Upon turning 16, some kids are lucky enough to get a car. While I am blessed to be one of those kids, it was not a surprise like it is for most. I learned to drive with my dad’s car, and the plan was for it to eventually become my car. I enjoyed driving my dad’s Maxima, but after driving a Ford Fusion in my driver’s ed class that I fell in love with, my parents started to consider purchasing one.
My dad and I went to a few dealerships to look at cars and I honestly couldn’t seem to make a decision. The cars were all the same model, so the differences between them were miniscule. Most of the cars we had our eye on were black and silver. In the end, we went with a silver Fusion that I absolutely adore. Now that the new car is home, it is quite an adjustment. I had gotten so used to driving the Maxima that learning the new aspects of the Fusion are quite difficult.
As silly as it sounds, I spent two hours sitting in the car trying to figure out how to connect my phone to the Bluetooth and the radio. The windshield wipers have a feature where they automatically turn on when they sense water. I can’t quite figure out how to turn them off. While it is not quite as difficult as it was the first time, it almost feels as if I’m learning to drive all over again.
The process of purchasing or receiving a first car almost seems to be a right of passage. Whether it happens when you are 16, or a bit later in life, your first car is something you will remember for the rest of your life. If you ask any adult what their first car was, they will spit off the type and year of the car. They will either follow with a happy anecdote of a memory that happened with the car, or talk about how much they hated it. Either way, their first car surely had an impact on them. I imagine 10 or 15 years down the road someone will ask me what my first car was, and I will describe my Fusion fondly.
I am extremely grateful to have the opportunity to even have a car at my age, as I know many people do not. It feels bizarre to have a car that is officially mine with my own radio presets. For 15 years of a child’s life, any time spent in a vehicle is either in the backseat or the passenger’s seat. Another year is spent in the driver’s seat, being supervised by a parent – and being reprimanded every time they nearly run a red light. However, from that point on, a child is allowed to drive entirely alone, which is something completely new.
For my entire life, I have relied on my parents to take me places. It is odd to think that I can now transport myself places without having to ask a parent or a friend for a ride. Whether it is running to grab some food at a drive-thru or taking me to the movies with my friends, I have always been dependent on someone else to get me from point A to point B. However, now that I have my license and a car, I do not have to depend on anyone beside myself, which is certainly a big change.