Car Troubles
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Car Troubles

This will happen to you or someone you know.

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Car Troubles
Aida Diop

Last week was definitely eventful for me. It was not necessary a good thing, but you may get something out of reading about it.

Monday was supposed to be a nice, relaxed day because my classmates and I were set to be guest chefs at the Ronald McDonald House that evening. I had met my productive goals that morning and was ready to drive to the gym when my car wouldn't start. No sounds and no lights came on. Panic started to set in, especially because I had just committed myself to be a driver to carpool with my classmates to the Ronald McDonald House in 3 hours. As the nerves and panic crept up, it felt like a large wave of stress had knocked me over in the ocean and I was just fumbling around. I mentally pulled myself out of the water and cleared my thoughts. I started to think of what I'd tell a friend if this was happening to them. "Don't freak out. Figure out what went wrong first."

I got out of the driver's seat and circled the car checking the doors and I saw it. My trunk was the slightest bit open as if opened by accident or not shut all the way. I went to lift it up and realized it must've been open since the last time I rummaged through my closet of a trunk. I was away all weekend. The waves started up again. Regret for not double checking seeped into my mind. Thursday. That had been the last time I had touched my car...

I remembered past experiences and hearing how common this was. I tried again using the key this time instead of the push to start button. Click, click, click, click. Off. You should know I am nowhere near familiar with cars and the sounds they make, but I had a strong feeling. It had to be the battery. I needed it to be just the battery, but I needed the reassurance. Before calling for help, I turned to YouTube. You can find anything on there. I typed in "sounds for a dead car battery" and multiple helpful videos came up.

Then as I came down from my triumphant high due to the fact I figured out what was wrong, another wave of stress hit my body. "What do I do now? I can't buy a new car battery right now. I don't want to!" I whined. I did the exact thing I tell my 5-year-old niece not to do. I whined and stomped my feet about the possibility of having to buy a new car battery on top of my upcoming tuition payment. And to make matters worse, my memory reminded me of my NARS concealer I had lost a week ago which I probably paid too much for.

Tears started rolling into my eyes like more waves rushing up my body again. Stop. I imagined a stop sign so the droplets could get the idea that I wasn't going to stop the day for a pity party. Besides, losing my concealer is nowhere near the end of the world, but in that moment everything piled on one after the other made it seem like the weight I was carrying doubled. But I still had commitments to fulfill. Some part of me welcomed the experience. I did always say I'll learn in the event of this happening. I strongly believe each week of not each day holds an experience you can learn from. I say up straight and channeled my inner conqueror. "What next? I know what's wrong. I know when I need this taken care of. Now I need a plan and a backup plan"

The next thing that flew across my mind was the memory of my brother's dead battery experience. I remembered he had something that could help and I flew downstairs. In my frantic short-lived searching, I gave up and started thinking there was no way I was going to be able to find it. Feeling defeated, I went back upstairs to think of what else I could do. I sat there with my phone in hand. I was running out of time. My mind raced and finally stopped on insurance. AAA (Triple A). I'll keep this part short. I was on the phone for over an hour with 3 different AAA employees. Two telling me I could get a jump for my car under the policy and one telling me I needed the membership number, which I didn't have access to. In the end, I realized I couldn't wait for AAA to come save me when I knew there had to be another way. I got to the basement and just stood there, trying to think of what could possibly help. I looked around the room calmly and then I saw it there in the corner, sitting on the floor like it was just waiting for me. The Black & Decker Jump Starter!

I got excited and felt victorious for another win. This orange box could possibly jump start my car and I could go on about my day. I knew I probably had to charge it. I read everything on and attached to it and I definitely had to charge it, but with a little bit of I hope I decided I would just try it anyway. I didn't have much time left and I doubted it would be charged by the time I needed to leave. I looked up how to connect the positive and negative cables. They each had symbols just like the battery in my car. I attached the positive cable to the positive bolt on the battery and then the negative. I turned on the jump starter and got in the car. Saying a little prayer I pushed the start button. In case you find yourself in this situation make sure you put the key in the ignition and then push the start button and hold it down. This might work for you, but the Jump Start was just not charged enough for my attempt. I detached the negative and then the positive, making sure they didn't touch. I went back inside and charged it for as long as I could. At this point, my car's accessories mode was on, but no accessories were available or working and the car wouldn't turn off completely either. This worried me because I had to leave it here on the street in about an hour to get to the volunteering event. I got ready to leave as the jump starter charged. When it was absolutely time to leave, I tried it again. Not much success, but something happened. The accessories were now on and working, but not the engine. I was relieved. I could at least turn off and lock my car while I was out now.

So from this experience, I hope you will consider the following

Always having jumper cables in your car

Buying a Jump Start

Staying calm in difficult situations

Trying to figure out a solution before you call for help

Knowing when you have tried all you can in the time you have, and then calling for reliable help

YouTube can be your best friend in a ton of difficult situations

Even when you feel defeated, keep your chin up and try to think positive

Now that you've heard this part of my week, go to my page and follow so you don't miss next week's life experience. (My Odyssey Page).

I hope your week was better than mine!

Update: Next week's article will be a special thank you to the wonderful people involved in the amazing fundraising done at Muhlenberg College.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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