Most children dream, at one point or another, of driving. Some dream of getting behind the wheel of a big firetruck or racing around a track at 180 mph, while others see themselves roaming the streets of Westport in a bright pink buggy.
“[When I was younger] I wanted a pink bug with purple and yellow polka dots, and I wanted my license plate to be ‘bug,’” Lily Dane ’17 said.
Regardless of what those childhood fantasies may be, they cannot be fully realized until the age of 16. It is on that day, the day of their 16th birthday, that every teenager can go down to the dark and dreary DMV and attempt to obtain a permit.
“I didn’t study [for the permit test] the first time and I got a 19 out of 25 and failed, so that was not a fun experience,” Danny Jersey ’17 said.
The hardest part of the process for most comes after the permit test. That is when driver’s ed starts, and when students have to sit behind the wheel of a car and actually drive.
Dia Mahesh ’17 first learned to drive in the Sherwood Island parking lot, and did not find it that scary, but others find the entire experience horrifying.
“I was terrified when I started,” Jersey said. “I remember driving with my dad and gripping the wheel so tightly that my knuckles were white, looking at the speedometer and realizing that it read 25.”
The perks of driving are simple: students no longer need to wait for the school bus, and they have the opportunity to take trips to Dunkin’ Donuts or Starbucks every morning.
Claire Meehan ’17 calls herself a “coffee mule” as she has been forced to pick up coffee and tea for her friends before school since she got her license earlier this year.
However, there are still a few students, like Emily Schussheim ’17, who just are not that interested in getting a license.
“I waited a really long [time] until it finally occurred to me that I ought to get my driving going,” Sage Vouse ’15 said.
But these students miss out on the ultimate perk of driving according to Meehan.
That perk: “Infinitely more freedom!”