Category: Growing Up

3 Tips for Passing Your Driver’s License Test the First Time

The day you obtain your driver’s license marks a major milestone in your journey towards independence. Once you have it, you can legally hit the road with pride and confidence, knowing that you now have the freedom to travel when and where you want to – though that will probably depend on your parents’ jurisdiction, at least for a few more years.

Before that happens, two obstacles lie ahead of you, namely the written exam and the infamous driver’s test. Many aspiring motorists have taken on the challenge and failed. Many were unsuccessful more than once. But with the right knowledge and a bit of careful preparation, you can effortlessly pass both tests on your first attempt.

Think about it this way: how many licensed drivers do you think are on the road today? According to Statista, there are currently around 225 million licensed drivers in the United States. It’s safe to say that not all of them are professional driving instructors. If that was the case, we probably wouldn’t have so many accidents.

So, to alleviate the stress and ensure that you’re in the right mindset come test day, here are three tips that will help you pass your driver’s license test the first time.

Practice

Driving a car is one thing that you can only get better at with practice. There are things that you’ll learn in the driver’s seat that you simply can’t get from reading. The more time you spend driving, the better your feel for how the car responds to your input will become. You’ll also develop a greater understanding of the car’s shape and size.

This is key to your success, as knowing the exterior of your vehicle and its relation to your position is important for the test. Try to log as much time as you can behind the wheel and consider enlisting the help of an expert to oversee how you drive and identify where you can improve.

It would be wise to avoid solely taking advice from an older friend or family member, as they may have developed some improper or outdated driving habits that don’t align with the expectations of the test. Opting for a professional will also help you obtain the right answers to any questions you may have about the test and driving in general.

Prepare

Of course, being prepared will go a long way in making you feel more comfortable during each stage of the test. It will also help you adapt to unexpected situations, such as different weather conditions or changes in traffic. You don’t want to be frantically searching for the windshield wiper stalk if it rains or slam the brakes on when an ambulance tries to pass.

As for the written exam, it’s simply a matter of studying, studying, and studying some more. That’s not to say you should subject yourself to information overload but do run through every aspect of the test that you struggle with until you’re confident that you know it well.

Consider reading a step-by-step plan that will help you prepare in the best way possible. In addition to studying, you can also take mock tests to get a feel for what the real thing will entail. These days, you can even download an app that will allow you to easily practice for the test on the go whenever you have a few minutes to spare. 

Know Your Car

Ensure that you’ve chosen the right car for the test. It should be a model that’s mechanically sound, easy to maneuver, and preferably smaller in size. Perhaps your starter car will do. If not, consider borrowing a car from your driving instructor. Once you have the right car, you should take the time to learn it inside-out.

You should confidently know the location and functionality of each component. Take the time to get a good feel for the brake and gas pedals, as this will help you avoid slowing down or accelerating too aggressively. Again, it’s important that you understand the dimensions of the car, such as the distance between the front bumper and where you’re seated.

Conclusion

By applying the above tips and taking the time to adequately prepare for your test, you can head to the DMV with peace of mind knowing that you’ll pass on your first attempt. Don’t hesitate to ask questions and seek help if there’s something you don’t understand.

3 Tips for a More Confident You

Confidence isn’t something that makes your life perfect or solves all your problems, but it can greatly reduce the extent to which you feel these problems or even see them as problems. It’s also not a feeling that overtakes all at once and sticks with you forever. Being confident on a regular basis is a commitment, and you need to understand these tips in order to make it stick.

Face Your Fears

Our biggest sources of pride are often ones that gave us the most fear. If you’re scared to ask someone out, it’s likely because you like them a lot. As uncomfortable as it can be to confront these fears, it’s not any more uncomfortable than it is to have “what if” dwelling on your mind constantly. Being rejected or not accomplishing what you set out to do can hurt, but it can also teach you to grow in resilience and not take failing so personally. Becoming your best self has less to do with measuring your efforts in terms of success and more to do with seeing how putting forth the effort means you win no matter what.

Overcome Self-Doubt

Self-doubt can be a voice in your head that tries to tell you what you are and aren’t capable of. It can also make you doubt your value as a person. There’s so much about you that makes you special, even the things that might not seem all that special or positive. The fact that you have your own mind and a perspective on the world means you have something to share.

