Learning to Drive

Yes, ladies and gentlemen. I am a fully grown adult woman at twenty-two years of age and I am only now just learning to drive. Naturally, I decided to share my own experiences of navigating this whole driving thing (pun intended) with you lovely folk. Whether you’re a fresh-faced teen who can’t wait to get behind the wheel (and away from Mummy and Daddy), or a more mature fine wine with dentures and free prescriptions who wants to get out and about, this post is for you.

Driving is surprisingly intuitive.

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My only driving experience prior to my first driving lesson consisted of Mario Kart and Grand Theft Auto. Driving in real life is somewhat different but being behind the wheel is such an innate ability within us. We instinctively spot hazards and know what to do to avoid them. Trust yourself and go for it. Look at it this way – if the most inept person you know can drive, you can too.

Manual or Auto?

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If this is a real dilemma for you, fear not – I spent a good amount of time considering the pros and cons of both too. If you’re hesitating out of fear of not being able to cope with the controls in a manual car, I’d personally advise you to go for manual lessons. If you find that you just can’t get the hang of it, you always have the option of switching to auto lessons later on. If not, you might find that you do just fine and clutch control feels like second nature. I chose manual because I wanted to be able to drive both and not be at a disadvantage in situations where it counts, eg. not being able to drive a friend to hospital because I can only drive an auto, or not being able to drive a hire car home if my auto car breaks down. At the very least, you’ve had a go at learning an important life skill and persisted with something you saw as a challenge from the beginning.

Driving lessons are expensive.

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I don’t know about you, but I’ve had to plan/set aside a budget for mine. If you have the time/money, I recommend doing two-hour lessons rather than one-hour lessons. You get so much more out of the lesson and you waste less time getting there and back/doing chit chat/warming up and cooling down.

Driving must be one of the most effective therapies out there for nerves/anxiety.

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When I say therapy, I mean something that forces you to confront and deal with your nerves in the moment or risk a life-changing accident. How’s that for pressure? All jokes aside, I’m one of those people with a lot of nervous energy. It doesn’t always come across when you meet me, but I second guess absolutely everything and will have conjured up all potential disasters before you’ve even finished your sentence. I get restless and create irrational problems in my head if I sit still for too long. You can imagine some of the worst-case scenarios my brain indulges in when it comes to driving (I also watch a lot of action films with car chase scenes). This is the exact reason driving is so good for me – it teaches me to handle my nervous energy whilst learning a practical skill.

Driving is fun.

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The first time I tried to play Grand Theft Auto, I was asked if I meant to drive into every vehicle/pedestrian in sight. Fortunately, I haven’t done that in real life driving yet. From what I have experienced so far, driving is fun. Sure, there are a few humps and bumps along the way but here’s nothing quite like getting to know your vehicle and learning what it can do for you with the slightest touch. As far as I’m concerned, if I can drive, anyone can.

Over to you – do you have any driving anecdotes or tips for new drivers? If you are considering learning, what’s stopping you? Put it in the comments below! You go girl.

– J

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Disclaimer: All images used in this post have been obtained from Pixabay under a Creative Commons License and edited on Canva by J, exclusively for thenellybean.com.

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