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The pros and cons of being a non-driver in your early twenties

A bit over a year ago I noticed my L’s had expired. I’m now twenty two years old and I don’t have my driver’s license. I honestly sometimes wonder if my life would be totally different if I had my license; would I even be the same person? Well, for starters I wouldn’t dread wearing the stigma of being a ‘useless loser’; so I won’t lie, there are definitely more cons than pros. Then again, I’m often surprised at how okay I am with not having the option to drive. Here is my personal list of pros and cons for being a non-driver in my early twenties:

Zero Independence

Every driver raves about the freedom they have of being able to go any place they desire, and without the hassle of checking bus schedules online and having to take a number of trains. Public transport is shit, especially for longer journeys. The main reason I get FOMO in regards to having that rite of passage of feeling pure independence in my early twenties is due to the fact that I can’t just go for a twenty minute drive to the beach. Instead, I have to wait for a bus that comes once every thirty five minutes and takes a unique route that takes me over an hour to get there. My life is constant nostalgia from feeling like a high schooler as I sit near the back of the bus with large groups of young teens reeking of fake tan and their first ciggie.

Money ain’t a problem

Although an adult opal card can be quite exxy, I feel like I’m saving in the long run. My friends constantly complain about having to pay for car rego, tolls, filling up the tank and paying the woman they reversed into last month. I’m definitely not jealous. Freedom comes at a price, and boy it’s a fat bill.

Never the deso

The fact that I don’t drive means I’m immediately eliminated from being ‘the deso’. Not sure about everyone else, but I do love a wine or three when I go out; I’m not the sober sally type of gal. Without trying to sound like a user, I don’t mind the free lift from whoever plays ‘uber driver’ for the night and is actually kind enough to give four people a lift home. I really have high amounts of respect for people who do that; it can be a bit of a dog eat dog world sometimes so we must all appreciate deso drivers as this is something high up on the list of all things that are out of people’s way.

My life is inconvenient

I work a few casual jobs and one of them is a brand ambassador job for events that can sometimes be up to 4 hours away with public transport. It’s almost not worth it. There have been times where I decline the jobs due to the fact that the travel time is longer than the actual shift. It’s ridiculous. This is a perfect example where I would do probably anything to get my license. Actually, the perfect example would be when every second person I meet says “you don’t have your license? You should get it!” Yeah, no shit, Sharon.

Everyone kinda hates me

I don’t blame people if they complain about me behind my back and go on about how many lifts I owe them when I finally get my license. It’s fair enough. I don’t think it makes me the devil’s child or anything, but the words ‘useless’ and ‘fucking freeloader’ do come to mind. Sometimes I tell people I meet that my car is in service if I know I’ll never see them again.

I get my steps in

Technically you’re getting more exercise in if you don’t drive. For someone who currently doesn’t have a gym membership, nor has any interest in fitness, I do get my steps in from having to walk from A to B in order to save topping up my opal card. A lot of drivers I know have to sometimes stoop to my level of having the option to walk because their car is in service or their sister is using it for the day, and they say it can be a nice change; or I don’t know, maybe they just pity me.

I’ll live longer than you

Sounds silly, but it’s true! The less time you spend in a car, the less chance you have of dying. Or maybe now I’m just trying to think of anything to justify my lack of license.

The question on everyone’s mind: Why don’t you have your license, Claudia? The answer is simply because I’m too lazy to get my hours up and I feel like I’ve missed the chance. All my friends have been on their full license for while now, so it just feels like too much of an effort. In reality though, I do need to get my license. I’ll add it to the new year’s resolutions.

Do you not have your license either? Tell us your biggest pro and con in the comments below!



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