Driving: A Ritual of High School

Driving is a big part of people’s lives as they get older. Students at Leesville can get a parking space in the student parking lot once they get their license, if they have a car. (Photo Courtesy of Avery Braun)

Learning to drive is definitely a big part of high school, like a rite of passage. Being younger than most of the people in my grade, many of my friends started the process a while before I did, and I looked forward for it to be my turn. I’d see sophomores and upperclassmen with their licenses or permits and felt excited to start Drivers Ed. 

The summer before sophomore year I showed up at Millbrook High School for a week of grueling classroom education on driving. I knew no one and quickly learned it would take a different kind of strength to get through the seven hours each day. However, as much as I hate to admit it, the time did help with some basic knowledge — the meaning of different signs, symbols, and colors, as well as some good tips for what to do in different situations. 

A couple weeks later, school had started and it was time for the actual driving portion. I don’t think I’m alone in saying while that was the more exciting part of the process —  it was definitely more stressful. Luckily with a good instructor I managed not to damage anything and finished pretty successfully. 

Mid-October I headed to the DMV and waited two hours to take the permit test. When getting your permit, the test only consists of several multiple choice questions, not having to actually drive.This definitely relieved some of the pressure and only a little while later I was walking out past the long line of people with a paper copy of my permit. 

Now I’ve had the permit for about 4 months and while driving with my dad — mom refuses to take a turn — I’ve learned a lot with the practice. A part of learning to drive is dealing with equally stressed parents. They might annoy me with their constant nagging, but I know they just want me to be better. While I’m nowhere near the required 60 hours, I’ve definitely gotten better. They say practice makes perfect and with driving that is definitely true. 

Right now driving is very stressful. I still hold the wheel much harder than necessary and go too slow if I’m nervous. However, that is just a barrier, and with more time, it will come more naturally. So for all the people like me, be patient. If you fail the permit or license test just learn from your mistakes and try again when you feel confident. Driving overall has proven to be something that requires constant practice — you will not just start out being able to do everything perfectly. 


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