License-Less Lives

One’s sixteenth birthday means one’s permit.  One’s permit means a step closer to one’s license.  One’s license means freedom.  But, for some juniors and seniors, this freedom requires more work than they have time for.

Between hours of standardized test prep classes and the homework that goes along with these classes, actual homework for school and after-school activities, some upperclassmen that are eligible for receiving their license have yet to do so.

For Jill Rappaport ’13, receiving her license is not a priority at the moment.  With ten plus hours of dance each week, her junior year workload and other “random events,” Rappaport has not been able to even start drivers education.

Rappaport was eligible for receiving her license in Jan. of this year.  At first, it didn’t bother her that she did not have it, however, now that people who are younger than her are getting their licenses, she is slightly bothered.  She is entirely aware that having a license gives one lots of liberties.

“I can’t just get up and go meet friends like most other juniors.”

When Rappaport gets around to taking her drivers education course, she is accepting of the fact that there will be sophomores in her class.  “It won’t bother me.  It will just remind me that while I am sitting in drivers education, all of my friends can be driving around doing whatever they want.”

Sam Jones ’13 is in the same boat as Rappaport.  Jones thought that she could finish all of her drivers education requirements in one month.  She later realized that it would take her closer to three months to complete the course.

Being born in Sept., Jones is relatively young compared to the rest of her grade and is used to being “last” on things.

However, Jones hates that she doesn’t have her license.  “I feel bad having to ask my parents and friends to pick me up and drop me off everywhere.  Just the idea of having the freedom to go where I want when I want is amazing,” Jones said.  “I know I will feel much more independent when I get my license.”

While it is not entirely uncommon for juniors to be “license-less,” most seniors have already gotten their licenses.  Anna Gerla ’12 is an exception to this case.

One of the reasons that Gerla is without a license is because she is scared.  “I don’t like knowing that if I was driving and wasn’t paying attention or did something wrong, I could harm myself or someone else.”

Nonetheless, Gerla doesn’t seem to be bothered by the fact that she is unable to drive by herself because she “doesn’t know what life is like without it.”

But, while being without a license may not bother Gerla, at times it bothers her parents.  “I’m pretty sure there isn’t one conversation with my dad that doesn’t involve him asking when I plan on getting my license,” Gerla said.  Gerla’s mother doesn’t seem to care as much, but still questions Gerla every once in a while.

Gerla is very thankful for her generous friends and said, “I don’t know how I would get around without them.”

In order to obtain a license in Connecticut with addition to a drivers education course, you must be sixteen years and four months old.  Abby Fernandez ’14 is a sophomore and has already gotten her license.

“It’s really nice to be able to be productive and not have to rely on your parents to get around,” Fernandez said.

Fernandez chose to get her permit as close to her birthday as possible in order to obtain her license in the shortest amount of time possible.

Fernandez is excited to be able to drive around wherever she chooses in the summertime.

It is clear that some people take advantage of being able to obtain their license and others do not. A license means no more waiting for parents to drive you to a friends house and no more getting yelled at by them for not stopping completely a stop sign.  Nonetheless, along with a license comes responsibility and some upperclassmen do not feel ready for this responsibility.

Other students have commitments that take up too much of their free time.  “I am not sure that even the greatest amount of motivation to get my license will ever cause me to risk my grades or for me to miss dance.  Those two things are just way too important to me,” Rappaport said.  “I can see the finish line of my busy junior year and I hope that when I reach the end, I can drive around and relax during my summer.”