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Fighting Fears: My journey of learning to drive

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Nottingham chapter.

On a summer’s morning in June of 2009, mine and my family’s lives were turned upside down. My dad was driving my brother to a cricket match whilst I sat in the front passenger seat.

I’d brought a bag of small plastic animals to play with in case I got bored and was wearing my favourite High School Musical tracksuit bottoms. But it wasn’t long before a normal family drive down the country lane turned into a fatal car accident.

Although my family and myself were injured and spent weeks in hospital, luckily we survived. The driver of the other car, however, was not so fortunate. You may assume that because I was only six years old, I would scarcely remember the whole event, but in fact I remember that life altering moment, and the weeks and months that followed it, in much detail.

Growing up, I was never excited to learn to drive like everyone else. I turned 17 only six months before lockdown, so I didn’t have much chance to learn to drive in that time period. However in the years that followed lockdown, I never endeavoured to drive aside from one or two lessons with my dad.

I would get asked “why don’t you learn to drive?”, “don’t you want the independence?”, “everyone else your age does it”. But I could never really answer why I didn’t want to drive – aside from the feeling of fear that driving instilled in me. It has taken a lot for me to feel confident enough to get behind the wheel, and I’m now indeed making progress.

Over last summer I spent my weeks at home building up my confidence with driving lessons. It is hard to shake the feeling that the vehicle you are driving can become a killing machine in the blink of an eye. But when I look back at the way I used to feel about driving, I now feel like a whole different person.

I love to drive.

Although I am yet to take my test, I cannot wait for the day I can blast my favourite songs in the car, pick up my friends and go on road trips. I have loved the challenge that driving has presented me and enjoy tracking my progress. I only wish that I overcame my fear and learned to drive sooner.

I know for a lot of people, whether they’ve experienced a car accident or not, driving can seem like a really daunting thing. But like a lot of things in life, the only way to get over that mental barrier is to give it a go – at which point you usually realise it’s not as scary as you once thought.

We all have fears and anxieties that cloud the peripheries of our lives, but that doesn’t mean they should control us. By creating small and manageable goals that work towards overcoming that fear, it is possible to do things you once could not imagine. At some point or another everyone has to overcome a fear – whether it’s big or small – but there is always a way forward.

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Sophie Robinson

Nottingham '23

Hi, I am currently a third year English student and look forward to writing articles for Her Campus :)