Set Yourself Up to Win

It’s not possible to completely eliminate all chances of failure. If that was the case, we wouldn’t need to teach people to build self-confidence. However, you can do your best to work with what you have. The story of Zach Hodskins shows that when you set yourself up to win, no matter the odds, you’re setting yourself up for success. He was able to play college basketball even without a left arm. Instead of falling into negative mind-traps, think about how you can meet your goals with the cards you’ve been dealt.

The energy from confident people can make you admire them in a way you’ve never felt before. The way they trust themselves so much is inspiring, but it’s also something that could apply to you. All you need is to believe in yourself and accept your flaws as not being indicative of your worth. Confidence wants to be in your life, and you should do your best to open the door for it.

Growing Up Comes with Responsibility— Ways to Show You Can Be Responsible

Many teenagers are eager to prove themselves ready to handle the challenges of adulthood in order to gain more freedom. After all, growing up comes with its fair share of responsibilities that require maturity to handle. If you’re looking for some good ways to show your parents or guardians that you can be responsible, then here are a few pointers to get you started! 

Driving

One great way to demonstrate how responsible you’ve become is to drive safely and avoid mishaps. Being a responsible driver not only guards your well-being, but it gives you plenty of opportunities to prove yourself as well.

For starters, make sure you’re driving attentively: A responsible driver is aware that there are several road dangers that cause accidents, so it’s important to be alert and pay attention to the road. Don’t let friends, music controls, or phone notifications distract you and put you at risk.

Additionally, demonstrate your level of responsibility by planning ahead when you go out so that you come home at a reasonable hour and show a solid ability to manage your time. 

Working

Getting and performing well at a job is another excellent way to demonstrate to your parents or guardians that you’re more responsible than you used to be.

When you get your first job, make sure you do well with whatever tasks you’re responsible for and ensure that you’re a reliable member of your work team. This will help you demonstrate your value in the adult world and show that you’re willing to learn and work hard.

In addition to showcasing how well you can manage tasks that you’re given, having a job will also give you the opportunity to demonstrate responsibility by handling money well. Start saving as much of your earnings as you can and show the adults in your life that you can adhere to a smart budget. Being responsible with your resources is a huge part of adulthood! 

Being Proactive at Home

Another way that you can show your increasing level of responsibility is by taking initiative around the house. It might seem frustrating to have to deal with the same chores you’ve been doing since you were a little kid, but completing them more efficiently than ever is a great demonstration of your growth as an individual.

Along with tackling your usual chore list with renewed vigor, try going a step further and taking on some extra tasks here and there as well. Doing the bare minimum is never going to impress anyone, so look for added opportunities to shine.

If you notice that no one’s taken the trash out and the truck’s coming in the morning, then go ahead and take care of it. If someone just brought home groceries, help carry them in and put them away. Seeing what needs to be done and completing tasks without being asked shows tons of responsibility!

Plenty of teenagers are eager for the freedom that comes with adulthood, but most of the time you have to prove that you can handle the responsibilities first. You can start by driving safely, getting a job and being responsible with your money, and being proactive by helping out at home.

How to Deal with the Death of a Grandparent

For many teens, the death of a grandparent is their first experience with loss. Grief affects people in different ways. Some teens may feel angry, others devastated, and yet others may be numb or in disbelief.

There is no right or wrong way to grieve the loss of a loved one. The most important thing is learning how to heal and move on.

Understand the Five Stages of Grief

Many teens who lose a grandparent will go through the five stages of grief, but you may also experience other emotions.

The five stages of grief include:

  • Denial and isolation
  • Anger
  • Bargaining
  • Depression
  • Acceptance

You may not experience these stages in this order, or you may not go through certain stages. You may go through these stages at different points in your life. Many people never reach the acceptance stage simply because we are not afforded the time to properly grieve a loss.

It’s common for bereaved grandchildren to feel:

  • Emotionally numb, or to have difficulty crying. This does not mean that you are not affected by the loss. It just means that it is taking some time for you to accept that it is real.
  • Alone or forgotten. You may feel like your friends and family don’t realize how much you are hurting. You may feel that your parents and your surviving grandparent are receiving more support than you, and that others don’t realize that you also need help.
  • Guilty for not spending more time with the grandparent. You may have so many questions or things you’d like to say to your grandparent.
  • Anxious about death, particularly if this is your first time experiencing a loss. You may feel anxious for the safety of your loved ones.

Take a Time Out and Talk About It

Many people will tell you to keep busy after the death of a loved one, but it’s important to instead take time out to process and work through your emotions.

