Driving. It sounds like such a cool idea. The excitement of getting to 17, when you can finally get your paws on the little green card that lets you hit the open road – accompanied by a fully licensed driver of course! (Sorry to pop your bubble there!). Dreams of you and your friends piling into your car and spinning around all the backroads that you never knew existed or spinning out to McDonald’s to get some nuggets, are something you can’t wait to come true. Are we on the right track? 

The next step is to actually have your learner’s license and take that leap to get in behind the wheel. Your heart starts to race, your palms get sweaty and you just feel like a ball of nervous energy. Did we nail that feeling? Do you know how we know? Because we were right in that same space that you are in right now! 

Driving can be scary, and that is so okay to feel that way. It’s a big step, so we want to share some tips we’ve learned along the way, so we can get you spinning around to all those beaches on your staycation this summer! 

1. It’s okay to be scared

Like we just said, you are allowed to feel scared. It’s completely okay and understandable. Our recommendation? Don’t bottle it up. Tell whoever is teaching you how you are feeling so they can take it easy with you and not push you too far out of your comfort zone – however far that may be. Remember, you set your boundaries

 2. Take it step by step

You will probably come to a stage where you just sit in the car, staring at the key in the ignition, and think, “how am I actually supposed to remember all of this?!”. Guess what? Driving is hard! You have only been doing it for a little while, so don’t beat yourself up. The person teaching you has at least 2 years of full license experience, so that’s how they know what they are at. Trust us though. There will come a day that you will sit in a car and you will realise you are doing all the things you need to do, without even realising it! 

3. Only push yourself when you are ready

Are all your friends pulling those L plates down and popping up those N plates, and you are there with not even a learner’s license? That’s okay! Like being good at singing, dancing, or art, people just have things that come naturally to them. In the same way, some people like to jump out of planes, some people just don’t find driving stressful or scary and just hop right in. 

Take all the time you need to give yourself that pep-talk. It might happen tomorrow, it might happen next year, but when you get the itch to get behind the wheel, you’ll never look back. 

4. Don’t give up 

Sorry to tell you this, but getting unbelievably frustrated at the car, the road and yourself is all part of the process! You might have had a bad day and made a little mistake, your Mam could be pumping that imaginary brake on her side of the car, there may be some tears -we know there was with many of us here at Shona, but today, it just got to you, it’s normal. Don’t beat yourself up about it! 

The best thing to do in this situation is to head home and do something different to de-stress. Have a bath, play with the dog, go scream at the cows next door or just dance until you are ready to drop. Just DO NOT give up. You have this! Remember that. Don’t let one bad day put you off from a lifetime of fun, freedom, and independence. 

5. Trust the process

Speaking of processes, driving can be a long one. You are doing it at your own pace. So what if Mary down the road passed her test within 9 months of having her license, she might just be a natural. Driving is a learned process where you use your mind and body in sync for so many different things. You will get there when you get there. And so what if you fail? We’ve all failed at something right? Dust yourself off, take a deep breath and try again. Life hasn’t changed and you haven’t changed. It’s a lesson learned and it will help you know what not to do in the future – not that we think you’ll fail but here at Shona, it took us a few goes to get there!  Plus, if it takes you a little longer than others, that freedom will feel so much better!  

So, all in all, driving is a process that you need to take at your own speed. Don’t be thinking or worrying about how others are doing, and just focus on yourself. At the end of the day, you want to feel safe in the car on your own, so you need to do this right! 

We hope we helped you out a little bit. If you have any tips on driving that you would like to share, please let us know x

P.S. Can you get us some nuggets when you are out spinning? Or even a McFlurry? We’re not picky! 

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