So here’s some advice I got before my first driver’s test: ”If the light is green just speed up so you won’t have to stop for the red light and restart the car”
Well, guess what happened.. I failed.
So yeah, it seemed like good advice first, but after I failed I realized that it probably doesn’t work for most of us.
I guess it happens to almost everyone, there is something we know really well and can actually do under normal circumstances, but when it gets serious all of a sudden our nerves get the best of us… That’s what happened to me. I was taking my driver’s exam for the first time and I was really nervous about messing something up. I had the road perfectly memorized and knew all the steps I had to complete in order to not get any points taken of. I sat down, adjusted the seat, put my seat belt on, adjusted all the mirrors, and managed to answer the examiner’s questions even though I could barely make a sound due to my sore throat. Then I wanted to start the car, but I couldn’t. The key just wouldn’t turn, so I had to try a few times before I finally managed to start the engine.
After I finally managed to get out of the parking spot I was already upset about the issue I had while starting the car. The annoyed looking police officer to my right who had been sitting through driver’s tests since the early morning didn’t help me feel confident about what I was doing either. As we got close to a red light I realized that the officer was applying the brakes even though I was stopping the car as well. This made me feel like he didn’t trust me, so I got even more demotivated.
I drove the car without any problems for a while, but then we returned to the same traffic lights as before and this time I tried to do what my stepbrother had told me would help. He had said that he passed his driver’s test by simply driving really slowly when he saw a red light and by driving fast when he saw a green light so that he didn’t have to stop at traffic lights at all. I saw the green light in the distance and thought that I might just follow his advice this time, but it didn’t work out for me. When I came to the traffic light it turned red and I was sure that someone who drives past a red light would definitely not get a driver’s license. Turns out that someone who jams on the breaks at last moment and causes the entire committee to almost hit the front window doesn’t pass the driver’s test either.
After about a month I was allowed to retake the driver’s test and this time I made sure not to follow my stepbrother’s advice. However when the guy who was taking his test before me returned sitting in the backseat I knew that he clearly hadn’t passed and I thought that the committee might not be very kind this time either. Also the roads were partially frozen which made driving even harder. Thankfully I was wrong about the committee, they were all really kind and after I had only driven the car for some meters an officer in the back told me in Turkish “Ben sana ehliyet veririm” which means I will give you a driver’s license. Even though there was still plenty of time left for me to somehow cause him to change his mind about giving me a driver’s license his words helped me feel more confident and relaxed. My teacher was in the seat behind me and he kept telling the committee about our lessons and how I drove through town without any problems and how I even drove on thick ice during one lesson. So my confidence and self-esteem got more and more and in the end I didn’t feel the pressure of the testing anymore, so I also didn’t make the stupid mistakes I had done last time. After the test my teacher told me that I would pass and a day later I found out that I really did pass.
The conditions during the second driver’s test seemed worse, however after I got over my nerves the ice on the roads and the traffic didn’t really matter. Sometimes it’s not the conditions and the surroundings that matter, sometimes if not most of the time it is our attitude and our confidence that makes the difference.
In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Not for Thee.”