How to Survive Your Driving Lessons
Ah, the joys of driving. Think of marathon drive-thrus, messy first dates, semi-flat tires, and overheating (sauna-style). But before you experience all that, you need to learn how to drive first. And if you're thinking of taking the driving school route, then you should make sure to keep these things in mind before you get started:
1. Ask yourself if you're really ready.
Some student drivers take lessons because they're pressured by their parents and friends to do it. What's worse, though, is if you're the one who's pressuring yourself despite knowing you're not ready yet.
This is a big mistake. Because oftentimes, pressuring yourself to learn when you don't really feel up to it will cause you to make more errors when driving. Blame it on ninja instincts, Sigmund Freud, or hyper nerves, but making these mistakes are far more traumatic for someone who isn't even ready to begin with. Once this happens, then it can be a psychological blow on your self-esteem and confidence.
2. Beware of the red flags.
You don't need to have killer intuition to know if something's wrong. If you find yourself in these situations, then proceed very carefully.
- Driving schools that guarantee you'll pass your driving test in one try
- Driving instructors who scold you or get annoyed easily when you make an error
- Trainers who use their phones to talk or text while giving out their lessons
- Teachers who sleep or carry out their lessons without so much as a correction (unless you're already a master driver to the highest order of the Phoenix--or Jedi)
3. Review the basics.
We're not expecting you to enumerate all the parts of a vehicle here (we honestly don't know all of them as well), but at least be aware of the driving basics before you head out to battle. Things like knowing which pedals to use, or what those switch(es) near the steering wheel are for, and even common road or traffic signs can go a long way, especially when you only have limited time set by your driving school.
4. Rest before the training.
Don't be a zombie driver; make sure you're well-rested before the lesson. Learning to drive, especially if it's your first time, can take a toll on your mind and body. It can even be stressful, especially if it's the first time you're doing your actual driving outside. Your focus and concentration will really be tested here, since you will have to be aware of so many factors (like pedestrians, blind pots, intersections, potholes, etc.) while you're maneuvering a strange vehicle--and taking orders from a stranger.
5. Practice, practice, practice....and more practice.
Practice what you've learned in the driving school as soon as possible. The reason for this is the same as studying and memorizing a lesson--you read the book first, and then recall what you've learned by explaining it in your own words. By practicing what you've learned earlier, you're almost imprinting this knowledge inside your busy little brain, making it easier to recall and apply the skill again.
Doing these five things will not guarantee you'd get your driver's license on your first try; at the very least, it will make your time with your driving school insightful, satisfying--and perhaps--even fun and enjoyable as well. And who knows? You might end up finishing all those marathon drive-thrus by lunch after all.