Who drives stick anymore?


Makayla Edwards

Mackenzie Southworth posing for a picture.

Daniel Crane, Staffer

These days, everyone drives automatic. Everyone. Or do they? As it turns out, there are still some students out there who drive a manual transmission (also known as a stick shift). When driving a vehicle using a manual transmission, the driver must operate a clutch and gear stick to change gears. It can be a challenging yet fun endeavor.

One Sunlake student who drives a vehicle with a manual transmission is Mackenzie Southworth, a junior. One might assume that she started out driving an automatic transmission and learned how to drive manual as time went on, but that would be an incorrect assumption. Mackenzie stated, “I have been driving stick since the day I got my permit.” Mackenzie further explained that “It was still my [sic] dad’s car at the time, but he worked from home and so he didn’t use it much, so he wanted me to learn to drive it.” Mackenzie said she even “took my [sic] license test in it and passed with a perfect score.” Quite inspiring for those students looking to get their licenses! After all, if the test can be passed with a manual vehicle than automatic must be a breeze, right?

Mackenzie had more to her story about driving stick. Adding on about the manual car she drives, she said “I remember being driven to kindergarten in it.” Describing what it was like learning at first, she explained, “I was definitely terrible at first, I hopped quite a few curbs my first few circles around the parking lot.” Additionally, she added, “I’m so glad I learned. Driving stick, while difficult to master, is super fun.”

Mackenzie went on to explain that it’s not all just about driving: the car itself is important too. “My car is a white 2006 Toyota Corolla, and it’s got 206,000 miles on it!” she explained. Certainly a car with some history! And history indeed, as Mackenzie explains “Usually when there’s an issue with it [the car], me and my dad work to disassemble it and fix it.” Finally adding on that, “I love driving stick, and I want to for as long as possible.”

Sure, driving a manual transmission might not be for everyone, especially those just starting, but it might be worth looking into. It can be a fun and respectable passion that has been somewhat forgotten in the modern age of automatic gear shifts. So, are you going to go stick?

Mackenzie’s 2006 Toyota Corolla, posing for a beautiful shot.