Acquiring a driving licence is a pivotal stepping stone towards adulthood. It represents the independence and freedom that many teenagers strive towards, and is an essential skill that we carry throughout life. However, despite the pandemic having increased the difficulty of obtaining lessons, 17 year old Annie Martin has taken on the skill of driving. It is clear that her experience is enjoyable, yet challenging.

Annie explains the process of her driving journey saying, “When I first started learning to drive it was very scary. All the roads in Hampton are really narrow, I've had a close call, with nearly scraping cars.” She explained the struggles of being a learner driver and how it can be ‘quite intimidating’ to begin with, as many other drivers on the road aren’t very considerate towards learners and a few seem to purposely intimidate you. However, Annie continues to make progress and acknowledges the fears that come with learning to drive, anxiety being one of them. Constantly being aware of not only yourself but other cars and pedestrians can be extremely difficult and overwhelming for most teenagers. On the other hand, teenagers tend to learn to drive much more quickly than older adults, at least if they can get over their initial concerns.


Despite this, Annie appreciates her experience and the challenging side of it, describing it as ‘enjoyable and rewarding’. “I've almost crashed the car a few times; I can get quite flustered at junctions. There have been many occasions where emergency stops have been needed!” She explains the importance of driving and how as a teenager it’s a ‘rite of passage’. She says, “I have a lot of fun driving, it’s quite exciting being in control of a vehicle, and my driving instructor and I always have a laugh.” 


It is clear to see that, for young people, learning to drive is an important part of their transition to adult life. Annie obviously likes learning to drive, despite the challenges that come with it.