20 years old and still on my Ls

I might still be on my Learner Licence… but maybe that’s not such a bad thing, writes Alex Turner-Cohen.


“L for loser!” my friends say when they remember that I’m still on my L plates. At 20 years old, maybe it is a little sad that I can’t drive a car without my mum sitting in the passenger seat.

I have a million excuses for my current predicament. As a twin, my parents have had to teach us 240 hours all together rather than 120. We only have one family car. My family is always in a rush to places, which makes it hard for me to hop in the driver’s seat.

But the truth is, I’m just lazy. And I’m a pretty bad driver.

However, I’m actually kind of glad that I’m still on my Ls.

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I might be too lazy to get my Ps, but the irony is that it’s forced me to become less lazy in other ways. I get everywhere by public transport. Even if I have to meet someone a five-minute car ride away, I walk there. I have to organise my time carefully.

I live an eight-minute walk away from the nearest train station. I’m also a twenty-minute walk to work. I do these walks daily, or sometimes even twice or thrice.

And the next hidden blessing of being an L-plater is money. I spend maybe $3 a day on public transport (lovin’ that student concession card!) Think about the cash I’ve saved. I don’t have to spend $10k on a car, and then I don’t have to fork out registration, insurance, maintenance, petrol and parking costs.

Here is a prime example. One time, I met a friend for brunch at the local shopping centre. We spent 3 hours chatting away, and then it was time to head back home. I hopped on the train and spent a total of $1.30 on public transport.

She, on the other hand, had driven there. She missed the free parking by three minutes and ended up having to pay $25. That was more than she paid for brunch.

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Finally, not driving is my way of reducing my carbon footprint. Driving produces a huge amount of carbon emissions. (True, so do trains and buses. But my reasoning is that those services would be running anyway, whether I was on them or not.)

And I’m not alone. Less and less young people are driving, according to recent studies.

So that’s why it’s a blessing in disguise that I’m still on my Ls. But then again, this could just be my way of justifying my laziness.

I’ll leave it up to you to decide…

Alex Turner-Cohen is a second-year journalism and creative writing student. She’s the mother of dragons (well, twin pugs) and many stories. A huge GoT fan, she wants to write her own fantasy epic one day. When she isn’t writing you can find her at home, trying to persuade herself to go to the gym