This way to the freeway

sarah driving

Sophomore Sarah Brownson poses in her first car after getting her driver’s license.

Students share their experiences of getting their licenses

Recently sophomore Mitchell Stanford drove himself to school for the first time. Although the fear of failing the driving test can make it seem that getting a license is an impossible goal, the moment you do pass is a huge relief, he said.

“When I passed my driving test,” Stanford said, “I felt like I graduated adolescence and [became] part of the real world.”

The first step to getting one’s driver license is the process of going through Drivers education. Drivers education can be a very boring process, but the teachers and random moments in the class can make the school a little more entertaining and unforgettable, Stanford said.

Sophomore Sarah Brownson said throughout her whole driving school experience, her Drivers Education teacher thought her name was Charlotte.

“The most uncomfortable experience I ever had in driving school,” Stanford said, “was being in the back, middle seat of a sedan for two hours of observing with two large people on either side of me (mind: I am 6’ 3”).”

After graduating from driving school, students move onto driving with their parents. Brownson said driving with her parents was quite annoying. They seemed to be scared to be in the car when she was driving.

“My mom is the most annoying passenger in the car ever,” Stanford said. “[My mom] will say ‘Whoa’ in a nervous tone for almost every maneuver you make, and she’ll try to stomp down on imaginary brakes in the passenger foot space. She will cause an accident one day.”

Students have to complete the portion of driving with their parents so they can then move on to going to get their license. Although there are aspects of the test that do cause students to stress out, such as the parallel parking portion, the end result of not having to rely on other people to get places is worth it, Brownson said.

“Waiting in my car for my test was stressful,” Stanford said. “As the woman asked for my insurance card, my mom had switched around all of the insurance cards for all of the cards in my family, and my dad was forced to print out a new one and rush to the site of the test before I would have to reschedule another test.”

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New drivers face new responsibilities after getting their license

Passing the driving test makes any new driver really happy, but Brownson said the negative aspects of driving yourself around such as filling the car up with gas and getting lost concern new drivers too.

“My biggest fear of being a new driver is getting in an accident or running out of gas somewhere foreign to me,” Stanford said. “The bad thing about driving myself around is having to be asked by my friends for rides everywhere and being responsible for myself at all times.”

But the positive aspects of driving always trump the negative ones, and not having to rely on anyone to get you places and having a lot more freedom is the best feeling, Brownson said.

“The best part of driving is being able to play whatever music I want without criticism and being able to hangout with people whenever I want,” Stanford said. “Plus, driving myself around is far less lame than being carted around by one of my parents everywhere.”

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