Learning to drive is a valuable skill, and having your own car allows you to be more independent, opens up new job opportunities, and gives you the opportunity to travel. With all these benefits, you might be keen to book your first driving lesson as soon as you’re old enough, but what if you’re busy with studies?
Can you learn to drive without seeing a decline in your grades, or feeling overwhelmed by stress? Will you be able to concentrate on your driving lessons if you’re always busy with school? The answer is yes. With a bit of careful planning you can balance driving lessons with your studies, and even have some time left over to relax and have fun! Read on to find out how.
Organize your schedule
Planning is absolutely key if you want to avoid getting burned out with your studies or driving lessons. Get a calendar and mark on all the important dates to do with your school work – these could be exams, coursework hand in dates, or periods where you’ll be covering a challenging topic. Mark these in red.
You can refer to this calendar when deciding on the dates for your driving lessons. If your schedule is pretty consistent, then booking your lessons for the same day each week can be a good idea. Make sure there is a bit of variation in the time of day though – you want experience driving during rush hour, as well as in quieter times.
If you want to learn more quickly, then you could book multiple driving lessons each week. Just make sure that you spend less time driving during particularly busy or stressful periods, to ensure that your studies don’t suffer.
Don’t drive when you’re tired
To get the most out of your driving lessons you need to be alert and awake. Driving when tired can be dangerous – in 2012, driving while fatigued caused more deaths than drink driving in New South Wales.
Don’t arrange driving practice at times when you know you’ll be tired from a full day of lessons or lectures. Try to choose days when you have less work, and opt for the morning when possible. If you’re struggling with energy, then taking a nap a few hours prior to your lesson can help. Caffeinated drinks are another option, but it’s best not to rely on these. Caffeine can increase feelings of anxiety, which is unhelpful if you’re already nervous about driving.
Independent practice can be a good option when you’re too busy for a full driving lesson with your instructor but don’t want to lose your progress. Instead of a long, intense lesson, you could just have a ten-minute drive to a local shop, or around your neighbourhood. This will be less taxing, but still provides valuable experience and helps you to remember everything you’ve learned during lessons. If you take too long a break from driving, you might find that you lose confidence. Short, regular practice sessions will keep you on the right track without interfering with your studies.