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Newly Licensed and Ready to Go

Conor Drafz, Crown Writer and Photographer

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Driving is a life skill that most would call imperative. A large majority of people learn to drive within their teenage years. In Illinois, it is required for drivers under the age of 18, that they take a drivers ed course and have a certain number of driving hours before obtaining their license. At Marian Central, a large portion of students receives their driver’s license. Being an underage driver comes with multiple rules and limitations, and for beginning licensed drivers there is a rush of feelings that arise from going solo on the road.

Before the start of their independent driving, teen drivers take a driver’s ed course before obtaining a driver’s license, which is preceded by a permit. Many of the student drivers at Marian take a Top Driver course right here at the school. After multiple weeks of class, it is required that participants drive for a certain amount of classes with an instructor on the road. This has a few different routes, including eight hours of driving with an instructor or six hours of watching someone else take the wheel. Once the driving hours are completed, the only thing left to do is take the final test to retrieve a license at a minimum age of 16. The Top Driver program along with a diverse selection of other drivers ed courses prepare teens for what it will be like on the road and help students let go of their fears and anxieties while driving. “I was really scared to put my foot on the gas, but I just got used to everything,” says Catherine Pawlak (10). The first few moments may be fear-inducing, but with a decent number of classroom hours and vehicle experience, it is not too difficult to grab a hold on how to drive.

Following the required driving hours is the final to retrieve a license. A variety of students take the test, but not all of them pass. This can be extremely nerve-racking for the student driver. Grace Holian (10), who is ready to take the final driving test later says, “If I pass, I will be so excited to drive around with my friends.” Her readiness to pass the drivers test is similar to many others who are the same age as her. For those who do pass, they have the freedom to hit the road on their own. Driving solo brings about a feeling of freedom and independence. This means newly licensed drivers are no longer forced to follow requirements or be graded by instructors. This removes a great deal of pressure and allows a sense of individuality. “It’s fun to listen to music and do things on your own. It’s cool to take on your own responsibilities,” says Pawlak (10). This self-governing is exciting, however for quite a large portion of teen drivers, it may sometimes get out of hand. Some car crashes are brought about by teen drivers, due to lack of experience behind the wheel. While there are fairly reckless teenagers in the driver’s seat, there are also superior teen drivers, who may lack experience, but are nevertheless safe on the road.

The ability to drive is exciting and for teen drivers, the independence is freeing. Although drivers ed courses may be time-consuming, they allow teenage drivers to learn new skills and gain experience, as well as lose previous worries and concerns to prepare them for the final driving test. A considerable amount of sophomores have a license by the end of the year. The self-individuality are new to many of these students and it is exhilarating as well.

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Conor Drafz, Crown Writer & Photographer

Hi, my name is Conor Drafz. I am currently in my Sophomore year at Marian Central and I am very excited to be a part of the yearbook, as well as newspaper....

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