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The Student News Site of Fresno Christian High School

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Driver's training evokes sense of nostalgia, maturity

Driving: a day-to-day occurrence for any average adult, but a huge step toward independence and responsibility for teenagers. Already years into the world, parents on the road make sitting behind the wheel simple, but both parents and teens fear the leap of faith that comes with driving.

For me, driving always seemed so far away, like a distant goal that someday would reach the present. When I turned 15, six months seemed like forever, but in no time it was August and I was sitting in driver’s education at Drive America.

This entailed four days, comprised of 25 hours of endless laws and rules that I had to memorize. Though it was boring, I learned many things that I did not know including the top ten reasons people fail the driver’s test.

One week after these dreaded classes, I headed to one of the most loathed places in Fresno: the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). After one hour of not-so-patiently waiting in lines, I was handed my permit test by a short women behind a tall desk. I moved as if I was a robot, methodically filling in boxes.

After holding my breath through corrections and the relief of only missing four problems, I headed home with permit in hand. Now I just had to wait for driver’s training.

He rang my doorbell, dressed in short-shorts, sandals with socks, a hideous Hawaiian shirt, a cowboy hat and a huge, burly beard. I did not know what to think of my driving instructor. Is he mean? Will he be crazy like the stories I’ve heard?

He introduced himself as Guy and seemed nice, as if he had done it his entire life — which I later found that out he has. With no driving experience besides ten minutes in a parking lot, I felt a knot in the pit of my stomach. Not knowing how much I trusted myself behind the wheel, I tried to stay calm and not panic.

Slowly, I began to drive and two hours later realized that it wasn’t that bad. I did not die, nor did I crash. It went by quickly, and two hours felt more like 30 minutes.

I discovered that driving made me extremely tired, as concentrating on all the different aspects of the road left me mentally drained. But this was a huge step in life, one of those days that you remember to tell as a story to your kids.

My parents are still in the transition of adjusting to now two teenagers driving — this is including my brother Zed Fries, ’12. Talk about driving sends them into a speil of how much I’ve grown up and how fast time goes by.

Opinions of driving vary among my friends; some are excited while others don’t care. Personally, I’m ready to drive, as it will give me one more iota of independence.

Sitting behind that wheel, as scared as I was, triggered some feelings of sentimentality. I started to recall memories of sitting in the backseat, fighting over the middle seat, blowing on red lights to turn green and singing along to Kidz Bop.

What’s the difference between then and now? What makes me closer to adulthood then I was before? Time, experience and circumstance all added to the things I’ve learned in life so far.

People make a difference; I think about all the people I’ve met. The ones who taught me how to drive: my mom, my dad, Guy and friends. Although I can apply this discovery to my driving experience, it applies to the rest of my life as well.

No matter how smart I am, the credit goes to the people who have taught me. Those who influenced my thinking stood as living examples for me and showed me how to live life.

Driving, a small but important aspect of life, has taught me more than just the rules of the road. Upon the reflection of growing up I realized just how important and influential those around me are. To think that my knowledge of life depends on the people in it makes me grateful for every person in my life.

For more columns, read the Aug. 18 article, Grasping the difference between innocence and maturity.

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