Lisa-Nicole Mitchell: Driving lessons for my birthday? You’ve been warned

SO, it’s my birthday this week. Not just any birthday, my 21st birthday.

I wouldn’t say my studies have taken a backseat but I would definitely say they have been second on my mind.

I am having a joint 21st party with of one of my friends from back in Glasgow. The date has been set for Friday, the day after my birthday and three days after my friend Adam’s birthday.

There is so much to plan and Facebook has been nothing but helpful. I created a ‘Facebook event’ and so far 60 people are ‘attending’. Others have told me personally that they’re coming along.

It will be good to get everyone together. My family are going, my friends from home are going and my friends from uni are going. It will be nice for everyone to finally meet each other.

My dad has incessantly asked me for a month what I would like for my birthday. I have no idea. I was so spoiled at Christmas I don’t think I need or want anything alarmingly unaffordable that my meagre student loan can’t cover.

But there is one thing.

I still only have a provisional driving licence. Obviously, being a journalist in training, this does not bode well.

I only have a year-and-a-half left before I face the big, bad world of journalism and I can’t drive.

In all honesty, who would hire a journalist that can’t easily get about?

A breaking story won’t wait for me to catch the bus.

So, I have decided that I will ask my family all to chip in for an intensive driving course.

I had about 14 lessons when I was 17, but that was a very long time ago.

I am naturally a very nervous driver and I am not very fond of the road, but it is a fear I must overcome.

While I come from a family of ‘petrolheads’, I ‘shake like a leaf’ when I’m behind the wheel. My dad raced motorbikes in the 1970s, for a living; my sister can multi-task on the road; my uncles have professionally raced speedway and sidecars and my cousin is in the Scottish Rally Championships… I mean, it’s absurd!

My whole life I have been brought up in the racing pits and could change a spark plug if you needed me to, but when it comes to being in the driver’s seat, I get the shakes.

I’ve looked into it and some driving instructors take you on your first intensive driving lesson on a Monday and you leave with a full licence on the Saturday! You are looking at about six hours a day, just driving.

I post this warning, now. During the Easter break, for your own health and safety, stay off the roads… and perhaps the pavements. Just stay indoors, altogether!

Lisa-Nicole Mitchell is a third-year BA in Journalism student at Edinburgh Napier University.