just didn’t have money for a car anyway. My mom had already told me that there was no way I could use hers until SHE trusted me with it, whether I had my license or not.
So, yeah, I stopped practicing my driving. Every once in a while I’d get back behind the wheel and practice, but the really important skills that you learn with an instructor… Those kind of got lost on me.
Today, I’m almost turning 22, and a lot of people are asking me why I don’t yet have my license. The truth? I never took the time to try a second time. I went through a period in life where my priorities weren’t the right ones and I didn’t really care all that much about driving. I still don’t think that’s a big deal, but apparently it’s like a rite of passage to becoming an adult. Get a license, get a car, boom you’re in the circle of adult-ness.
So, summer is just around the corner, my mom has a new (manual) car that I need to learn, all I need to do is book some appointments and ask for her help. But we’ve had crappy experiences in that car together. My mom is a gutsy driver, me not-so-much. I do want to learn, I just always seem to put it on the back burner in life.
I think this summer is the summer I get my license though. I mean, at least try again. It’s on my 101 in 1,001 because I’ve put it off for so many years. I might as well just do it, right? Do people have a good reason to constantly bug me about it? I feel like it’s a question I get all the time… Why don’t you have your license yet?
What are your license-getting experiences? Thoughts on getting one?