Hello, my name is Brogan Lawrence and I’m a learner driver. But hopefully not for much longer.
I recently turned 18, and this year I’m determined to pass my driving test. I work part time at John Lewis and so always have to get a trundling bus via villages to get to work (a boring 40-minute journey) or have my mum or dad take me and pick me up. The dad taxi gets a bigger hit than the mum taxi - and I have therefore decided that I must recommence the #MustPassMyTest mission - so I don’t have to waste money on buses and taxis. And also rely less on my parents. I need them for other things!
I actually have already started learning to drive - last year for my 17th birthday I received 10 hours worth of lessons which I whizzed through last summer. After the 10 hours had finished it was now up to me to start paying for them. This was a slightly awkward scenario - because I had other things I needed to spend my money on. FIFA points... and Leicester City tickets (don’t judge me)
I made the decision that I wasn’t ready to pay for my lessons at the time, so a bit like I’m thinking of doing with my Uni place, I deferred them. Anyway, I had A levels to revise for, so maybe now wasn’t the time to learn.
Recently though, many people have started urging me to get learning again, put the PS4 console down and get going – and yes, by many people I actually mean, my dad. I think he may be fed up of being my personal taxi service!
I’m hoping the fact I have 10 hours of lessons already under my belt, I will remember at least some of it, so won’t be starting again from scratch. For instance, which side of the car I sit in, and what those three pedals in the footwell are supposed to do. I am looking forward to being able to drive my own car and getting my driving license. But I’m not going to lie – I know it won’t be easy. Because - and here’s the confession bit - driving doesn’t come naturally to me. I’m pretty useless actually. Riding a bike is so much easier – but isn’t ideal for long journeys.
In my experience during those first 10 hours of my lessons last year, many of my floors were easily visible. For example, I hadn’t really done any prior research into driving a car, so it was all very new to me and perhaps a bit daunting and overwhelming. Secondly, I felt as if, particularly when starting the car, there was a lot going on and I just wasn’t used to doing multiple things at once. I struggled with this and often got snapped at by the instructor, which isn’t great for the old confidence!. The sheer volume of information he was pounding at me was all a bit too much. Do this. Don’t do that. Blah blah blah. He was a nice fellow, but I couldn’t always process his words, leaving us both a little frustrated.
I made so many mistakes when first behind the wheel. For example, I stalled the car three times in lesson one. But, while pushing the patience levels of my instructor, I gradually got a bit better. Or perhaps I should say a bit safer.
The hardest thing for me when first driving was steering. It’s a big round wheel and I thought it would be like driving a dodgem at the funfair. It isn’t. It’s harder. And more dangerous. I also found it hard to do all the activities when first starting the car (finding the biting point etc…) This is because you have to do multiple things at once. I was quite good at changing gear when moving, while continuing straight ahead. I really enjoyed going fast - my instructor thought we were going a bit too fast at times!
Anyway, I’m about to book another set of lessons and this time I plan to keep going until I’m able to put in for my test. My hunger for it is back. I just hope that my focus and concentration levels are better - and my FIFA and Leicester City thoughts can be blocked out till the lesson ends and I’ve passed my test.