If you try to rush right back to school, you may find it hard to be in the present moment and to pay attention to the work. Give yourself at least a day or two to work through the initial shock and grief.

Stay close to your family, and talk about your emotions. Sometimes, talking through it can help you process what you’re feeling.

Understand the Estate Settlement and Probate Process

The death of a loved one is difficult enough as is. The last thing you want to think at such a time is the legal steps that need to take place.

As a teen, you won’t have to worry too much about the logistics of making funeral arrangements or having to deal with the probate process or hiring a probate attorney. Depending on your family’s preferences, you may be asked to be present during the reading of your grandparent’s last will and testament. During the reading, you will find out what you inherited from your grandparent, if anything.

Support Your Family

Be there for your loved ones. Understand that you are all grieving the loss of your grandparent. Check in on your loved ones. Ask how they are doing, and provide as much support as you can to those around you.

What Do I Need to Know About Living in an Apartment During College?

Thinking about making the move from the dorms to an apartment for the upcoming school year? It’s a big step, and one that you’ll want to consider from all angles. While dormitory living can be restrictive, it comes with convenience and affordability—two perks that are increasingly difficult to find in off-campus dwellings. Read on to find out if you’re ready to take the plunge. 

Cost

This is by far the most important consideration. Can you afford to pay rent and utilities while attending school full-time? When you take into account that you’ll also be responsible for your own groceries and incidentals, the costs grow even higher. There’s also the fact that you may need to furnish the apartment before moving in. Renting Out Rooms recommends that, while having roommates can help to offset these expenses, you’ll need to sit down and hash out your budget before making any decisions. Also, if the added expense means you’ll need to take on a part-time job, consider whether this will leave you enough time to keep up with your course load. 

Noise Restrictions

According to SouthGate Companies, noise regulations are designed to help tenants live in close proximity while keeping disturbances to a minimum. Check to see if the building’s rules or your lease mention anything about quiet hours. You might think that the restrictions are a drag at first, but when you’re attempting to study for finals or write a difficult term paper, you’ll be glad that someone had the foresight to put them in place. If you have a loud neighbor whom you suspect of violating the noise ordinances, pay them a warning visit before alerting your landlord or local law enforcement.

Proximity to Campus

You can bet that the closer an apartment complex is to campus, the quicker the units will be rented out to students who like the idea of sleeping in a bit longer. Walking a few blocks might not seem like a big deal when you’re signing the lease, but a longer commute means less time overall for studying, work, and socializing. University Business says that if you plan on driving to campus every day, ask other students what they know about the commuter parking situation beforehand. 

So, is living off-campus more trouble than it’s worth? Not at all. You just have to think realistically about what you can afford, in terms of money and time. Those who are able to successfully commute to college will find themselves well-prepared for the transition to adult life.

Curious about college? Take a look at these other informative articles from Teens Wanna Know:

Five Things All Parents Should Tell Their Teen About Driving

Did your teen recently get a learner’s permit or a driver’s license? If so, you may be worried about your teen’s safety whenever he or she gets behind the wheel.  After all, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that auto accidents are the leading cause of death among teens. You can help your teen to drive safe and avoid accidents by talking with him or her about these five points:

1. Knowledge is power.

Make sure that your teen takes a driver’s education course. The course will instruct your teen about the rules of the road and about defensive driving techniques such as constantly scanning the road for risks or hazards. You should reinforce what your teen learns in the course when you ride along with your teen.

2. Hang up the phone.

Distracted driving is highly dangerous, especially when it involves the use of phones. You should make sure to discuss any laws in your state that prohibit texting and driving or which ban or greatly restrict any use of electronic devices by teens while they are driving. You should also talk with your teen about avoiding many other potential distractions such as eating, drinking, putting on makeup, playing with the radio or interacting with passengers.

3. Slow down.

In a AAA survey, driving instructors identified speeding as one of the top mistakes which teens make when they are learning how to drive. Statistics show that speeding actually plays a role in roughly one-third of all fatal teen crashes. For this reason, you should make sure that your teen understands the importance of following the posted speed limit and going only as fast as traffic, road and weather conditions allow.


