How to Have a Coming-of-Age Movie Summer Without Your Driver’s License


Madison Rojas

As the sun sets on spring, let’s get ready for summer! Hand drawn pastel drawing by Madison Rojas ‘23.

PASADENA, CALIFORNIA– Ahh summer, the season that all teen chick flicks revolve around. The season of spontaneity, the season of love, the season of Stranger Things 3

“Coming-of-age” movies that we have all watched countless times like Adventureland, Mamma Mia, Perks of Being a Wallflower, and Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days all romanticize summer into an idealistic season where anything can happen. 

Who knows, maybe you’ll get a job at an amusement park, meet your three dads, drive through tunnels while blasting David Bowie songs, or even go on a trip with your family to a gross water park where all the kids pee in the pool, the epitome of an aesthetic summer. But, what do all these activities have in common? They all require driving, hence, you need a driver’s license. 

Unfortunately, if you’re like me and you still don’t have your license because you took a whole year to get your permit and just started driving this month, then many of those summertime coming-of-age activities won’t be on your summer bucket list. 

Well I am a firm believer that coming-of-age movie summers should be available to everyone, no matter your driving expertise, so that is why I have compiled a list of ways to have fun this summer that requires no driving skills at all (and maybe some rides from your mom or dad). 


  1. Bike around all day like those kids from Stranger Things

Ignoring the unfortunate circumstances of the show, those kids from Stranger Things were right about one thing: biking places is super efficient. When I saw four preteens biking all across their town escaping an evil governmental organization, I thought to myself “Hey, I should do that too…minus the evil governmental organization.” This summer, bike around your town visiting friends while also reducing your carbon footprint. Look at you being an environmentalist, go girl! So put your biking shorts on, pull up your 80s inspired tube socks, and hit the road because biking is back baby! 

  1. Develop some sort of teleportation device 

First of all, inventing a teleportation device will totally boost your college application. What Ivy League doesn’t want another inventor, right? But, that is not what I am here to write about. If you are in desperate need of transportation to a summer hangout with your squad, then I recommend developing a teleportation device. It doesn’t need to be super complicated, just a simple machine that’ll teleport you from your boooring bedroom to the beach with your besties. Also, if you do end up inventing a teleportation machine, let me know, because I would love to use it. 

  1. Invest in a jetpack

Similar to my recommendation above, investing in an experimental jetpack can be totally worth it. Not only will you be a part of history if you buy an actual working jetpack, but then you won’t have to be embarrassed by riding with your parents everywhere. So pull up to that houseparty this summer in style with a brand new jetpack. 

  1. Host a Riverdale-esque barbeque 

The CW network television drama inspired by the Archie comics series, Riverdale, is known for many things: horrible writing, atrocious musical numbers, embarrassing acting, and confusing plotlines. But, there is one thing that Riverdale does best and that is managing to appropriate 1950s culture. This summer, take a page out of Riverdale’s script, read it carefully first or else you may accidentally start a cult or get abducted by aliens (yes that really happened on the show), and host a 50s-inspired shindig. I’m talking diner milkshakes, roller skating waitresses, and fun BBQ, the whole shebang! You won’t have to leave the house and all your friends will come to you! 

  1. Plan a wedding and invite three random guys to pretend to be your long lost fathers. 

Thanks to websites Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace, having your Mamma Mia dreams come true just became so much easier. (Please remember this is satire and do not actually hire strangers from the internet this summer to pretend to be three of your potential father figures, I will not be held responsible if that goes wrong). 

  1. Start a journal

“Ughh boring!” says everyone everywhere when they are told to start a journal. Well, here I am, being that one person who is like “OMG, starting a journal totally changed my life”, but it’s true! In order to have your coming of age movie dreams come true, start a journal, write down your internal monologue and add cute little doodles. You won’t even need to leave your house. 

  1. Have a fashion show for no one in particular 

A coming-of-age movie summer is not complete without super trendy but also really unique outfits. This summer, you won’t even need to worry about your driver’s license when you order a new summer wardrobe online and try it all on for your family. I can picture it now… no one wants to be there and your outfits are simply mediocre… what a dream! 

  1. Befriend your siblings (shudder

Are your friends tired of constantly having to drive you places since you were just too lazy to finish drivers ed? Well I know mine are! This summer, try something new, befriend your siblings. Now I know that sounds crazy, who wants to willingly hang out with their obnoxious younger brother or mean older sister, but maybe try it out for change, who knows maybe you’ll find out they are hiding a dark secret or you can team up and fight a monster from an alternate universe. 

  1. If worse comes to worse, beg your parents for a ride

There is no shame in having your parents drive you to the movies or to the beach to see your friends, no shame at all.