By Kayla Valera | Staff Writer

In terms of getting around, I’ve only ever relied on being the passenger to one of my licensed family members or friends. As a driver’s permit wielding college student, I have never felt the direct need to break this cycle in all my 18 years. This is mostly due to my parents being protective of me and preferring to drive me to place themselves so that I don’t need to use public transportation. Even when I was old enough to obtain a driver’s license, I found that it’d be more practical to simply carpool with my dad to cut back on the expenses of buying my own car or having to refill on gas.

Like my fellow Kapiʻo News staff writer, Gavin Arucan, I understand the struggle of making the hours-long commute from central Waipahu to KCC during the school year. This doesn’t include the stand-still traffic that can draw out the already long journey home. Because of this lengthy travel to and from school, I’ve grown accustomed to waking up as early as 5 in the morning in order to get on the road by 6:30 a.m., and then hitting the freeway by around 4 in the afternoon and getting home at around 6 p.m. This is a routine that my dad and I have shared ever since I attended middle and high school on a town-bound commute.

Since my dad makes the trip to the opposite side of the island for work everyday, I never had to worry about driving to school and back home since car rides with him were always convenient for my schedule. The trouble, therefore, lies in my constant expectancy of a driver for other activities.

In high school, for instance, I felt like a burden to my parents when they had to drive me to great distances just so that I can hang out with friends who lived far from me. Even now that I’m in college, I still sometimes find myself asking my parents to take me to places to see my friends if it isn’t too out of the way for them. Luckily, I also have friends who are able to pick me up and drop me off if my parents aren’t available.

Though my friends ask me why I’m not as motivated to get my driver’s license, I explain that I feel no pressure to do so anytime soon. I tell them that I’ve created a comfortable regime of getting a ride from my dad to school, walking 15 minutes or so to my workplace near school, and then catching a ride back home with my dad.

Although this can sound restricting and monotonous for some people, I don’t mind not having a car of my own to drive in exchange for some extra sleep on my way to school and going home. Worrying about parking also isn’t an issue since I would just text my parents when I’m done with something and wait for them to pick me up at an agreed upon location.

While not many people have patient parents that are willing drive their child to places well into their child’s college years, I feel that people who are given this situation should try and make the most of it for as long as they can. I know that eventually I’ll have to retake my driver’s test and stop coasting off of my friends and family for rides all the time. Though for the time being, I don’t see the harm in sitting in the passenger seat if I don’t absolutely have to switch to the driver’s seat yet.