4. Don’t drink and drive.

You should make sure that your teen understands the dangers of impaired driving. Your teen should know that consuming alcohol or using controlled substance great affects a person’s judgment and ability to safely operate a motor vehicle. Additionally, many states have a “zero tolerance” law that prohibits teens from driving if they have any amount of alcohol in their system. Your teen should understand the serious consequences that he or she faces if the teen is charged with a violation of that law.

5. Use caution in severe weather.

Teens need to realize that they must adjust their driving when they encounter harsh weather conditions such as rain, fog, ice and snow. You should talk to your teen about using lights, windshield wipers, hazard lights and the defroster in certain types of weather conditions. You should make sure that your teen knows that there is nothing wrong with slowing down when they are driving through conditions that cut down on visibility and makes the roads slick.

In addition to these five topics, you should tell your teen to always wear a seat belt and make sure that all of his or her passengers are buckled up. Wearing a seat belt cannot prevent an accident. However, it can save lives if a crash occurs.

3 Tips for Safe Summer Driving

Summer is finally here, and summer fun has just begun! Driving around and enjoying the warm summer breeze with your friends and family makes for some great times, but it can turn into a tragic nightmare in seconds if safe driving is not implemented and practiced. To make this summer enjoyable and unforgettable, here are three tips for safe summer driving.

Make Sure the Vehicle is in Good Condition

The summer heat can cause many problems in your vehicle. According to Did You Know Cars, some of these summer vehicle problems include things like tire bursts, engine overheating, and worn shock absorbers (these keep your car driving smoothly over bumps and dips in the road). Before going out for a summer drive, consider checking your vehicle’s tires, air conditioning, brakes, engine, oil and shock absorbers to make sure it is working properly. You can also go to your family’s trusted car mechanic to make a basic vehicle check-up before hitting the road.

Choose Your Passengers Carefully

Passengers, although fun to have along for the ride, can also be a distraction for a driver. According to Dolman Law, one additional teen passenger increases the risk of a fatal crash by 44 percent, while three additional teen passengers can increase it by as much as 300 percent. Choose passengers that know the risks of obnoxious passengers and who understand that you, the driver, are in charge during the whole trip. If a passenger becomes reckless and distracting, stop at the nearest location, calmly get their attention, and explain your discomfort as well the dangers of the distraction that they are causing.

Use Seatbelts

Seatbelts are installed in every car for a reason: to keep people inside cars safe. In the case that an accident occurs, a seatbelt is there to prevent most small injuries and some severe injuries. In order to Virtual Drive, to wear a seatbelt properly, the strap should be across your chest (not behind your backpack or under your arm), and the lap belt should be placed above your hips and under your belly. Make sure that you and any passengers always wear a seatbelt when riding in a car, even for short trips, and always check to see if they are wearing theirs correctly.

It is essential for both drivers and passengers to be informed of how to reduce their chances of getting into a car accident. Being in an accident is something that no one wants to have happen when on their summer vacation. So this summer, make sure that you enjoy endless fun and adventure with your friends and family by practicing safe summer driving.

What Teens Should Look for in a Starter Car

Buying your first car is an exciting milestone for any teenager. While it is tempting to gravitate toward cars that are flashy and fun, it is more important to put the image of your vehicle aside and focus on other factors. When looking for your first vehicle, you will want to consider that you are an inexperienced driver. Here are three things that teens should look for in a starter car.

Don’t buy starter car that looks like this haha.

The Cost

This is not the time in life to go after your dream car. Your budget should be the primary consideration when shopping for a vehicle. Before heading out to test drive cars, make sure that you have a firm budget in mind so that you are not tempted to spend more than you have. When figuring out your budget, be sure to look beyond the initial purchase of the vehicle. You also need to consider annual registration, maintenance costs, gas mileage, and average repair costs. Lastly, you need to factor in insurance premiums. Vehicles that are more expensive are also going to cost significantly more to insure, adding to the total cost of ownership.

Safety

Taking your hard-earned money and purchasing a lemon of a vehicle would be a huge disappointment. There are more than a few things to consider when it comes to evaluating how safe the model is. In addition to the age of the vehicle, you need to look for signs of damage that would indicate that it has been involved in a serious collision. There are two major vehicle safety rating services that can help you to ascertain how safe your options are compared to each other.

Practicality

As a teenager, you need a practical vehicle that will get you from point A to point B. What you do not need is a sports car, large family SUV, or any other kind of vehicle that does not suit your current lifestyle. While you do not necessarily want the smallest car on the roads, you also do not need the biggest. A safe commuter car or a small SUV is your best bet when looking for a vehicle to fit your needs as a teenager.

