Occasionally I get lucky enough to take the car to school. Or my parents just get sick of driving twelve miles any time I need to be picked up or dropped off. Either way, it's always awesome taking the car to school. Here's why:
1. I leave when I want to. I'm a crazy time psycho and I have to be five to ten minutes early everywhere I go, otherwise I freak out that whatever I'm going to will start without me, I'll miss important information, etc. (Except parties. If I show up to those early, I feel really awkward). My parents are usually very considerate of my need to leave early. However, sometimes they get busy, so we leave later than I would like. This causes my brain to go into hyperdrive and start going, "Okay, we're approximately 3.24 miles away. Assuming we travel at a constant velocity of 35 miles an hour, we should arrive in 1.89 minutes. But with turning and traffic lights it's probably going to be 1.89 + 5, which means I'm going to have exactly 3 minutes and 42 seconds to arrive to class so I can be 10 minutes early. We need to speed up!!" When I have the car, I leave exactly when I want to, and I can drive to school in peace and comfort.
2. I can pick up a Jamba Juice. My friends and I used to go to the Jamba by school at least once a week. Then, randomly, my friend who actually has a car had to switch lunches. Where does this leave me? At school, without Jamba. When I have a car, this isn't a problem. I get in my car, I drive to Jamba, I say hi to the manager (when you're a frequent customer, you get rights like that), I go back to school with my Jamba. All is well.
3. I leave when I want to. When I don't drive, I ask my parents to pick me up at the rec center down the street from school. If you could see what the traffic is like in front of my school at 2:30, you would know why I go down the street. I pick up my stuff and walk very quickly (you all know—you run in the halls, you look like an idiot. No one does that) all the way from the back of the school to the front so I can catch a ride with my friend, who then takes me to the rec center, where I get in my parents' car and go home. When I drive, I get up from class, quickly walk to my car in the back parking lot, 20 seconds away, get in, drive home. No car-to-car transfer, no speed walking across the building, just me down to my car, and away to infinity and beyond.
While it is really awesome to take the car to school, there are a few downsides. For example:
1. Parking in the parking lot. I've been driving for over two years now, so I'm not scared of parking. However, the way other people park scares me. Teenagers in general seem to have this cutthroat approach to parking where they need to get as close to the other car as possible.
2. Getting out of the parking lot. If I get caught up doing something for a minute or two after school, I'm forced to either wait for the hurricane of cars to pass, or to pray that I land in the eye of the storm. These cutthroat parkers become even nastier when they're trying to get out of the lot. Instead of forming a nice orderly line or two, everyone just goes at it and tries to fit in at any direction and angle they can. They drive over curbs, they run into other cars, or other people—it's just nasty business.
3. Getting a good parking spot (are we sensing a theme?). If I want to get a good spot in the back lot, I have to arrive at school anywhere from 45 to 50 minutes early. What's that? I do like being early, you're right. But there's a difference between being early so I can be on time, and being early so I can park. Showing up 45 minutes early gives me a great spot, but my friends, who all park in the front, don't show up until half an hour later. Where does this leave poor Mistborn 007? Wandering the halls like a loner.
4. Vandalism. I know people who do bad things to other people's cars. Various form of keying and denting are only some of the terrible things. Painting profanity on the car—words, pictures, diagrams, etc.—is not uncommon. Not something I want plastered all over my parents' car.
Sure, driving to school has a few downsides, but really, having that freedom is hard to give up. So for now I think I'll keep driving whenever I can. Unless one of you can convince me otherwise....
Do you drive to school? Do you like it?
Related post: The Do's and Don'ts of Novice Driving