Beep Beep: Coming through!

Good morning everyone, how are you doing today?

Recently I began my driving lessons, and have now had 6 HOURS worth of lessons (lets not even begin to dwell on the amount of money I’ve already spent…), so I believe that this is a reasonable volume of hours to be able to share some experience with you. If it had just been 2 hours, I probably wouldn’t have a lot to say…

My first lesson was a 2 hour block, and from then I’ve been having 2, 1 hour lessons per week, with the exception of one lesson last week due to a lesson being cancelled because of illness! So I’ve been driving a car for on average 2 hours per week for the last 3 weeks… and wow it is scary yet exciting!

You don’t actually appreciate your everyday sense of spatial awareness, or your ability to judge distance, for example. However when you begin your driving lessons, you appreciate it so much more, because as soon as you get in that car, your judgement fades. I currently perceive a car that is 1 metre away from me on the drivers side, as 10cm away from me, in contrast to a car that is about 10cm away from me on the passenger side, being perceived as 1 metre away from me…. This isn’t great when trying to steer a car (which is a challenge in itself!) because I always try and dodge the cars on the drivers side (which look SO close!) but in doing so, forget about the parked cars on the passenger side (nearly had a few ‘whoops’ moments there…)

Another thing that is not appreciated is how DIFFICULT it is to steer a car! I’ve heard so many people tell me when they start driving that they underestimated the steering and how difficult it would be, but as I hadn’t experienced it myself yet, I would often just shrug it off, and panicked more about changing gears and knowing where my feet would be. But after starting driving lessons, I totally understand!

Steering is so weird. To steer correctly when driving to the appropriate test standards, you must feed the wheel through your hands as you turn round a corner. This sounds so easy, I know it does. But it isn’t when you try! Yes practice is certainly helping, and my steering is finally improving, but I had never taken into account how difficult it actually would be.

Changing gear and controlling my feet across three pedals, is a skill that has actually been pretty decent if I’m being honest. And it was this that I was the most concerned about as a new driver! God knows why… I guess it just sounds complicated when someone tells you, you have three pedals and two feet, and they can’t all go down at the same time and you must be smooth and you must change gear and you must change gear again and again and again and oh look…. that sounds complicated!

But it actually does become easy very quickly, as you begin to learn to handle the car. Listen to me sounding like a pro on my 6th hour of lessons, pft.

What I must stress is the importance of keeping your lessons going! When I only had one lesson last week, it was the worst lesson of them all. I literally forgot everything. I had entered the car with the mindset that it had been over a week since my last lesson, and that I had forgotten everything already. With this mindset, I honestly fulfilled my expectation. I was steering into random places, stalling the car, putting the car into neutral ALL THE TIME, and just totally forgot because I had worked myself up prior to the lesson.

So although I’m certainly no expert in this field, and I definitely have a long way to go before I ever receive my driving licence, I believe it is important to let you know some important little details I’ve learnt as a new driver, which could help you if you are soon starting driving!

1) Don’t work yourself up – you’ll end up wasting a lesson, and feeling really unhappy with how it went, all because you set yourself up to fail! Believe in yourself, trust your instructor, and take it step by step. You’re a learner – you didn’t learn how to walk without falling back down when you were little, so why would driving be easy?

2) Practice steering on a plate! Grab a round plate, and practice feeding the wheel if you’re as bad as me! It honestly helps. I spent 15 minutes before my lesson on Monday, using a round plate to practice feeding the wheel through my hands, and my steering was so much better on the lesson. It totally helps.

3) Dont panic if you try and change gear and you mess it up. For some reason, I really struggle with going into second gear! My instructor says I’m being too ‘girly’ because it’s quite a tough gear that requires a big push – but with a bit of practice, I’ve began to ace that gear!

4) REMEMBER – Practice makes perfect. You won’t be a good driver immediately. You’ll probably suck. But when you start improving, you’ll certainly notice. And it’s a great feeling!

I hope you’ve enjoyed this post today and are all doing well in your driving ventures too! Speak again soon!

Katy xx

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