By Miranda Owen and Bella Chanthalangsy

               The day comes, you have the license, you can finally drive and stop relying on your parents for rides here and there; everything is feeling great. It feels even better that you’re rushing out to the street and getting into your new car. As you start up the car, you remember the hours you spent studying to pass the tests in Driver’s Ed and how you deserve this rite of passage.

                But do you remember the baby sitting jobs and minimum wage hours you worked to save up for your car? Do you remember how accomplished you felt when you bought it?  Or did you luck out and get that long awaited car as a gift from your hard-working parents?

                Obtaining a first car is a very important milestone in your life. It not only gives you the independence to drive wherever you want, but it also gives you a sense of freedom from parents. When your parents buy a car for you, this freedom becomes drastically less tangible.  

                If you work for your money, you will likely be a lot happier than if everything is handed to you throughout your entire life. Working also gives you a sense of accomplishment in your life, and gives you valuable experience that you can use throughout your years to come. In some cases, you can even learn leadership skills from jobs you do to pay for your first car.

               If a parent buys you your first car, you will not receive the work experience or the feeling of independence teens get when they save up their money to buy a first car with no help whatsoever. In fact, you will most likely become dependent upon your parents for their finances, having not learned how to provide for yourself in the real world.

                Even if you help your parents buy the car, whether paying for half, one third, or three fourths of the car, you get a sense of accomplishment. Throughout the whole world, people work to survive, people work for money, and people work to live. Being obligated to pay for your own car gives you an early start on this concept, and allows you to compensate emotionally and mentally for it.

                All in all, a teen’s first car is a big deal. Whether you get it for free, or have to work really hard to get it, you should treasure it for as long as you have it.