Five things I learned from failing my first road test


  fiveDon’t take someone else’s bad day personally.

Sometimes other people are having totally rotten days. And when people are upset, they usually want everyone else to be upset with them. This is the first thing I learned while attempting to get my license last week. My instructor, a short, mid-40s woman with sharp nails and a massive rock on her left ring finger, was having a terrible day. And so, when I made a few mistakes on my test she brought me right down with her. Yes, she laughed right in my face and told me I don’t know what I’m doing behind the wheel. Ouch. But, after a few tears and a large order of fries I realized that this instructor doesn’t really know anything about me besides one mistake that I made, and so I can’t take her bad attitude personally.


fourBe patient, because in a few years you’re not even going to remember the few days you had to wait.

I wasn’t really ready to take my road test. I didn’t have anything left to learn, and my dad did a really great job preparing me to have a license, but once I failed I had to wait a whole week to try again and that seemed like the longest week of my life. But looking back, it was actually really good that I waited. It gave me a chance to take a deep breath and be focused when I went back. And those couple of days won’t matter in the future. Don’t be afraid to wait for something so that you can know how much you truly want it and how hard you’re willing to work to get it.


three Focus on the present.

My questions for my dad on the way to my test weren’t “What should I do if ____?” or “How do I ___?” but sounded more like, “Can I decorate the car?” and “Are you paying for my gas?” I realized afterwards that I failed my test because in my head I wasn’t taking a test. In my head I already had my license and I was cruising around town with the windows down and a Taylor Swift song blasting. I needed to focus on each step of the test and then celebrate when it was over. If you always focus on the future you’ll miss what’s going on right in front of you.



It’s OK to admit that you failed.

The worst part of failing my road test is that I had to go school right afterwards. I walked in and immediately saw a bunch of friends who asked me how it went. I cringed and said, “Well the lady was really mean so she failed me.” But something about that description just didn’t feel right to me. So after a few minutes I said quietly, “I made a mistake.” I waited for the laughter, it never came. Instead I got a calm, “Aw man, what a bummer.” That’s when I realized that real friends want to know when you failed and they don’t let you worry about it for long. The conversation quickly changed to last night’s English homework and a detailed description of every Pokémon character ever. It’s ok to fail, and it’s ok to admit that you did.



one Stop at red lights.

Trust me.

Comments are closed.