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Curbing Driving Anxiety in College

todayAugust 29, 2022 25 1

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Camryn Cole

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Everyone has a fear of some kind. Many can have a big impact on day-to-day activities and are hard to overcome in general. Whether it be snakes, airplanes, or failure, all fears are valid! 

Personally, I’ve found it easy to surpass most of the things that scare me. Even though heights make my stomach churn, I’ve bungee jumped in spite of my inner terror. I’ve chased a cockroach out of my home, admittedly with a scream or two. Although I have fought back against many of my fears, there’s one I haven’t seemed to win against yet. Unfortunately, as important as it may be, driving has been the enemy that I have not yet conquered. 

The fear of being behind the wheel is real, but I still feel embarrassed being a 20-year-old that is frightened of the roads. Like many others with driving anxiety, I’ve found myself scouring the internet in search of a solution to the problem. While remote jobs and commuting have been the easy answer, I’m determined to confidently sit in the throne-like driver’s seat one day. 

 

A friend of mine safely drives down an interstate in Flatonia.
My friend driving down a relatively empty interstate / Camryn Cole KTSW

Tips for Overcoming the Fear of Driving

Stating the obvious, I’m no expert when it comes to facing my fear of Texas roads. However, I have discovered a few tips that have been helpful in my personal experience. Here are a few things that help me when I’m behind the wheel:

Play Relaxing Music

Personally, I tend to focus better in a quiet atmosphere. However, having silence when driving occasionally makes my anxiety worse. My solution is plugging my phone into my aux cord and playing music that helps me relax! Music is objective and can have different effects depending on who is listening. I like playing acoustic songs by artists I enjoy since pianos and guitars give me peace of mind. 

Practice at Night

I prefer driving outside of rush hour and other active times of the day. Although driving beside other people is unavoidable, practicing at nighttime helps relieve my stress. Not only do I find the evenings peaceful, but most people are asleep and not out on the roads. Ultimately, I find it to be a good time to practice getting accustomed to the roads. 

Set A Series of Goals

It’s never a bad thing to have goals! The same statement applies to driving and has been helpful when exposing myself to the roads. You may want to overcome your fright in a shorter or longer timeframe. You may even have a deadline. Everyone drives at their own pace, and that’s okay! It’s best to consider what you want to gain out of driving, rather than dealing with the fear forever. 

If you’re in a similar situation as me and avoid driving at all costs, don’t stress! Although it may seem terrifying, it’s important to believe in your capabilities and know that you are bigger than your fear. Show yourself compassion and take the process one step at a time. The next step may land confidently on the gas pedal!

Written by: ktsw899

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