Steph Yiu

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.

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