Author: Rhianna, 19
Which teenager are you?
I believe there are two distinct types of teenagers in Queensland. The ones who count down to the day they turn sixteen so they can race off to the Department of Transport to get their learners, and the ones who really couldn’t care less and get it when they feel like it.
My youngest brother who is fifteen and ten months has been and is still counting down the days until he turns sixteen, and has already worked out his plan of attack to head in and sit his test after he finishes school. I don’t know where he gets that excitement for driving from as both my sister and I fell into the ‘get it whenever’ category. But I can tell you I am very glad I have my license now as it was one of the last steps in which I needed to take to be an independent adult.
This got me thinking about how life changes for teenagers once they get their license and gain their independence on the road. Getting your license no matter what age is an exciting time, but more so for teenagers. This doesn’t only signify a parent-free “Maccas run” with your mates, which has to be one of the phrases that every adolescent who has their license hears. In fact, it signifies a greater sense of independence and achievement as gone are the days of asking mum, dad, siblings or relatives for a lift to get to places – but hello to paying for petrol, registration, and insurance. It is usually one of the first aspects in which seventeen-year-olds get a taste of what being an adult is like.
There’s no kidding that this is also an exciting but scary stage in a parent’s life as the concept of letting your son/daughter onto the road by themselves can be very daunting. And they have every reason to be worried as young adults ranging from 17-24 make up 30% of the crash toll on the roads. It also means teenagers have the ability to drive wherever, whenever and with whoever, and that alone has the power to make any parent nervous. Looking back on how I had to travel around prior to having my license I honestly don’t know how I did it. All that running to and from just to catch buses and trains multiple times a day, only to get up and do it all over again, day in day out.
Driving has given me the freedom to relax knowing that I can get from A to B with minimal hassle and is 97% stress-free. So no matter what age you get your license at – there is no rush. Whether you’re an eager beaver or a cruisey koala you will still get the same feeling of independence and accomplishment when you take your first drive alone.