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Upperclassmen Who Take the Buses

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Upperclassmen Who Take the Buses

Now Boarding: Senior Madison Somra raises a voice for the rest of the bus-riding upperclassmen looking for their own wheels.

Now Boarding: Senior Madison Somra raises a voice for the rest of the bus-riding upperclassmen looking for their own wheels.

Nicole Spektor

Now Boarding: Senior Madison Somra raises a voice for the rest of the bus-riding upperclassmen looking for their own wheels.

Nicole Spektor

Nicole Spektor

Now Boarding: Senior Madison Somra raises a voice for the rest of the bus-riding upperclassmen looking for their own wheels.

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In regards to driving, there’s a set pattern most teenagers in Georgia follow. First, you turn 15 and get your learner’s permit. By age 16, there comes the provisional license. At this stage, most are driving and this privilege is a desired right-of-passage. What can beat the feeling of driving yourself to school? For some upperclassmen, it’s an experience they’re not experiencing yet. They are the few, the not so proud. They are the upperclassmen on the bus.   

There’s no specific reason why any upperclassmen is not yet driving to school. The answers are as varied as the students themselves. “Everyone doesn’t have an extra car in the family,” said senior Lily Turner, who also takes the bus most of the time.

Others cite the reality that they have not mastered the intricacies of the Georgia Drivers Manual yet. “I don’t know how to drive yet,” said another senior, who wished to remain unnamed. “So even if I had a car, I couldn’t.”

There is a very subtle stigma surrounding taking the bus. Generally, people consider themselves to be more “adult” once they can drive, although it’s unspoken. There’s a sense that you should’ve already done the steps to get a car, or to learn how to drive in the first place. When announcements on the intercom concern the buses, sometimes junior or senior classes will say “freshmen” fondly — or not-so-fondly — and promptly go back to working.

No one wants to admit the reasons they still take the bus, no matter how many still do. After all, it’s hard to say, as I’ve overheard, “my parents can’t afford it”, or “I got in a wreck and I’m grounded,” among a litany of other reasons.

It’s important to remember that it’s okay if you take the bus: even if the bus itself is loud and infuriating sometimes, the fact that anyone needs to take it is perfectly acceptable. And if you’re on a bus and you think it’s a sentence of sorts, consider that the bus does do something important. It takes you to the best high school in Georgia every day, right? There’s a true reason to ride.

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