Although I have a hunch that my mother would disagree, I was an immensely talented driver the moment I sat down behind the wheel. During my first try, I repeatedly mixed up the turn signals, shifted gears to neutral when trying to drive in rear, and stepped on the acceleration when I meant to hit the break. Needless to say, it was a relief when I passed my driver’s license test (the first time, shockingly!) after many bumper scratches and stressed out squeals from the passenger seat. To my excitement, this summer my own little sister will repeat the experience as she learns to drive. In light of my own joyous memories of the test and her nervous anticipation, I thought I would find out – how did other teens do when they took hold of the wheel for the first time?

 “It was horrible,” explained a friend who wished to remain anonymous, “I grew up watching my mom and dad drive, so I was pretty confident. But it’s a very different view from the backseat!” Sammi K., scheduled to take her test in a little more than a month, echoed that sentiment when she said, “Learning to drive has been a big challenge. I assumed that it would be a breeze, and I used to laugh at my Korean immigrant grandma’s stories with the dreaded DMV some 30 years ago when she passed on her fourth try. After my first lesson, the story was not funny anymore – my driving instructor even told me that I fitted both stereotypes of the Asian driver and reckless teenager.”

Even after passing the test, many Lamorinda teens have stories about the rookie mistakes they made after getting their licenses. Gabi D. shared, “I have dented my car more than 5 times from hitting the front curb when I park. I have hit my friends’ cars multiple times too. I swear though, I am a responsible driver!”

Fortunately, there seem to be at least a few safe new drivers on the road. Stephany H. said, “I learned to drive in a parking lot, and it was pretty easy. I always pay attention to the road, because I want to defy the teenage-driver label.”

So while new drivers can certainly be something to fear when cruising around windy Lamorinda roads, hopefully, most sixteen year olds will seize Stephany’s approach this summer as many teen drivers take the wheel for the first time.

Caie Kelley is a junior at Miramonte High School and the Pop Culture reporter on the teen show, Express Yourself!™  In her free time, she enjoys swimming, teaching piano, and volunteering. Read her Article Here.

As the editor and teen coach for Teen Scene for the newspaper, Cynthia Brian has had the opportunity to work with talented teens with attitude and opinions. She shares selected published works.  Read numerous articles shepherded by Cynthia. Cynthia Brian also produces Express Yourself!™ on Voiceamerica Kids Network heard Every Tuesdays NOON PT.  Click here for photos, descriptions, links and more.

Click here for more information about the show.  Express Yourself!™ Teen Radio is produced by Cynthia Brian of Starstyle® Productions, llc as an outreach program of Be the Star You Are!® charity. For information on being a guest, send us an email!

To make a tax-deductible donation to keep this positive youth programming broadcasting weekly to international audiences, visit . Thanks for supporting teens!