11 Things I’ve Learnt After My 1st Year Of Driving

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Driving was such a massive part of my life last year, and the freedom of finally being able to drive myself around and have my own independance has been a massive part of my life ever since. So, as I recently celebrated driving for a year, I thought I would share 10 things I’ve learnt over the last year of being on the roads.

1. Learn how to drive when you’re as young as possible as you have the time and the brain quickness to be able to pick driving up easily. Even though when I learnt to drive I had work, A-Levels and driving as well, i’m still so glad I did it then as I  would’nt have the time to do it now. It’s given me so much more freedom and has helped me transition into adult life.

2. There are so many crazy drivers on the road, and people that make stupid decisions it’s unbelievable. You really do have to have eyes in the back of your head and watch out for everyone, at all times and predict what they might do, and even then sometimes you can’t believe the decisions people make on the roads.

3. Having a car is at times like having a baby, as it constantly needs attention and love. Whether that’s keeping it clean, putting oil and water in it, paying for petrol and then any repairs that need doing along the way. However, if you buy a car that’s a bit newer you can avoid a lot of random big repair costs and save money in the long run.

4. Nine times out of 10 things that happen aren’t your fault, like someone scratches your car in a car park, or someone swerves into your lane. So, if you ever do have an accident don’t automatically take blame just because your a new driver. Remember your young and have quick reactions, and also you’ve had the newest training as older drivers have got into bad habits and don’t always do everything right.

5. Black boxes can be really annoying, especially when you’re running late or having someone right behind you as you’re doing the 30 speed limit. However, they are so worth it when after a safe, accident free year of good driving your premium can go down by 500.00.

6. Motorways really aren’t that scary as they seem, as long as your savvy about how you drive on them. Lets face most new drivers have to stick strictly to the speed limit so that means that we have no chance of competiting against the cars that have power and can do well over 70mph. So, stick to the left lane when you can and think about where you’re going and what lane you need to be in, and you should be all good.

7. Going on a road trip is one of the best things you can do in your first year of driving, as you can put your skills into practice once you feel confident on the roads. The best way to do it is to get one person or a group of friends you love to spend time with, make a really good playlist to listen to and some snacks and your complete. Oh and also a sat nav so you don’t get lost and stressed out too!

8. Be savvy about where you buy petrol from and which garages you get repairs done at, as not everywhere charges the same for the same thing. I always go to Sainsbury’s for petrol, if i can, as it’s cheap and lasts a long time, and with garages I always get at least two quotes for a repair before I choose which one to go for, as you can save so much money.

9. You will get prejudice as a woman when you have a car, as some men assume you know nothing. So expect looks when you go and fill your car up with fuel or your water washers at the petrol station. However, i would always recommend you take someone with you when you go to a garage for the first few times, as you may be charged more or taken advantage if you don’t know what you want. So make sure you’re clear and know what you want and you’ll be fine.

10. Having a stable, steady income every month makes it a lot easier to pay for your car and your bills to do with it. I have a part-time retail job, and I work set hours every week, so I know when i’m working. That helps me to budget for the month and know that all my bills are covered.

11. It’s the best thing you can do and it honestly has given me so much more freedom. It  makes life so much easier and even though it is expensive, its worth every penny to have a car and i feel so lucky everytime I drive it.

Are you learning to drive? What things have you learnt since driving?

Rachel x

My 2017 Gratitude List

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The year of 2017 brought so many amazing moments for me and was honestly the biggest year of my life so far. It went from high to high as I passed my driving test, smashed my a-levels and got results I was super proud of , met my gorgeous boyfriend, got a new part-time job and also started university. That’s only a few of the biggest moments, and there was also so many smaller memories and victories that I hold in my heart too. So, as 2017 did really feel like a year of love, moments, friends, family, memories and  new beginnings, I thought i would share 25 things I was grateful for during the year and through to this brand new one too.

  1. My family and all the amazing things they do and the lovely people that they are.
  2. Meeting my boyfriend and finding someone who is like a bestfriend who I also happen to love too.
  3. For my own hard work and determination to be able to get great a-level grades and go on to study the univeristy course of my dreams.
  4. The teachers and lecturer’s that have faith in me and my career journey, and pushed me to succeed nothing but the best.
  5. For having some more spare time in the week to work on this blog and to dedicate to my boyfriend and my family.
  6. Finding a university course that I love and leading me to a career I can’t wait to be in.
  7. My mum and my aunty’s who are all such amazing women and have helped me to become such a great young woman now.
  8. For my boyfriend’s family who have all welomed me into their family so well and always make me feel supported and loved.
  9. Small day and night dates with my boyfriend
  10. Always having moments to laugh about and memories to remember. Whether that’s a car karoake or just a funny random life moment.
  11. For holidays with my family and friends, where I’ve made unforgettable memories.
  12. For summer park walks, letting life go by and setting the world to rights.
  13. For new friends who I’m loving getting to know and spending time with.
  14. Opportunities to be able to do amazing things, like arranging the 6th Form Ball.
  15. Those sunny days that make you feel so happy about life.
  16. For those moments of pure content and happiness that you have when you sometimes look at the world or a perosn you love.
  17. For amazing conversations with people, where you learn so much about them or just a random topic.
  18. To my little dog Menzes for always being a companion and creating joy and happiness wherever he goes.
  19. To be able to drive and visit so many new places, as it took me so long to learn.
  20. The ability to work with brands and starting earning a bit of money from my blog.
  21. To able to look back on great times and memories we have about my dad.
  22. For working hard and being able to save and afford to go on holiday and buy nice things for myself.
  23. To be able to volunteer at Brownies again and now guides as well. It’s super rewarding and I’m so glad i get do it again.
  24. For a bit of me time, when I can go and have a relaxing bath, catch up on my favourite TV programme’s or read a book.
  25. For my love towards life and my appreciation that life is too short and you should enjoy it, not worry or stress about unimportant things and live every moment.

How was your 2017 and what amazing things were you grateful for over the last year?

Rachel x