By Ashanti McClendon
Everyone knows that getting a license is an abstract step to a sign of maturity. It is something about taking on the challenge of the road and getting one step closer to more freedom, but that comes with much more responsibility than one may think. Safety and awareness while driving are not to be taken lightly, and being aware of these concepts is vital in the process of getting a driver’s license.
Getting behind the wheel may sound exciting, but it is important to know all of the rules first, even the very basics. The first step is studying for the permit. People often make the mistake in thinking that the permit test is easy and requires little to no studying at all, but that is a common misconception. While it may be typical to assume the rules, it is very important to go in prepared. Senior Joshua Martin said, “I failed multiple times before I ever got my permit. I thought I could just pass off of my own common sense.” The test requires that one knows all of the information about the road, and there is plenty to learn. Martin suggests that beginners use free online courses to help them learn the rules of the road before ever getting behind the wheel, ensuring the safety of the driver and others around them.
After successfully getting the permit, the next step would be taking courses with an instructor. It may seem time consuming, but it is the only way to get a driver’s license while under the age of eighteen. The courses can take up to two months, depending on the speed at which one chooses to take them. Junior Mia To expressed, “I loved taking the classes. While it was a little nerve wrecking, I certainly don’t regret the skills I learned.” To explain how she took the classes over summer to avoid conflict with school studies. Many others decide to take these courses online as well to fit complex schedules of school and extracurriculars. With this, they have an opportunity to study for a driver’s license and still maintain good grades.
After completing the required courses, having a permit, and completing at least six hours of practice time behind a wheel with an adult, students are now allowed to drive with an instructor, and test for their very own license. This can be intimidating, being judged for every wrong turn, lack of usage of blinkers, et cetera, but it is best to stay calm, giving the impression that one is confident. Martin said, “confidence is key.” If one has put in the work to study and prepare, there should be no reason to feel nervous after all.
Although there are many steps to achieving the goal of driving, it should not hold anyone back. These guidelines are made to ensure safety for everyone on the road, which is top priority. And it is okay if it takes two tries or four, there is no need to rush. Everyone learns at a different pace, but do keep the speed limit in mind.