By doing your research and choosing carefully, you can ensure that you select the best vehicle to meet your personal preferences and needs. Purchasing the right vehicle will help you to enjoy this special season in life.
If you enjoyed this article, check out this other article on how to deal with insurance if you get into a car accident!

3 Tips for Dealing with Insurance Companies After a Car Accident

As a teen driver, you might have discovered that your insurance rates are higher than your parents’. The primary reason for that has to do with experience. In the view of insurance companies, you haven’t driven long enough and therefore are more likely to be involved in an accident. Using that fact as a basis for setting premium prices isn’t a guarantee that the insurance company will be forthcoming with a benefits claim. They will be doing all they can to avoid paying out on that claim. That is why you need to be prepared to deal with insurance companies after a car accident in a way that is beneficial for your cause. Here are three tips to help you know how to deal with insurance companies if you get into a car accident.

Do Not Post on Social Media

After you file an insurance claim, you need to go on a self-imposed social media blackout. Next to recovering from actual injuries, this might be the hardest thing you have to do. The reason is that the insurance companies can use any of your postings as evidence against you. If you post vacation pictures or even a selfie from your favorite eatery, then you could be telling the insurance companies that you’re doing fine. That means your claims of suffering from an injury aren’t all that you’ve made them out to be.

Be Very Careful About What You Say

At some point, you will have to provide your version of the accident. This is information that the insurance adjuster will need to process the claim. It’s important to not say things that can be left to an insurance adjuster’s interpretation. For instance, you should never admit to guilt even if you think you were partially responsible for the accident. The best response to questions is “yes” or “no” without adding anything. Don’t assume the insurance adjuster is on your side even if they are your carrier. They all want to make a profit for the company and that can only happen if they deny claims.

Don’t Accept the First Offer

At some point in the claims process, the insurance company might make you a settlement offer. You shouldn’t automatically accept that first offer until you’ve thought things through. That offer might cover your immediate medical bills, but what about future bills? Will you need ongoing physical therapy? There is also the issue of lost wages to consider. How much more time might you miss from work because of the accident injury? Keep in mind, that an insurance company’s first offer is typically the lowest amount that they are willing to pay, but it might not be the only amount that they can offer.

All of these issues about dealing with an insurance company can be handled by working with an experienced attorney. They can be the person to answer questions and negotiate on your behalf. When dealing with an insurance company is it sometimes better to let an attorney do all the talking. By following these tips, you will be better prepared to deal with insurance companies when the occasion arises.

The Externship Advantage for Teens

jobs for teenagers

Unlike a formal internship, an externship allows a teenage student to gain valuable work experience over a shorter, fixed period of time. Because externships are generally shorter in length, you’ll have more flexibility in fitting these valuable experiences into your busy schedule. Here are three benefits of making an externship part of your overall educational experience.

jobs for teenagers

Explore Your Interests

As a teenager, you should not be expected to know exactly what you want to do with the rest of your life. An externship will give you the opportunity to explore your interests without committing to a full-time job. Some externships are designed to deliver a multitude of opportunities to interact with a myriad of people in different departments. Others allow you to closely follow the daily work of one professional in a specific field. This will help you to discern if that field of endeavor is compatible with your interests, your studies and your skills. Because externships are short in length, you get a taste of a discipline or occupation without having to commit to it on a long-term basis.

Shadowing Experts

Externships allow participants to meet professionals and begin to network with people who can help them get a job later. Shadowing experts gives you a good glimpse of the day-to-day work life of the professionals in your desired field. A good externship will also provide multiple learning opportunities, helping you to hone your skills and talents in a low-pressure situation. This type of hands-on learning cannot be replicated in a classroom, making an externship an advantageous part of any education.

Form a Strong Work Ethic

An externship gives a young person a glimpse into what life in the adult working world is like. This experience can help teens to form a strong work ethic as they learn ways to be more productive and efficient with their time. Externships instill responsibility, personal integrity and commitment to colleagues. This type of work experience teaches students how to be dependable and reliable while working as part of a team to achieve goals. The soft skills gained in an externship will translate to any further field of study, making it a good use of your time and effort as you strive to reach your career goals.

The right externship can help you to develop new skills, make important networking connections and cultivate the soft skills needed to be successful in any endeavor. The experience will put you ahead of the competition and pay off big dividends down the road.