Where Did the Time Go?

Isabel Hanewicz, RHStoday Editor-in-Chief

When you first get your license, it’s like a wave of freedom hits you. Want a smoothie after school? I could drive to get it. Late night studying at Starbucks? No problem. Like anything else, however, the novelty of getting my license wore off after the first few months, and when it did, I realized this: I spend a lot of time in my car.

Now, a quick disclaimer: my parents are divorced, so I split time between two houses: my mom’s, in South Tampa about 15 minutes from Robinson, and my dad’s, in St. Pete and anywhere between 25 to 45 minutes, traffic dependent, from Robinson. So, I’d say my commute probably lands me in the middle of Robinson students.

But, driving to and from Robinson isn’t the only thing I drive to. Like any other teenager, I’m constantly driving to various activities and extracurriculars: studying with friends, going to the gym or driving to a sports game. Those 10-minute rides to get smoothies may not seem like much, but added up over the course of a day or a week, it makes a difference.

You see, my car (a 2013 Volkswagen Passat) has a slightly cool yet slightly scary feature: it can record the amount of time spent on a “trip”, which can include multiple rides throughout the day.

When I first got my car, I didn’t really notice this feature. After all, I was still figuring out how to change the electronic mph display from km to mph. One day this August, however, around midday, I was clicking through the settings and found the screen. “Huh,” I thought. “I’ve already spent an hour and a half in the car? That can’t be right.”

Yet, it was right. After that day, I would often look back at the screen to check how long I had been driving, and the numbers were often scary. 2 or 2 ½ hours in one day seems like a lot of driving to me, on a school day nonetheless.

You see, before I started driving, back when my parents drove me everywhere, I would often do work in the car: get some annotations in, review for a test before school started. Obviously, I can’t just go breaking out my biology textbook while driving down Gandy, and there’s really not many ways to truly get back that catch-up time.

But if you’re determined (like me) to maximize your driving time, here are some tips:

  • Listen to “educational” radio, such as news shows like NPR.
  • If your car can connect to your phone’s audio, open and play an educational video on YouTube (before you start driving, off course) and play it so you can listen to the audio for review.
  • If you are in a foreign language class, listen to the station of the language you are trying to learn.

Remember, never drive distracted. Don’t, by any means, attempt to go too far in maximizing your driving time and risk going into an accident. Be careful, and happy studying!