Unlicensed to drive; how I learned It’s worth starting driver’s ed early


Art by assistant graphics editor Karen Lee.

I am currently 16 years old and will be turning 17 by March 27, and I have no driving experience whatsoever — no learner’s permit or driver’s license.


I have recently noticed many of my same-age peers finishing their driver’s education requirement and working toward earning or already obtaining their license to drive, and I thought to myself, Driving would be nice.

Fortunately, this is one issue that my parents haven’t pushed me toward getting accomplished; they just said it was my choice, and I could start whenever I wanted. I am grateful that they said little about this situation because this opportunity gave me a sense of independence by making choices for myself.

As I am the oldest of my two sisters, my parents could have dubiously planned and forced me to get started with driver’s ed online classes a year ago before I turned 16 so I can help Mom and Dad chauffeur my sisters around once I got my license on my 16th birthday.

Until now, I never prioritized being able to drive because my parents were able to take me to wherever I needed to go. Also, since my parents have an active role at church on Sundays, they were more than willing to pay an Uber driver to take me and my sisters home.

So eventually, I realized that having a driver’s license is very convenient because I wouldn’t have to depend on my parents or Uber anymore. That epiphany originated In January when I found out that a couple of my friends were getting their license.

I wasn’t jealous, but that bit of news did cause me to regret not starting sooner when I was 15 and a half years old.

Nevertheless, because of schoolwork and extracurricular activities, I just never had the time to start driver’s ed. My main priority right now as a student is school, so keeping my grades up and obtaining a desirable score on the SAT is more important than getting my license.

Moreover, I don’t want multiple tasks to overlap with one another, so I should have either started my driver’s ed before studying for the SAT or begin after taking the SAT.

When I asked my friends about some benefits in getting their license early, they said they had more freedom and could leave the house whenever they wanted to.

So, I plan to start my driver’s ed in the summer. I will also ask my friends who can legally drive for tips and recommendations on which online driver’s ed program and driving school are the best to enroll in.

Some examples of tips could be general, behind-the-wheel pointers and how to deal with being nervous during my first experience steering that vehicle on the road.

Hopefully, I can get my driver’s license before the end of my senior year … unless I have to take another SAT exam.