Miller: What it’s like turning 16

Lauren Miller

Being 16 is on the pathway of being official.

First, you’re officially born, obviously. Then you reach 10 years old, where you’re officially in the double digits. Then 13, where you become a teenager.

And then there’s 16. You can get your driver’s license and get a job. The world starts expecting adult things from you. It’s also the age of consent, but that’s irrelevant and gross.

And of course, there’s 18: officially an adult, 21: officially able to drink, and then 30 if you want to become the president of the United States or something. But back to being 16.

I turned 16 on Oct. 9, which was a month ago, but anyways, it doesn’t matter.

I got my learner’s permit on Sept. 3, 2020, a month before I turned 15. I wrecked my mom’s car that day and nearly totaled it. Then, a year later, when the permit expired and when normal people would be getting their restricted license, I still hadn’t learned how to successfully drive. I still don’t.

I halfway blame it on my anxiety and overthinking because I honestly think I have more anxiety in my pinky finger than over half of the population has in their whole body. Just saying.

So what do I do now? You can’t get a driver’s license if you don’t know how to drive.

I’ll probably take driver’s ed, but I don’t think I’ll get my license until I’m nearly 18. Nearly legal, and won’t know how to drive. 

I was always an eager, quick learner. I learned how to speak full sentences at about one-years-old, and was reading the Harry Potter books before I was 10-years-old. This is pathetic and embarrassing for me.

I can also get a job at most places now so I can start making money.

But where do I work? I don’t want to work fast food because then I’ll come home smelling like stale burgers and grease. I don’t want to work for big companies, like Walmart or Target, because then there’s not much individual focus on your abilities and needs. I would prefer somewhere small and local.

Who knows? Maybe I’ll find a cute little coffee shop, or ice cream parlor, or a candlelit library. Then I’ll really feel like the main character. How aesthetic.