Seat belt on and raring to go! I’ve just passed my driving test but I had tough time reaching my destination.
This post is a little different and is part of my section, ‘turning points’, where I try to provide a new perspective. I wanted to share my experience of learning to drive and to remind others never to give up!
On my 17th birthday, I had my first driving lesson. I was so excited to finally be old enough to drive and to take lessons at the same time as all of my friends.
However… I did not have the best of starts to learning! My first instructor made me feel really nervous and hugely knocked my confidence. I soon realised that I had to change instructors. My friend recommended his instructor to me, when I changed she made lessons enjoyable, was incredibly patient and supportive, just what I needed.
It was unfortunate that she fell ill and had to take some time out of teaching. This meant I had to change instructors again. I stuck with my third instructor for quite a while and did some tests with her but each time I failed it was a real knock- back. I felt like I would never see the day that I pass my test.
Different instructors, different cars and juggling lessons in-between uni all added to the pressure. Yet the fact that I was only getting a few minors on my tests reassured me. I knew that I could drive well and a lot of it was down to nerves on the day. This kept me going.
My friends and class mates started pulling up in the college car park with their shiny new cars and were suddenly chauffeuring me around whenever we met up. Everyone around me was passing, posting their certificates on Instagram but I felt so deflated. I knew I had to keep going. People constantly asked “haven’t you passed yet?” but I just had to put this aside and focus on me.
At the end of the day safety is the most important thing. I knew that I would only pass if I could show that I was a safe driver.
When my second instructor returned back to teaching I initially thought I should stick with the instructor I currently had, but I then went back to her and I am so so glad that I did. She has a really good track record of achieving great passes.
So test day came around and it was a nice summers day. I had an hour lesson before and I was making some mistakes which did worry me. Despite this my instructor remained confident in my ability. This was the first test I took with my second instructor and for the first time I really believed that I could do this. During my test, I was nervous but I tried to stay calm and take things slowly. This really helped me to think more clearly.
Before I knew it, I pulled up at the test centre and was sat ready to be told I had failed again but instead my examiner turned to me and said “I’m pleased to tell you that you have passed” and I just gasped.
When you go through such a difficult journey, it only makes you want to achieve your goal more and more and it means so much when you finally do. Looking back at the whole experience from this perspective has made me realise that it does not matter how many times you try. The important thing is to believe and to keep going because it WILL happen! Whilst it did take me a little longer I got there in the end. Secondly, as I have had more lessons I have built up my experience driving in many different areas and conditions, better preparing me for the future.
I have faced many knock-backs and challenges but its how we pick ourselves and move forwards that counts. Within reason, I truly believe that everything happens for a reason and guess what I finally did it!!