On the Road to College

What obstacles have you overcome in your pursuit of admittance into the University of Alabama?

If time is money, then I am broke. My typical week involves a packed schedule from Monday to Friday with little free time between school, football practice, homework, and my commute from Murfreesboro to Nashville. I spend around 2.5 hours a day driving to and from school, a total of 12.5 hours a week or 450 hours a year. While driving certainly takes up much of my time, it has taught me valuable lessons I would have never learned otherwise.

I am not a morning person. My alarm sounds promptly at 5:15 every weekday, and by now I have learned to deal with it. However, when I started driving sophomore year, every morning seemed like a struggle to pull myself from my bed’s warm grasp. Because I was driving, I was not able to reassure myself each morning I only had to make it to my mom’s 2003 Honda Odyssey, where I would be assured a quiet nap on my trip to school. I learned to manage my time so that I could drive without getting drowsy and therefore putting others’ lives in danger. Through this, I realized the absolute importance of time management. At first, driving on a monotonous road for a long period of time was complete boredom. However, I soon learned to make the best out of my ample amount of free time by using this time to reflect and meditate on any issues, problems, etc. I began to realize that I could actually make use of my previously boring car trips to and from school.

This realization sparked a question in me­­­­­­ — why not apply this reasoning to the rest of the boring or grueling parts of my day? Why not think of school as a chance to learn rather than a thirteen-year prison sentence? Why not read literature for knowledge rather than for a good grade on the test? My new way of thinking ultimately changed how I viewed the world, from top to bottom. From my experiences with driving, I have learned the value of making the best out of any situation, while also using my time productively. It’s not like my home in Murfreesboro is a light-year from Nashville, where I go to school. On a Saturday or Sunday afternoon, it would take probably around 40 minutes. However, weekday mornings are filled to the brim with traffic jams, car accidents, and the notorious slow driver. Each morning I drive down I-65, I am greeted by an onslaught of irresponsible, reckless drivers, and ten minutes later, I see brake lights — a red flag to all of the daily I-65 car crash. I have learned responsibility from these daily encounters; they typically involve a reckless or inattentive driver, and I have even seen a few crashes occur on the interstate less than 40 yards from myself.

After witnessing firsthand the destructive capabilities of taking one’s safety for granted, I have resolved to always do my best in keeping myself, other drivers, and those I drive and are responsible for safe from harm that could otherwise be entirely avoided. While my extensive driving may eat up time, inconvenience me, and give me a headache, it has nonetheless taught me extraordinary virtues such as time management, responsibility, and positive thinking. I-65 planted these values within me, and I will continue to nourish and grow them throughout the rest of my life.

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