Tuesday, January 13, 2009


Jared Geilich, class of 2011, wrote this as a Persuasive Essay assignment. Life and Times encourages students to submit class essays for posting.

Most kids look forward to turning sixteen so they can get their drivers’ license. They think it will be so much fun to be able to go wherever they want whenever they want. What they don’t realize is that the downsides to getting your license much outnumber the perks, at least before you finish college. The best thing to do is to hold off on getting your license until after college.

First of all, driving costs a lot of money. Gas is expensive, and when you drive you need to use it. Not only that, but the prices change drastically from one day to the next. You could be driving along, humming a little tune, when you notice your tank is almost empty. You pull over to the nearest gas station, and you notice it’s a dollar more expensive a gallon than it was yesterday! You look into your wallet only to find you don’t have nearly enough money to put in enough gas to make it home. Another possible scenario is if a complete stranger hits your car. You have to have insurance to drive, which can get very expensive, especially if you are a teenage boy, which is the group that happens to be the most expensive to insure because we are in the “highest risk”. 35.3% of all crashes in the United States are by teenagers, and more than half of that are by males. Little do they know that I would be a very safe driver, and they shouldn’t be charging me so much. They shouldn’t be clumping me in a category with all the doofuses of the world.

If you get your license while you are still living with your parents, you will constantly have to run errands for them. You might be working very diligently on a homework assignment, when your mom calls to you from the kitchen that she forgot an ingredient for the cheesecake for the party that night. Guess who is going to have to go get that forgotten ingredient. She won’t care about the assignment you are so close to finishing. Since you have your license, she is free to send you to get groceries. Another trap you might fall into would be the pick-up-your-sibling-because-I’m-busy scenario. This unexpected requisition will be thrust upon you when you least expect it, and as often as possible.

So if you don’t want to end up broke and overwhelmed with unreasonable demands, you should wait until you get out of college to get your license. You won’t need a car at all during your college years to get places, since everything you need is right there on campus. In fact, most colleges don’t even allow freshman to own cars. The smartest move you can make is to wait to get your license.