What it’s like to get my driver’s license at 26

1. Since my parents live on the other side of the planet, my boyfriend taught me how to drive. Not a great bonding activity for any relationship. (Don’t worry, our relationship survived the drivers’ test).

2. I waited until I was 26 because in Singapore you can’t get a driver’s license until you’re 18, and when I turned 18 I left to go to college in Chicago. I didn’t have access to a car until now (thanks, boyfriend!).

3. On my 26th birthday, I took the day off work to take the drivers’ license test. I was at least 10 years older than anyone else at the DMV.

4. I totally overstudied for the permit test because I forgot that it’s made for 15-year-olds.

5. I felt really smug as the 15-year-old girl who took the road test before me forgot how to turn her blinkers on. Then I remembered that she’s still learning algebra.

6. I screamed and jumped like a 16-year-old when I passed my test.

7. I drove home and parallel parked on the streets of Boston. I learned to drive in Boston, which means I never let anyone cut in and honk at pedestrians who cross during the green light. I also constantly get lost.

8. I still have hoarding tendencies when visiting big box stores because trips to Target used to be a rare treat.

9. We now pay outrageous insurance fees on the car because I’m a first-time driver.

10. I insist on getting carded at bars because I’m so happy to not have to carry my passport around anymore. I also scratched my brand new license with a fork to make sure it didn’t look like a fake.

12. The first time I drove alone, I felt a bump in the road and was convinced I had killed a biker.

13. I accidentally drove onto a highway by myself two weeks ago and silently re-enacted this Freeway Freakout moment in Clueless. I have never driven on a highway by myself since.