Getting one’s driver’s license has long been treated as a huge rite of passage for 16-year-olds across America. It represents freedom and the dawn of adulthood and always comes equipped with fantasies of late-night joyrides and blasting the radio at top volume. What I’m about to say then is not that the dream is dead, but that maybe it has lost some of its luster.
I used to think it was just me who was slacking and disinterested in getting her license — a feat I managed to put off for more than four years — but I hear of this indifference frequently now, which begs of us the question: Why? How did driving suddenly lose its appeal?
Well, where to begin.
First, those teenage dreams of driving with the top down screaming along to “Don’t Stop Believin’” became obsolete ever since Glee ruined Journey and we all remembered that convertibles always end in sunburns.
With the incessant media out there about cutthroat gas prices, paired with the always-escalating information circulating about our impending environmental doom, having a car seems not only like a totally unnecessary financial burden, but maybe even borderline irresponsible.
These are the excuses I hid behind — and they’re true, valid excuses — but for the most part I was just unwilling to shoulder that responsibility, and was lucky enough to be allowed to coast off of the kindness of my family and friends.
But alas, as we grow up and move out of the homes in which our chauffeur-parents reside, the luxury of wheels become more of a necessity to navigate our worlds as they expand beyond the comfortable bounds of school, Chipotle, and the homes of our friends. After three years in college spent wiling away my Friday nights pleading unable to play Designated Driver I figure it’s finally time to give back.
So family, friends, roommates — this license is for you.
And to those of you putting off driving school: don't be the twenty-year-old taking your permit test for the fourth time. The high schoolers are judging you.