Don’t stress getting license

By KAITLYN NEEL, Gazebo Staff Writer

“Welcome to the Year 3000, Not much has changed, but we live under water.”

Those were the first words I heard that morning.

Kaitlyn Neel

This dreaded song came on every morning at 6:30 a.m. Usually I would be pushing the snooze button a few more times, then getting out of bed to get ready for school.

But this day was different.

It was the first day the Department of Motor Vehicles was open after my Sweet 16th birthday. It was the day I would be taking the test for my driver’s license.

When I arrived at the Perry DMV, I was greeted by a older man with a bright smile. I was surprised by his kindness, for I have heard of many horror stories about the employees of the DMV.

He signed me in for my 9 a.m. appointment. Then I was off to counter No. 5, where I was greeted by yet another bright smile.

She got all of my information, then took the coveted driver’s licence photo I had worked so hard to look good for that morning. She then asked me to sit in the lobby and wait for the instructor.

That was when the nerves took over. My hands started to shake, and my mind shifted to everything that could go wrong.

Finally, the instructor entered the lobby with the young man who had just taken the driving test. I watched him tell his mom he had passed, but had only gotten a 78. In order to pass the test you need to make a 78, so his performance did not make me feel any better.

The instructor went behind the counter to do some final paperwork for the young man. I jumped up and walked over, ready to get it over with.

He walked to my car. When he asked me to get behind the steering wheel and roll down the window, I made my first mistake. In my nervousness, I had forgotten one needs to turn the car on to turn down the window. My next mistake was when he told me to make a left-turn signal. Without thinking, I stuck my arm straight out and made the hand signal for a left turn. He did not think it was as funny as I did.

After the “parts of the car” section, we moved into the parking and the driving sections. I grabbed the wheel firmly, and I was on my way. He first asked me to parallel park. I failed  both times he asked me to do it. I also was not able to back into a parking spot correctly.

However, I did manage to back up in a straight line and do a U-turn when he asked. After the parking, we turned onto the main road. I was tense from the parking I had just done. I drove for about a mile, when he asked me to turn into a neighborhood.

I started to relax, when we returned to the DMV. I took another parking test and completed it successfully. After I parked he shook my hand and congratulated me.

He said I made a 84, only losing points for the parking. I was ecstatic. The countdown was finally over, and I had my licence. We walked inside where we meet my mom, who was anxiously waiting for me to finish. She congratulated me, then we headed back to the counter. Here the lady printed out my brand new licence, and handed it to me.

This was a moment I will never forget. For anyone who is taking the test soon, my advice is not to get too nervous.

There are a lot of points to miss before you fail.

Kaitlyn Neel is a sophomore and a staff writer for The Gazebo.