The average person drives 13,500 miles a year.
I got all my tires replaced in July 2020 after one of them ripped open when I drove over a pothole. Less than a year later, I had to get them replaced again, because the tread had worn down completely.
My father was optimistic that we could get a discount because of the warranty. Little did he know — I had put over 50,000 miles on that car in the last year.
Needless to say, we did not get that discount.
During quarantine, the only thing I did was drive, whether it was a quick round trip on Farrington Road (one of the most scenic roads around Chapel Hill), a lap down by Maple View Farm or a day trip to visit friends in Boone and cruise on the Blue Ridge Parkway. I decided I wanted to visit every state park before graduating — and with friends, I hiked, kayaked and camped.
It got to the point where someone told me, “Our parents did not immigrate across the Atlantic Ocean for us to sleep on the ground and walk for fun.”
But I did. From camping at Merchants Millpond State Park (a very beautiful swamp), to driving the Outer Banks National Scenic Byway (to see all the lighthouses) to hiking 7 miles up Pilot Mountain (this I have no explanation for) — nearly all of quarantine was spent miles away from home and outside.
Fifty-five thousand miles meant hours upon hours in my Honda Accord, which I used to rationalize the variety of car issues that I’ve had. My first car accident was in 2017 when I was coming home from high school, and a squirrel ran into the middle of the road. I swerved to try to avoid it, and I promptly crashed into a fire hydrant.
The officer that came to make a crash report heartily told me, “Honey, next time, just hit the squirrel.” I nodded and then trudged home to cry in the bathtub.
Since then, others have backed into me, I have had three flat tires and had to call AAA twice when my car wouldn’t start. In August 2020, I moved my sister into her first-year dorm (coined “Crusty Craige” by many first-years) and was driving home when a car abruptly stopped in the middle of a turn, and I rear-ended them.
While I panicked and called my father, the mom who was driving reassured me that accidents happen to everyone and then told me her son in the car seat wanted to show me the Lego car he was building. The Lego car was quite masterfully done — similar to the damage on the cars.
If my driving woes were not indicative enough, I spend an unholy amount of my free time in my car — it’s one of the quiet places where you can let your mind go blank and listen to music at a deafening volume. The best songs to play in the car include tracks that you can sing to — and pretend you know how to rap to.
I’ve compiled a few of my favorites here: some of the best rap features on an R&B song and vice versa. Here’s to another 55,000 miles (if my Honda Accord can take it):
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