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The Daily Cardinal Est. 1892
Wednesday, June 19, 2024
Mini Cooper
A Mini Cooper car photographed on March 12, 2024.

An unspoken bond: A girl and her car

As a second-year college student at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, I found myself reminiscing about my high school years. Having relocated multiple times, I eventually found a home in the coastal town of La Jolla, California. 

Just as I was adjusting to my surroundings, college approached and necessitated yet another move. This transition meant bidding farewell to my comforts —friends, family, my familiar environment and my beloved gray Mini Cooper. In La Jolla, my distinctive car was a well-known sight, serving as a symbol of my presence wherever it roamed. 

My Mini Cooper held sentimental value as my father gifted it to me on my 16th birthday, sacrificing his own car to make it special — a gift every teenage girl dreams of receiving on her birthday.

At that moment, I considered it just a vehicle. But on Sept. 15, 2020, my Mini Cooper revealed its true significance. It was a symbol of miracles. I had been involved in a car accident that left my entire Mini Cooper in shreds. I was the only thing that made it out without a scratch. My car was more than metal and wheels; it was a guardian angel in disguise. To this day, it remains one of the most terrifying experiences I’ve ever had, and I’m still puzzled by how I managed to emerge unscathed and why fate chose me. 

The car turned into a giant bubble that saved my life by sacrificing its own.

Grateful for the car's role in saving his daughter's life, my father ensured me he remained loyal to the brand by replacing the now-destroyed car with the same model.

This time, the car had a new purpose: it bore the weight of my survival and became my sanctuary. It provided me with a space to simply be myself. My Mini Cooper remained a constant anchor, offering solace and stability amid moments of turmoil and distress. From iconic car rides with friends and crafting cherished high school memories to being a comforting presence even when tears are running down my face from being heartbroken, this car served as my emotional support system. It brought me home safe, regardless of the circumstances. It never gave up on me. 

High school soon came to an end and I went to college, where I didn’t need my Mini Cooper. Although I don’t use it on a daily basis anymore, it’s always sitting in the same spot, waiting for me to come back. 

But when I finally did, my car was different. It was different because I had grown, and the car had stayed the same. It represented my old self, but that wasn’t a bad thing. I loved who I was, but I love this new version even more. 

Whenever I see a Mini Cooper on the street, I smile. I smile because I understand that such a small vehicle holds a lot of power. It has the power to save you from tragedy, sit there while you cry, hold your secrets, share your favorite meal, listen to your favorite songs, drive you to your graduation and take you to your new awaiting adventures.

Now my Mini Cooper is driven by my dad, who takes it to Los Angeles and back during the week for his job. It watches over him while I’m away at school, just as it watched over me while I was home.

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