New Dubs Drivers: Shifting Gears Towards Independence


Maddox Wade

Getting the Green Light: Dubs, particularly sophomores, prepare to pass their driver’s test and finally earn that sense of freedom. Sophomore Luke McCullough is among these Dubs and is ready for driving solo.

Growing up, driving is seen as one of the ultimate markers of maturity. Many spent their adolescence dreaming of freedom behind the wheel, not having to ask their parents for rides to and fro, road trips with friends, and late night drives through the neighborhood. Now that scores of Dubs are reaching this milestone, how are they handling it?

Everyone has a different experience when it comes to driving, a fact that is made apparent by sophomores Trista Rohrer and Luke McCullough. Rohrer has had her license for eight months and boasts a hefty 15 minutes of driving time, while McCullough drove off the lot immediately after acing his permit test. McCullough was revved up for the day he could hop behind the wheel, pushing him to start as soon as possible. Rohrer, on the other hand, took a much more cautious approach. “I’d heard horror stories about driving in Atlanta,” said Rohrer. “Not to mention my brother is a crazy driver, so I wasn’t exactly eager to get started.”

Once the permit test is out of the way, mastering your driving skills is an entirely different beast. Most Dubs seek direction from parents and driving instructors, although driving with parents can be a bumpy road. Permit holders often find annoyance in parents’ teaching methods, but will later become grateful for how the seemingly convoluted techniques prepared them for driving solo. “I used to get frustrated driving with my mom because she didn’t communicate directions very well, but because of her, I know I’m prepared for my driver’s test tomorrow,” said sophomore Chase Hankin.

Now that you’ve conquered the road and acquired your license, what do you do with all your newfound freedom? When asked, soon-to-be drivers all answered the first place they planned to drive on their lonesome was a friend’s house, although (more realistically), junior Grady Bartlett and licensed driver said the first place he ventured to was volleyball practice. With rapidly approaching test dates, Hankin and McCullough already have the keys to their new cars and are ready to take on the roads. Students without their own vehicles plan on sharing with their siblings or commandeering the family vehicle from time to time. “I have no clue what I’ll end up driving, but I do know that once I set off, I rarely plan on being home,” said Rohrer.

Other than providing a sense of independence, Dubs’ time behind the wheel is used as an escape. After looking forward to driving throughout childhood, the experience is not one to disappoint.