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Wilfrid Laurier University Centre for Student Success
June 26, 2017
Canadian Excellence


Driving a Car and other Seemingly Impossible Things to Learn at 22

by Jamila Remani

By age 19, 93% of Canadians know how to drive a car. This is a made up statistic, but I imagine I am not far off. I am in the minority.

Like any good Freudian theorist, I can trace my fear of driving to a childhood trauma. This fear originated at Safety Village when I was in the 2nd grade. For those of you who have never heard of Safety Village, it is a charming, interactive replica village where children can drive battery-operated mini cars among other things. At age 6, I did not want to drive that mini car; I was happy to sit in the passenger seat while my friend Natasha sped down the replica streets. So, when the woman masking as my parental supervisor on the field trip adamantly demanded I try driving, I—in all my 6 year old defiance—said “No!” Unfortunately, I lost the argument.

Grudgingly, I got behind the wheel of the battery-operated hell wagon, and promptly drove the thing onto the curb of a nearby sidewalk. Talk about safety. This little mishap was met by an awful, maniacal cackle that was worse than nails on a chalkboard, worse than a paper-cut in the crease between your thumb and index finger, and worse than realizing you’ve wasted your whole day watching a marathon of The Bachelor. I don’t know if you have ever been mocked by a so-called maternal figure in a time of need before, but I assure you it is damaging.

I immediately jumped out of the car and vowed never to get behind the wheel of anything ever again. That is the reason I never went to go-carting birthday parties. It is the reason I tell my younger cousins I’m too big to drive bumper cars. Most importantly, it is the reason I can’t go through the McDonald’s drive thru at 2am every time I am craving a Big Mac.

But, with the gentle encouragement of my boss, I have decided this has to change. Now that I am graduating in June—and can no longer use the “but I live in Waterloo; everything I need is within a 3 block radius” excuse—I have to face my fears. I guess the moral of the story is you’re never too old to try something new—especially something that is going to benefit you in the long-run. And even if your friend’s seemingly cool (but probably the devil reincarnated) mother is laughing in your 6 year old face, at least you’re trying. It counts for something.

So try something new Laurier. I promise you, you won’t regret it. And even if you do (like I might regret trying to drive), at least you turned off your Bachelor marathon and accomplished something substantial with your day.

go_kart.jpg drivers_ed.jpg
bumper cars
go karts
learning to drive

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