Learning to drive- where I’m at now

Two years ago I wrote a blog titled “my (disastrous) first driving lesson” and it became my most viewed post.

Two years later I’m still doing driving lessons (*laughs nervously*).

But before you think that I’ve just been lazy, let me explain.

Here in Ireland, before doing your driving test you’re required to do twelve supervised stamped lessons. This can be pretty expensive since it’s usually 30 euro per lesson. Summertime is usually the best time for me to fit lessons in, but since everyone else usually has the same mindset, instructors can often be fully booked and you might have to wait four weeks before you can do your next lesson.

The first summer I managed to do five lessons and by the end of the following summer I was able to do four more. Pushing myself since the start of the year (and putting my money to the side!) I got around to doing two more. With only one more lesson to do I’m happy to see that there’s some improvement in my driving since my very first lesson.

If you read my previous blog on this crazy journey, you’ll see that my first lesson didn’t go very smoothly. After using that driver instructor (I think I called him ‘Bob’ for the blog- I know, my originality shocks me sometimes) for my first summer, I knew that I needed a change. We all learn in different ways, and ‘Bob’s’ method was harsh learning, praising when you got something right but scowling you if you messed up. I’m the type of person who is easily flustered and it takes me a long time to be confident in something new that I’m doing.

So I bid Bob farewell and found Tom*.

Tom has suited me perfectly. While I’m driving he manages to calm my nerves completely by just chatting away to me about mundane things (the weather, work, current affairs etc) and pausing every now and then to let me know which turn to take. He also makes an effort to praise me which helps my shaky confidence, his favourite line he likes to bestow me with is “you have lovely steering.”

What every girl wants to hear, am I right?

His chatter makes me forget my anxiety and I just get into the motion of driving, it also makes me more at ease to have someone chat away to me instead of sitting in stony silence while I feel like he’s judging my every move (*cough Bob cough*)

An instructor can make or break you, so finding the right instructor that suits you is so important.

Something I thought that would never happen is that I enjoy driving now. I feel proud of myself when I reach a new milestone; like recently I drove from my town to the next town over which is a about a forty minute car ride. I gave myself a pat on the back afterwards (my little inner voice jumping up and down and squealing ‘you did it!’)

Now pushing on into the summer I’m going to try and keep going with my driving and hopefully have my license before I’m 21 (?!)

How was your experience of learning to drive?

 

 

 

*his real name. I like Tom

My (disastrous) first driving lesson

Hey there!

Many blogs ago I chatted about how I was learning to drive, well last week I took my first official driving lesson.

SPOILER ALERT: it was a bit of a disaster

I thought instead of face palming at the memory of it, I would share the tale with you.

On the day I was quite nervous and didn’t know what to expect. My driving instructor was a formal middle-aged man, who wore a suit that was a bit tight around the waist band and who liked looking all business like while swiping his iPhone dramatically. We all know the kind. For the sake of the blog we’ll call him Bob.

Anyway, I was brought to a quiet estate to practise. We did the usual conversation filler topics and I suppose the first sign that this was going to go down hill,  was when he asked me what kind of car my parents drive. ‘Amm’ I said, ‘I’ll be honest with you and say I don’t know.’ Now the look her gave me was a mixture of amusement and bafflement, the kind of look you would give someone if they said they weren’t sure what colour the sky was. In an effort to try to redeem myself I blurted out what colour it was (massive face palm). Realizing what an idiot I sounded like I looked around the car we were in, ‘I suppose it’s around the same size as this, maybe a little bit bigger but not by much.’ By this stage I just became desperate to be able to give some worthwhile information, so I scanned the estate hoping to see any car that resembled my parents. No such luck. We all just gave up and the instructor just continued on with the lesson.

Now just in case you didn’t know, driving is scary. It’s so much different when you’re sitting in the driving seat and you have control of this big hunk of moving metal. For the lesson we basically drove around this estate, I was shaking like a leaf and I think the Bob overestimated how much I actually knew. We were five minutes into the lesson when he goes ‘now go into 2nd gear’

‘Huh’ I said turning to look at him in horror.

‘Eyes on the road!’

‘Oh right, sorry, but nope nope can’t do that, can’t do 2nd gear’ I said as we crawled along and cars passed me out left, right and centre .

I was also dreadful at braking. I did it, to be fair but every time I did, I flung us both forward. ‘Clutch and break slowly’, Bob wheezed every time, I was terrified I was going to give him a heart attack.

In fairness to Bob he wasn’t the worst teacher, but he kept throwing commands at me that left me in a flurry of panic. And when I get panicked I get upset (as us ole sensitive souls do), so half way through the lesson tears of frustration started falling down my face.

As if things couldn’t get worse.

Then I just got embarrassed which left me crying more until I was a snotty mess in the driver seat.

What makes me laugh when I think back, is that there was another learner driver doing the estate like myself, but going in the opposite direction. So when we passed them Bob saluted the teacher – obviously one of his driving instructor buddies. By this stage the tears were only welling up in my eyes, but my the time we had done a lap of the estate I was on a full-blown meltdown. So when we passed them again Bob gave another obligatory salute, but this time it was a quick awkward ‘please don’t think I’ve just traumatized this girl’ hand wave

*Sigh*

I say poor old Bob was happy to see the back of me.

Saying the lesson could have gone better is an understatement, but I suppose they can only get better right?

I hope this blog gave you a bit of a giggle and if you have any disaster driving lesson stories please feel free to share!

Bye for now

Rearranging Stars

X

Learning to Drive

Hey there!

So last week I passed my theory test (can I get a whoop whoop!) and now I’m finally on the road (unintentional pun) to learning how to drive.

A couple of months back I wasn’t really that bothered on learning. Ya ya in this day and age it’s kind of essential/ all my friends are learning/ my parents want me to, but the idea of driving kind of scares me. I’m being trusted to drive a vehicle…like holy crap what if I kill someone?

It’s only after doing my theory test last week that I’ve gotten excited to learn and more importantly to gain more independence. No more persuading mom to drive me somewhere, hey I can do it!

Let me tell you though, if you want to learn to drive you need to be committed. Not for the long lessons behind the wheel, but for how expensive it is! I don’t know about other countries but learning to drive in Ireland isn’t cheap. So far I’ve paid over 100 euro and that’s even before I’ve sat behind the wheel. My theory test cost €45, a required eye test was €15, passport photos €6, and finally the learner permit was €35! For older people who want to gain that independence later on in life and never got a chance to learn before this, it can be very off-putting.

For the past week mom has been taking me for a few driving lessons around our estate. I still have a long way to go though- I need to take twelve official stamped driving lessons before I can sit my driving test. The big goal that I would love to achieve is to be able to drive by the end of this year!

The question I’m going to leave for you guys is: do you have any funny driving related stories? Or if you can’t drive have you ever wanted to learn, if not then… why not! 🙂

Bye for now

Rearranging Stars

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