Driving to School for the First Time: As Told by Fourth Quarter Junior

Eliza Yass, Web Opinions Editor

It is June 3, 2013, and I, Eliza Yass, am FINALLY driving to school all by myself.

I have an October birthday and a procrastination problem so, due to a combination of these two things, I received my license on May 28. After years of asking friends for rides and parents screaming, “LOVE YOU ANGEL!” out the car door as I walked into the building, the feeling of receiving my license was pure joy.

But once this day came, the day I could drive to school on my own, with the feeling of absolute freedom came a little twinge of nervousness.  My hyperactive brain took over and suddenly I was picturing all of the awful things that could happen.

What if I hit the crossing guard?
What if I hit my teacher’s car while trying to park?

What if I get a ticket?

The morning of my faithful drive, the voices of my Driver’s Ed. teacher, road hours instructor, dad, mom and DMV officer ring in my ears. Suddenly, I can’t remember what a blinker is and which foot is the brake and which the gas. I start breathing heavily. I feel my hands going cold.

But then I realize that I am still parked in my driveway. The key isn’t even in the ignition.

And I relax.

I take a deep breath and make my way to school. I stay at least three mph under every speed limit and come to a full stop at every stop sign. With every intersection, I grow a little less nervous and more confident.

I make it to school at 7:20. This is the moment of truth: parking.

The biggest thing the license instructor told me was that I need to practice parking. Yes, he passed me, but, he said, if the test were on parking, I would be a license-less girl.

Ouch.

I try and forget his feisty comment and pull into a spot, with no cars on either side.

Overshoot.

Back up.

Pull in.

I make it in the spot with a nice eight inches on either side of me.

I feel like I’ve just finished a marathon. I pump my arms in the air (after putting the car in park, of course) and do a victory dance in my seat. I have won the shining golden trophy that is freedom. I am no longer confined to the schedules of my family and friends. Although very sweet, I, and the entire Staples cafeteria, will not have to hear one more “love you Angel!” If I feel like being extra early one day, I can. Or if I feel like being tardy one day, I can. This angel is now a fiend of the roads.

I am a changed girl.