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Kimberley Dodge profile

Kimberley Dodge

September 3, 2018

Young driver stories 6 min read

Crazy road trips, beach-side barbeques, sizzling pool parties; all these exciting prospects that your summer bucket list promised. You were going to have the ideal summer, jam-packed full of adventures and hilarious memories. It was going to be like all those stereotypical, American teen movies, flickering images of amazing parties and summer romances… until you realise that September has crept up and all you’ve achieved all summer is watching every season of Gossip Girl on Netflix and clearing out your cupboards of all the Jaffa cakes.

Yes, that unfortunate time has arrived, and all too swiftly as per usual. Let’s admit, we could all do with another few weeks off to finish binge-watching The Real Housewives of Atlanta but alas, the new school term is approaching faster than juicy gossip spreads amongst the Housewives of Orange County.

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If you want peace…prepare for war

In order to survive the impact of being thrown back into the deep end of school, it is essential to be fully prepared. It is necessary to prep yourself both physically and mentally; it’s all well and good having highlighter pens in every single colour of the rainbow, but if your brains not ready to wake up at six in the morning ready to learn on that first day of school, you’ve got no chance of winning the war against the back to school blues.

Personally, as I’m going into my final year of A Levels, I’m ensuring that I am well prepared and equipped for this essential academic year. To hype myself up about going back to school, I like to go stationery shopping. Although this may sound like the past time of an OAP, I assure you that picking out funky patterned folders and pretty coloured pens is a great way to get yourself excited about waking up on that dreaded first day of term.

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All in all, it’s true what they say: failure to prepare is preparing to fail. Not being organised on your first day of school is not a good way to kick off the year. Starting the term positively will ensure smooth sailing through your newest academic endeavours.

The day-before-school jitters

Admittedly, I always get a little nervous before the start of a new school year. I’m not entirely sure why but, for me, the night before the first day is always filled with disturbed and uncomfortable sleep. I think I have been wired with an instinctive fear, ever since the trauma of my bus breaking down on my first day at Secondary School, the new annual term just gives me the heebie-jeebies. However, hopefully, this time around, my bundle of nerves will untangle themselves, as I no longer have to rely on a bus to ferry me to and from school! Knowing that I’ve got my own car to rely on has definitely taken out some of the stress of getting around, making heading into this new school year slightly less traumatic than before.

Regardless, knowing me, I’ll still get nervous about something absolutely ridiculous, like turning up with toothpaste round my mouth and remain in a state of fear.

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If you also find yourself getting jittery about the first day back, my advice would be to try and find activities that distract your mind from the thought of school. Personally, I like to dive into a good book, or return to our faithful friend Netflix with a cup of tea and choccy biscuit- you can’t go wrong with that!

New year, new me

Although it does get me a bit tense, starting a fresh school year means many things to get excited about. New people, new friends, new things to learn… I’m always eager to discover how the next academic year is going to play out.

As this is the first school year that I am heading in with my own car, I am extremely excited by the freedom this will offer me. I can now leave during breaktimes and free periods, without being restricted to the local area of the school. However, I’m not as thrilled about becoming the nominated McDonald’s taxi, but I’m hoping that some of my friends will begin to get their licenses, meaning they can smell out their cars with the odour of happy meals.

Having a car also opens up opportunities for me outside of school; I am no longer dependent on my parents or public transport to drive me to and from social events and activities. Late night shopping and midnight cinema trips are back on the cards, as I can go wherever I want, whenever I want (subject to the approval of my mother first, of course).

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Overall, despite feeling like you’ve had an unproductive summer, walking into the new academic year with a positive and well-prepared mindset will set you up for a more successful school term. It’s easy to get all worked up about the first day back, especially if you’re starting at a new school, but try to look past the horrifying homework tasks and chaotic coursework deadlines, to see the things to get excited about. Have a positive approach to the new year, as you’re more likely to enjoy yourself and establish great friendships and make awesome memories.

Oh, and make sure to make friends with someone with a car… that way you get a free taxi service and your car doesn’t have to be the one smelling of chicken nuggets all the time!

Kimberley Dodge profile

By Kimberley Dodge

'For me, driving means freedom. I passed my test a year ago and so I’ve been enjoying getting where I want, when I want. I’m now 18, so having my own car has given me a lot more independence: I no longer have to rely on the taxi of mum and dad!'  See more posts by Kimberley

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