Personal Narrative: How Stan Changed My Life

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My thirteen year old car “Stan” is my lifeline. He has almost 180,000 miles and has been in the family longer than I can remember. A few years ago, my dad had planned to sell Stan, but I begged him to let me drive Stan when I turned sixteen. I rely on him daily to get me to and from school and work

Without warning, Stan died one night when I pulled into a parking space at Chick-fil-A. The power steering quit and turning the steering wheel took all the strength I could muster. I recruited my friends to push Stan into the parking spot. Jumping Stan did not bring him back to life. Feeling stranded, I ultimately called a AAA tow truck with the option of either towing home or to a service shop. My friends insisted, “Tow him to the shop to be fixed,” …show more content…

In this case, I was obsessed with fixing my car so I wasn’t stuck without transportation or with a huge mechanic bill. But along the way, I started thinking beyond the problem – I wanted to fully understand the issue to prevent the same thing from occurring in the future. I didn’t just want to replace the fuel pump; I wanted to find ways to extend the life of the new one I installed. “Wow,” I thought after more on-line research, “if I never let the gas tank drop below a quarter full, I can easily affect the life span of my new fuel pump!” As a reminder, I drew a silver arrow on my fuel gauge with a sharpie pointing to the quarter tank line. I now know when to stop at the next gas station and fill up.

It’s been almost 10,000 miles since Stan died and so far, so good. I’ve received a few comments about the silver sharpie arrow on my fuel gage but to me it’s not just an arrow. It is a symbol of a time I solved a problem by really thinking outside the box. My dream job is to be an engineer in the high performance car industry. In college, I’m excited to participate in race car challenges or any automobile clubs that are available to students. I know now that I can draw upon that small, silver arrow when I face challenges in school or everyday life…not literally, but

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