Opinion

Adjusting the Gears to Growing Up

HALEY ARMSTRONG
STAFF WRITER
Brakes – check, lights – check, turn signals – check, clutch – check, mirrors – check. The hardest part, the preparation and everything leading up to it, is over. Now all I have to do is press my size five foot on the accelerator.
Most people would think that
dedicating 40 painful hours to studying for my driver’s permit would act as the epitome of a seat cushion to help me along my first experience trying to drive.
Wrong. A car, the vehicle of chaos and inevitable catastrophes, is not only the embodiment of everlasting freedom on the freeway, but a milestone in a teenager’s life. Better start shifting gears as we are starting to grow up, or we’ll
be left behind.
The world is at our fingertips as we are growing and developing into young adults. As adolescents, each experience acts as our GPS to guide us through life’s bumpy roads.
The best laid plans often go awry as cars veer off the road or get lost on their way. Just like on a highway, we dedicate our young adult lives to staying on what our parents call “the right path.” Now, choosing our destination – that’s the choice of growing up.
High school is the laborious threshold before college, or the trial and error track to find one’s interests before setting off into the world that lies beyond these paw-painted hallways. I’m just a sophomore and I already feel as if I am running out of fuel. Yet, I sit in the driver’s seat, legs dangling, too petrified with fear to even dare to start my engine.
In this day and age, teens are expected to have their maps set, and their destinations keyed in. Honestly, how can one determine his or her own destiny before even grasping the key of one’s life, and even before starting the car?
Now let’s look at those who have a lead on their lives, their own licenses. They have the power to make important choices: wait for the light to turn green, follow the speed limit, and wait for pedestrians.
Unfortunately, a person can’t control the other drivers on the road. I can only control my own steering wheel.
The world around us is sporadic, impromptu, and directionless. This can either prevent us from setting forth on the road, or life’s mysteries can be viewed as part of the excitement of growing up.
Being afraid of steering on the wrong path or encountering bumps on the world’s roads can block the beautiful scenes of situations that we pass on the drive to our own destinies.
It’s clear from the overcrowded parking lot that students at Pinewood have decided to embrace growing up and are pushing on the pedal. Hopefully no tickets are accumulating in the process.
Nevertheless, this little step of learning how to drive is just the beginning of life’s ladder. It’s scary, but one must embrace the ride. So whether you’re ready for these responsibilities or not, hold on, and we’ll see where life takes us.

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