All About You

"I failed my driving test. Here's what I wish I knew"

It was *finally* my sixteenth birthday. The BMV had been backed up for months, but I had managed to schedule my driving test for that very day. I could barely keep still during my breakfast celebration with my family I was so nervous. Several of my friends had taken the test recently, and they assured me I would have no problem passing, especially with the new modified driving test for COVID-19. 

I put on the new dress I had been saving just for the occasion and was off to the BMV. Who says you can't look nice for your driving test? I couldn't help but daydream about my first solo trip to Starbucks. Unfortunately, it seemed like my sweet 16 luck was about to run out. While I was on my way to the BMV, it started to rain. Not just a light drizzle either. It was *pouring* rain. I felt my confidence plummeting. What if I didn't do as well because of the rain? Or even worse, what if they wouldn't let me take the test at all? 

It was still pouring when my dad and I got to the BMV and checked in. With the new COVID-19 regulations, the test is all in the parking lot, with your parent in the passenger seat. I was practically shaking as I went through the right and left turns. If I failed with my Dad in the car, he would *never* let me drive. I was starting to stress myself out. 

Finally, the hardest part of the driving test. Maneuverability. I lined up in front of the cones, and the test proctor asked me if I was sure that's where I wanted to start. I nervously replied yes. Now I was second-guessing myself. Was I lined up incorrectly? I made it through the forward portion easily, however, so I started to relax. I started reversing. I had practiced for this. I was going to pass. 

I had almost cleared the back cones when suddenly, my right mirror knocked over a cone. I had failed, at the very last moment. I was devastated, especially when I learned I had passed the driving section perfectly. They told me I could retake the maneuverability test the following week, but my perfect sixteenth birthday was ruined.

After I calmed down (and had some birthday cake), I knew I needed a game plan. I scheduled my retake and practiced maneuverability every day before my test. By the time a week had passed, I was determined and confident. I took a few deep breaths to clear my head and visualized exactly what I would do to pass. I reminded myself that my dad was there to support me, not to stress me out. It was all about staying calm and positive. 

Sure enough, I passed! I walked out of the BMV a licensed driver. It might have taken a second try, but when I went in with a positive mindset the test didn't seem so scary. If you're nervous about your driving test (or, to be honest, anything), just remember to take a moment to remind yourself that you are more than capable of being successful. Confidence is key. You've got this.

Taking your driving test soon? Let us know on Twitter @girlslifemag!

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by Abigail Adams | 10/5/2020