Learning to drive whilst at Uni
As someone who grew up in a small village, learning to drive was the most essential tool to get under my belt. Without a car and with only one bus a week from the village to the town, the only jobs on offer were at the local pub or shop, and relying on your parents for lifts every time you wanted to see friends was mayhem. I was quite a slow learner to driving. I couldn’t start until quite late as I have a summer birthday, and by the time I really got into it, I was ready to leave for uni. I faced the choice of whether to quit driving till I graduated, or continue lessons alongside my first year studies. I decided to keep it up, and passed my test during the Easter break, and I’m so glad I did as it’s opened up so many more working and social opportunities for me.
If you’re wanting to continue driving lessons while at uni, or even start learning while you’re there, I can’t recommend it enough. Here’s a few suggestions about how to juggle driving lessons and your studies:
I had already got a firmly established foundation in driving with my instructor from home by the time I got into university, and since I only live an hour away I continued my lessons with the same guy. I only had lessons once every two weeks, but I managed to fit more in during holidays which helped. If you’re close enough to stick to the same instructor I would recommend it since it saves you having to get used to a new one.
2) Learn at Warwick
If you live far from home or your loan won’t stretch to commuting often enough for regular lessons then you can always get a driving instructor at uni instead. If you’re learning from scratch it won’t matter either way. The SU recommends The Driving Force which has reasonably priced lessons and is also willing to help international students who want to get used to driving in the UK. https://www.warwicksu.com/directory/business/24/
3) Keep up with theory
If you’re on minimum loan and your budget won’t stretch to lessons, then it won’t hurt to get a copy of the highway code and do some practise theory and hazard perception online. After all, you can’t do the practical test without the theory, so it’s not a bad idea to keep on top of it so you’re well prepared by the time you do get round to learning.
Overall I can’t recommend learning to drive before graduation enough. It can be tough to get a job after graduation, and having a license will go a long way to helping you with a career (and not relying on public transport or lifts to get from A to B).