So where do I start with this whole driving thing? So when I was 17, I was never really interested in driving. When everyone was booking their first driving lessons, all I wanted was a camera for my birthday. I had absolutely no desire to drive, it was kinda forced onto us, that it is something I needed to do. Nonetheless, I got my provisional license, as a form of I.D mainly for going out, lol. It wasn't until I was 18 in the summer of 2009, that I finally passed my first theory test with ease. I had the intention of doing lessons, but I still didn't really care to do them. I mean, I lived in London where public transport is easy, all my friends drove, and would take me where I needed to go, so where was the rush?
The rush came when I realized that I only had 2 years to pass my test due to my theory test running out! So on the 1st of June 2010, at the age of 19, and after finishing my first year of uni, I booked my lessons with an independent instructor who was advertised at my uni. He was cheaper than schools, had a good record and was a high level instructor so I knew he what he was doing. In a nutshell, I was with him for about a year. I wasn't learning anything really, he wouldn't monitor my driving, even when I asked him to and there was no structure to the lessons. I never did extra learning as in watch videos and books, thinking going driving every week was enough. In general, his way of teaching was pretty shitty and he was a little rude. So eventually, I said bye to my crap,first driving instructor and embarked on a new instructor.
This time, I embarked on a female instructor, as my last instructor was really rude so I thought having a fellow female would be less intimidating. Now I learnt a little more with her, but I just didn't click with her, and she was a bit condescending tbh. I can honestly say, that when I was with her I hated driving. It knocked my confidence, as I wasn't getting it through her teaching style. By this time, I realized that my theory test was running out and I had to do it again in 2011. I passed with ease, but was frustrated with wasting money. I finally left this driving instructor, after going driving with my sister on a practice lesson. Let's just say the lesson was awful, my older sister swiftly told my driving instructor where to go, and my instructor told her that I was a slow learner, and didn't think I was making progress. To which, pissed my sister off, as when she taught me I learnt quickly and I was a quick learner in general. This teacher was just taking my money, knowing that her teaching style wasn't clicking with me. As I hated driving, I just couldn't bring myself to do homework as in read or watch videos, I just wanted to get it over and done with.
By 2012, I took a break and finally decided to go with a school, AA. My new instructor was miles better, I was making progress and finally went on a test. I knew I wasn't ready, but I felt more confident and for the first time ever, I wanted to drive and was making an effort to pass by doing extra work. On my first test I failed, with like 13 minors and 2 serious, for observation. I took another test the same year, and then took a year break to focus on my final year of University.
Now, on the 4th July 2013, I failed my third test with 3 minors and 2 serious for observation. I will never forget what the examiner said to me "Jessica, you are a strong driver and would've passed if you hadn't made those silly mistakes". With high emotion, stress and and an ever reducing bank balance, I was livid with myself. As soon, as I got home, I let rip.. I saw red, I threw things around in my house,screamed,cried, I was ANGRY. I have never been that angry before, and I am a chill person. Now, before you think I was over reacting, I will tell you why I acted like this. I had only been driving again, after a year break to focus on my degree, finding a job after uni was difficult as I had a lot of experience, and I had to do my theory test AGAIN. In general, I felt stressed and defeated, and was emotionally drained by everything. This failure added to my stress and I jut wanted to crawl into a ball.
Nonetheless, the hunger to pass was greater than ever. I took my theory test and passed for the third time. Then took another year break and stated driving again at the end of 2014 with a new instructor, with LDC. My goodness, my driving had improved with this new instructor, there was structure and I was making progress. Now my mindset had changed, I was a driver! I just had to show the driving examiners this. I started watching videos, and reading ever now and again. I would think about driving, breathe driving, and believe I would pass on my fourth time. So I booked my test for the end of May 2015.Unfortunately, I had to move instructors as my instructor was going on a course. Frustrating as that was, it gave me time to post pone my test, to June. Even though I was confident, there were still areas I wanted to work on. So I watched videos, videos and videos and did some private practice.
My final instructor came from BSM and it was my instructor Hadley, who pushed me hard. He was a perfectionist yes, but the standard of driving he taught was great! I booked my test on the 15th June with the mindest of passing. As I said in my 2014 reflection post I believed in myself, I understood the roads better. After nearly 5 years of learning to drive on and off, it was time for me to get my license. I would not hear the words, "I am sorry you failed". Failure did not exist this time. It didn't, I passed on my 4th time with 9 minors. It was the good drive, I thought I had failed in a section, but overall I felt a sense of calm. Something about this time was different, I couldn't see myself failing. I can happily say I have my license and everything just clicks :)
The reason I wrote this post, was because I wanted to be a source of inspiration for people who are struggling with driving. As much as driving is about your ability to learn a new skill, it is also about your mindset. If you want to drive, if you believe you can do it, you will. My mindset was clear leading up to when I would pass. I believed I was a driver, I focused, I was positive, and I did it and you can do it too.
Here are a few resources which helped me:
MENTAL APPROACH TO THE TEST
REVERSE TO THE LEFT/CORNER
Good luck :)