How to Survive Your Carpool Buddy

Buckle your seatbelts and hold on tight. Juniors and seniors – you may have traumatic recollections of the days when you were not luckily licensed and instead were forced to endure the crazy driving procedures of carpool buddies. We will share our own experiences with carpooling, and while they may be very different from your own, it will be easy to relate and sympathize with your fellow carpoolers. Mirador is here to give you some helpful hints and advice for surviving the year.

Although Kelsey Williams swears a prompt 7:23 arrival, it is no surprise when her 2003 Mitsubishi Galant screeches to a stop in front of my house at 7:35. As I grab my backpack and run out the door, Kelsey looks back, surprised that I would show even the slightest bit of anxiety. “Girl, we’re chillin’!” she screams over the blasting subs as I open the door. Before I even sit down, her foot is off the brake. As soon as my hand touches the door handle, she slams on the gas. And so begins another eventful morning in the life of carpool buddies Kelsey Williams and Grace Hilty.
Taking at least two shortcuts a morning may seem like overkill, but believe me; it’s necessary. A drive that could usually be completed in 10 minutes becomes a 20-minute (or more) adventure weaving in and out of traffic and side streets. When (if) we get there, parking is just one more escapade, seeing as most spots have been occupied since 7:30. After she throws the car into park at 7:55, I grab my things, and jump out of the car as she screams with delight, “Right on time!” Racing to first period, I am breathless and exhausted. And this is just the start of my day.
I know I replied to Grace Hilty’s text the night before saying that I would be at her house to pick her up by 7:23, but when the morning came, my shirt was still wet in the dryer. And then I forgot my lunch. And my backpack. But really, 10 minutes is hardly even late. As I pull up in front of Grace’s house and lay on the horn, I haven’t even considered the possibility of tardiness. However, when she plops down and says, “GUN IT, WE’RE SO LATE” I finally glance at the clock. I know we will be fine though. I’ve never been late on a Monday. “We’re chillin’,” I respond calmly to her panicking. I roll down the window and toss her my wet shirt, assuming she’ll know what to do. Clearly, she is an amateur carpooler. “Grace c’mon! Hold my shirt out the window and steer while I put my shoes on,” I demand. She caught on quickly to the customs of the life of carpool. I don’t think this is what she had in mind when I told her I would drive her to school this year, but what can she do? I am voluntarily driving her, so she has to shut up and hope for the best. I love carpooling.

This is just one of many anecdotes that carpooling to school has generated. However, not everyone looks at carpooling as positively as we do. Not everyone likes his or her carpool buddies. To aid these unfortunate souls, Mirador is here to tell you that you’re not the only one and to help ease the pain of your situation.

“Every day after school my driver forces me to steer while he changes his shirt. Not only is it really weird, but I frequently fear for my life.”

–Freshman Claire Marvin

Our advice:
Will Lavis, stop flirting with freshman girls. They’re scared. And Claire, just pray for the day you get your license.

“I made the bad decision of asking my neighbor to burn me some CDs. Turns out I’m driving her to school this year and we’ve listened to them every morning. Little did I know she was into Nature’s Calling, a melody of wildlife noises only heard in the depths of the rainforest.”

–Anonymous Senior Boy

Our advice:
Start up a really quiet conversation. She’ll have to turn the ‘music’ down to hear you. Bonus: You’ll get to know her!

“Every morning, my driver has another disgusting breakfast that smells like a dead rat. Occasionally I have to feed him so we don’t crash. As we go over the OIS speed bumps, it always spills on me and I smell like spoiled milk for the rest of the day.”
–Anonymous Sophomore Girl

Our advice:
Offer to bring him breakfast bars – safe, clean, and easy! Or surrender your prompt arrival so that your driver can have 10 extra minutes to eat in the safety of his own home.

“I drive four freshman boys. Each morning, they pile into the car with Cheetos in hand and begin farting. To clear the stench, I roll down the windows. They then begin to yell obscenities to pedestrians or bikers on Moraga Way. They also find it humorous to lean over and honk my horn without warning. Although I get paid, every day I’m forced to consider: is it worth it?”
–Senior Brittany Anderson

Our advice:
That sucks. Money is pain.

“My rides to school are painfully awkward. I drive three freshmen and they don’t speak. On my birthday, they were completely unaware, and I was smirking the whole way to school as I played ‘Go Girl, it’s Your Birthday’ on the stereo.”
–Anonymous Senior Girl

Our advice:
Keep dropping the hints with your song choice. Consider playing ‘Talk to Me’ during your next journey to school. Regarding the awkward silence, just talk to yourself if you have to.