I passed my driving test last Monday, and like the title suggests it took me 3 times to do it. Does that make me a bad driver? or does it indicate that I can’t drive at all (did you see what I did there? Indicate.. Haha car joke.) Anyway the answer to those questions is no, it definitely does not make me a bad driver, and if you too take multiple times to pass it simply does not make you a bad driver either. I wanted to write this post to discuss my experience with learning to drive and the actual test, to tell you that it is alright to take your time at it & even if you fail once or twice to not give up, you will get it in the end.
Firstly I started learning to drive in November of 2016, at this time I was 19, yes I did put it off for 2 years. I was living in a place where public transport was easily accessed & I just didn’t see the point in me needing to drive but when my family decided to move to the countryside, I felt like I had to learn then. I bit the bullet and actually started to learn during my gap year! I had a pretty stressful and hectic year in 2016 so I didn’t want to jump into university life after all I went through- I told my parents I was taking a gap year to learn and grow as myself; but that can wait for another post. Learning to drive was a big part of that gap year & although there were times when I thought I would never pass; my driving instructor never gave up on me & here I am today; finally a driver.
Being new to the area; it took me a while to understand the roads, along with everything else relating to driving because I did know absolutely nothing about cars or even how to start one. So I was really starting with nothing & although I was nervous about being trusted on the road in a vehicle, I soon learnt that it was probably not a good idea to be so nervous about being behind the wheel. You got to trust your driving and of course the person who is being patient trying to teach you the ropes, my driving instructor was like a saint being patient with me for the whole 8 months. From November through to April I was taking it easy with lessons and not really having a deadline except for of course passing before I go to university in September. Then one day my instructor says she had a deadline for me & that we would be ready for it, that deadline was the 19th of June- and of course you know that deadline was a fail. I failed on that occasion due to not being able to slow down quick enough when a car drove out onto my side of the road forcing oncoming traffic to slow down & let me swerve pass that car- which I knew when it happened I had failed and it kind of threw me off.
But I wasn’t going to give up, my instructor went back into the test office and booked me in for another test date. This time I was determined to pass the test. So 3 weeks later the test date arrived and for some reason I was more nervous than ever before, maybe it was because I didn’t want to fail again. Getting back in the car with another stranger who is sitting there judging me on every little thing I do- I’m sure anyone would feel nervous about the situation, especially when that someone suffers with anxiety, it makes everything 10 times harder. I failed again and it was caused by those anxious feelings- this time I said I wasn’t going to try again because every time a little thing goes wrong it causes me to fail. I felt like I was being shown a sign that I wasn’t meant to drive or even just not meant to pass the test. My instructor said she wasn’t going to let me give up on myself, she had the faith in me that I lost after that second time failing.
If she didn’t have that faith in my abilities I wouldn’t be sat here today writing this, I passed my driving test on the 31st July all thanks to that woman who taught me for the last 8 months. As cliché as it sounds I wouldn’t have done it without her, but it is completely true & I thank her so much for everything! If you are in the Armagh / Newry areas you should definitely contact Beverley Powell on Facebook, she is an amazing driving instructor.
My last message for today is if you are like me and have failed your test multiple times, to not give up on yourself have faith and trust that you can actually do it, if someone who has been driving for years thinks your ready, then heck you are ready! Believe in yourself and you will do it! And this goes for anything in your life, never give up.