I Passed my Driving Test!!

Hello,

I'm beaming from ear to ear as I write this post.. yesterday I passed my driving test!

Sorry for the Insta-quality pic!

For a lot of people this is just a standard milestone in life. Exams, prom, driving lessons, pass your test, get a car, go to uni/college or into a job. It just seems to be the natural order of things. Most people I know started learning to drive the same week they turned 17, and usually after a few months had passed. No dramas, no difficulties. I watched countless people around me in sixth form pass and nobody ever seemed to mention learning to drive being difficult or frustrating! At the time, this didn't bother me because I had no desire to be able to drive. I only really ever went to school and into town and the bus was fine for that. However I went through my first year at university and it became clear I needed to learn to drive. My life no longer revolved around the same small village with a cheap, reliable bus service.

I began lessons in June 2014, having around 3 hours a week split between two 90 minute lessons. My instructor was so lovely and patient, as I tend to struggle with memory problems and this led to him teaching me how to tackle an ungodly 5-lane roundabout at least 50 times (sorry Gary!). I stupidly assumed driving would be easy and also assumed I would be passed and on the road before I started back at uni in October. Boy was I wrong. I hated lessons, I would break out in a cold sweat when I saw Gary pull up outside my house, I would go into a blind panic whilst driving, and the whole experience was just an all round nightmare every time.

I would come home and cry, sobbing until my eyes stung and my head ached. I felt so stupid. So many people I knew could drive, they just learnt and picked it up fairly easily and quickly. It was such a horrible feeling. I could only compare it to being in the sea and everyone around you is swimming to safety and you're trying to join them, kicking your legs and trying so hard but getting nowhere. I know that might sound slightly dramatic but I've worked myself into some serious states over this whole thing!

All I can advise you to do if you're feeling the same as I did, is stick at it. The disappointment of giving in will be so much worse than the struggle to get to where you want to be! The feeling when you hear those words 'I'm pleased to tell you that you've passed your driving test today' is AMAZING. I haven't forgotten the stress and tears and anger it took me to get here, but I'm so proud I stuck at it even though I wanted nothing more than to give up.

I've written a few little tips for your driving test below, and if you're reading this before a test GOOD LUCK!! You can do this.

  • Ask your instructor to take you out for an hour (or longer) before the test. I used my hour to practice parallel park over and over (at least 20 times!) because it was my weakest manoeuvre and it turned out to be a great move as I was given it on my test.
  • Tell the least amount of people possible. I know there's no need to be ashamed of failing (53% of people fail their first test) but having to talk about failing for weeks afterwards as you gradually see those people and they ask how it went would probably be quite awful. I only told my Dad and my best friend and the fact that hardly anyone knew meant I didn't feel the added pressure of people waiting for the result!
  • The best tip of all: ACT! You're only in the car for 40 minutes and you're only actually driving for around 30 minutes of that. Just act as if you know what you're doing. Pretend you're calm and you actually will be! You might be reading this like 'act? I'm not an extra on Coronation Street!' but you act all the time if you really think about it! If you can act interested when an older relative starts telling you the same story for the third time in a row, you can definitely act like you've got it together on a driving test, haha!
Believe me, if I can pass the test with 4 minors with my non-existent parking abilities and fear of roundabouts, you definitely can! If you want someone to talk to about your driving lessons or test then please just e-mail me.



XO
Hunter

P.S. I'm SO sorry for how long this post turned out to be. I searched and searched for advice or help on forums and blogs when I was struggling and couldn't seem to find anything so I wanted to put something like this post out there in the hope it will be found and give people in a similar situation some comfort. And also if you actually managed to read this far, you get serious points for patience. Thank you!

4 comments

  1. How have I just seen this post? Well done you for passing and more importantly for not giving up!

    I can relate to this all too much as I was the exact same when learning. I still despise those lucky buggers who picked it up so easy, I definitely wasn't a natural haha. I drive to work every day now and I still struggle sometimes with my nerves but I'm getting there. I no longer dread being behind the wheel which is something :) xxx

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  2. Heya, I don't know you but I can seriously relate to the nerves. I feel sick to the stomach when my. Instructor pulls up. I left learning to drive a little late in life I guess, I'm now 30 and I have my test this Saturday at 8am. I feel physically sick at the thought of doing this. Parallel parking is my weakest manoevre and its going to be my luck that I end up getting this one. I have never experienced nerves like this in all my life. What was your examiner like? Are they quite relaxed and down to earth? Did you feel like the test went quickly? Reading your blog has made me feel better knowing I ain't the only one who gets nervous and detests learning lol :-) xx

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  3. Why am I not surprised you felt exactly the same as me!? Haha, I'm super jealous of everyone who picks it up easily too! It blows my mind how people manage to pick it up in only a few months. I'm hoping to go out on my own a few times soon, just to a shop a couple of villages over to buy sweets or something- nothing too far or difficult haha!


    XOXO

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  4. Hello Vicky,


    I'm so pleased reading this post made you feel better, it's the main reason I wanted something like this online so people who feel/felt the same as me could relate and know it's okay to feel that way. Do you want to e-mail me at paisleyandstripes@gmail.com and we can chat more? I don't always see replies or remember to check on comments and I wouldn't want to miss yours :-)


    XOXO

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Thank you for reading Paisley & Stripes - I will reply to all comments and check out your blogs! XOXO