College Essay | Teen Ink

College Essay

October 16, 2019
By Anonymous

Prompt- 5,An event that sparked a period of growth and understanding of yourself.

Event-Driving for the first time, specifically the left  turn during rush hour.

Realization- Fear is what drives us


Getting your driver's license is one of the most exciting and important things as a teenager. It was sometime during March, my mom picked me up to leave school early, and like every other teenager I was just filled with excitement to go to the DMV and get my license. Once we got to the DMV we stood in line for about an hour that seemed like the longest hour of my life, which reminded me of a quote we talked about in english that day which was “This too shall pass”. I knew that by the end of the day I would have my license and everything would be fine, so I just waited. Eventually we were in the front of the “behind the wheel test” line. Once it was my turn I got into my moms car with the DMV employee. I started the test and it was going perfectly and I was just thinking about how driving on my own once I get by license would be so n jliberating and I could finally get out of the house without being reliant on anyone to take me somewhere. Before I knew it, the test was over and I passed.

Once my mom and I got home from the DMV, I decided to ask if I could take the car out for a cruise. It took a lot of convincing from me to get my overprotective parents to let me go but eventually I wore them down. I started driving but I didn't know where but I was just happy to be able to drive on my own and be able to listen to my own music and not have to listen to WBEZ. I eventually got hungry so once I stopped at a red light I typed in culvers into my GPS making sure to keep looking up to see if the light had turned green. In that moment of ineffective multi-tasking I must've tapped on culvers in Lake Zurich, another one of the suburbs in my county because I had been driving for like 20 minutes to get somewhere I thought was 10 minutes away. I just thought It was having me take a different route. I didn't actually know where anything was because whenever I go somewhere I am driven by someone and like a teeanger in 2019 I had always been on my phone and not aware of my surroundings. I finally arrived at culvers, in Lake Zurich after driving for 25 minutes. At this point it started getting dark and i just wanted to get home. So I started to make my way home and it was all going well until I heard the cold monotone voice of the gps telling me to “take a left on North Rand Road”, a 4 lane highway which already made me a bit tense. But what made it worse was the fact that I had to take the turn at night, during rush hour, without anyone else in the car with me.

I was a sitting duck just sitting in the car staring at the out of focus lights passing by. Looking for another way out of this situation, I checked google maps to see if their was another way to get home without taking this dreaded left hand turn. But the only other way would have taken another 20 minutes and I would surely get yelled at by my parents and they would be less lenient about letting me borrow the car the next time I would want to go out. So I decided that I had to take this turn. I had to put the fear behind me and focus on the road. I had to toughen up and take this darn left turn. I abandoned all the fear and anxiety that was holding me back and just went for it once there was an opening.

 Although this story may seem like a small, petty problem it taught me that fear is what holds you back and you have to keep the mindset that “this too shall pass”. I started applying this to a lot of aspects in my life such as school, my social life and with sports, in cross country when i am lacking some motivation I can always think of this and it helps me understand that I wont be running forever it's just 10 more minutes until it's over. The best part about this mindset is that it works on so many levels, what I initially understood it as, was if you are dealing with something tough don't worry because it will eventually pass on but it could also be interpreted in the opposite way like if you are having a great time you have to remember it will pass and you should appreciate and cherish those moments while you can. 

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