Yellow light means wait

Alice Lee

Red lights, stop signs

I still see your face in the white cars, front yards

Can’t drive past the places we used to go to

These lyrics from Olivia Rodrigo’s new hit single, “Drivers License,” which currently ranks No. 1 on the Billboard Chart as of the second week of February 2020, reminds me of my current decision to wait to obtain my permit and driver’s license.

Unlike the American notion of teenagers celebrating their legal right to start going behind the wheel when they turn 16, I’ve decided to push it back until all my college applications are submitted, when I’m 18.

During a mundane car ride home from Target last October, my younger brother — a freshman at Sunny Hills — asked my mom, “Can Alice get her driver’s license yet? Her sweet 16th birthday is tomorrow.”

“No,” replied my mom sternly.

“But why?” retorted my brother. “Think about it, Mom, you won’t need to drive me to practice or to get food. Alice can do it instead if she gets her license.”

“She is not allowed to get her license because she needs to prioritize her SAT score, her college application and the five Advanced Placement tests in May,” my mom explained.

At first, her unreasonable argument frustrated me because she only thought about my academics above everything else. I became annoyed at my mom’s thought of my gaining a driver’s license — a significant life experience — being less important than my academic success.

Having a driver’s license and my own car meant that I could drive to friend hangouts, pick up friends and go on late drives — all without permission, since I won’t have a curfew after 18.

Just thinking about doing all these activities and gaining freedom felt sweet and tempting; however, after a couple hours of mulling over my mom’s points, I agreed with my mom about the need to prioritize my academics.

While obtaining my license can be done at any age after 16, writing college applications and preparing for my AP exams and the SAT will most likely raise my chances of getting into my dream school, Boston College, located in bustling Chestnut Hill, Mass., with other colleges near.

Although a college education doesn’t guarantee success, studying at a higher institution of learning increases the chances dramatically.

On average, a college graduate with a bachelor’s degree will earn roughly 66% more than someone with only a high school diploma,” learningmind.com said.

Thus, in the long run, studying for the driver’s license test has been pushed back for my academic and future career success.

In the future, when I eventually earn my license, I’ll start small with my first car, such as my dad’s current vehicle, a 2021 Toyota Camry.

But 15 years later, I hope to save enough money from the successful career I would have attained to purchase my first electric car — the latest version of the Tesla Model X.

Why spend nearly a six-digit dollar figure on a car? The falcon wings!

They would symbolize my ultimate freedom from my mom’s conservative principles while at the same time acknowledging the value of her wisdom. Because true motorists wait instead of rushing to go behind the wheel and possibly tarnishing one’s driving record with an accident.