Saffron Watson

Sunday, 16 April 2017

The Truth About Uni | Finance

This is the third instalment of a collaboration with other student bloggers. This week is all about finance at university.

Being a third year at university I have honestly been through the whole finance drama.

Firstly, before you even start university there are a few financial questions:

1. How much will my loan be?
2. Can I live off of it comfortably?
3. When do I have to pay my deposit?

To answer question one, you can get a rough estimate from the Student Finance Calculator, all you need are some basic details such as how much your tuition fees are, family income (prepare for your parents to not want to tell you this information even though you need to know it to fill out the actual finance forms), when you're starting and if you are going to university in or outside of London and any disabilities or extra help you might need.

This is a rough guide of how much you might get for that year, and keep in mind you get three payments throughout the year. We were on low income so a lot of my maintenance loan turned into a grant (grants mean you don't have to pay it back - yipee!) and I also qualified for an extra bursary each term (more free money).

For those of you starting this year, it's all unfortunately been turned into loans [insert sad face emoji].

Here is an example of the finance calculator:

You shouldn't be terrified of finance, there's lots of help around and especially at your university to guide you through the process.

The second question depends on how much you get, you will need to budget and work out how much rent you need to pay each term, if there's anything you'll need to pay for as part of your course, and a rough food budget. Notice I haven't included booze in this! First and foremost you need a roof over your head and food! There are lots of stories of students getting their first instalment of their loan and spending it all on the first Fresher's night - please do not do this. Unless you have rich parents to fall back on that is not advisable!

In my first year I didn't go out drinking much, partly because my housemates weren't party animals and I was quite happy binging Netflix and making Angel Delight. I also kept to roughly £20 per week on food as I shopped at ASDA and would raid the reduced sections as I memorised their reducing times!

If you keep to a strict budget you will be perfectly fine! I also kept my job so I had some extra income for when that loan starts to disappear, I would definitely recommend looking for a part time job even if it's just one day a week. It'll put some extra money in your pocket and also show's people you were prepared to work through university and not just party all the time.

My third point is very important, I didn't actually realise I had to pay a deposit before my loan came in. This is so that landlords can have security that they will have tenants for that year and usually they aren't refundable. I was completely broke before going to university, it was a very recent thing where I went shopping a bit too much and had to ask friends for money as I was ashamed of nearly having noughts appear in my account.

Luckily my parents saw I was hiding something and helped me cover my deposit and I paid them back with my loan. If you can save up now for your deposit I would advise it as you don't want to get into a bad habit of borrowing money (cough that's me cough cough).

As I mentioned earlier, in my first year I did ok I didn't have a lot of savings (I paid for a holiday, an iPad and lots of clothes that I never wore or didn't fit me), but then I kept getting into a bad habit of having to borrow money to see through the months. I also tried leaving my job for other jobs and it didn't work out and I ended up getting taxed a fair amount for having two jobs, and at one point they thought I had four?!

I made the mistake of getting an overdraft in my second year, as everyone had one and I thought it'd be a nice safety net and I wouldn't have to borrow from my parents anymore. I started off with just £500 as I could easily pay that back with wages. However, I could increase my overdraft online. Bad mistake. This then lead onto making an appointment at the bank to ask for an even bigger overdraft, and by this point I was in too deep.

If you saw my post earlier this year Why I'm On A Spending Ban you'll have noticed it's taken me awhile to get my finances under wraps. If you can avoid overdrafts I'd advise that! I didn't really need one and I abused it a bit too much.

I've got my last loan this month and it's terrifying. I have no savings and I still need to clear some debt and pay for driving. So you can guess where it's all going to go...

My one last piece of advice to you, whether you're about to become a university student or are a first or second year, is to save or spend your money wisely. If you need a phone, laptop, camera, decent clothes that are durable and can justify it then go ahead. But these loans won't last forever, trust me! These three years go by really fast!

Sorry for a very wordy post, but I hope it's helpful and can give you some insight!

Please check out these lovely ladies posts!

Jasmine from Thoughts From Jasmine (she brought us all together)

Jen from Velvet Spring

Becky from The Owlet

Annaleid from Actually Anna

Sophie from The Glamour Reel

Katherine from Millennial Rants

Tori from Legally Brunette

Wednesday, 12 April 2017

The First Time I Was Objectified By Men

This post has been inspired by 13 Reasons Why and by Vix Meldrew. When I saw the female characters getting objectified by the male characters in 13RW, it brought back a lot of memories from clubbing and even when I (like Hannah) moved to a new school. I think we get a little too used to the treatment we can get from some men boys, and we don't often speak up and say that actually that's not ok.

The first time I was objectified by males, was when I was eleven. I moved secondary schools and I became the interesting new girl where everyone gawked at me. Before boys even talked to me they were asking me out because I was a new toy. I kept rejecting them as they didn't even know me and didn't even try to.

When I was thirteen my first kiss was stolen from me. He didn't ask my permission he just shoved his tongue in my mouth and I had no idea what to do, I didn't fancy him and he was my friends boyfriend but she was ok with it?! I felt so violated and sick for a few days afterwards. I was sad that that was my first kiss.

At fourteen, I was coerced into kissing a guy I was seeing. I wasn't comfortable but I didn't want to seem frigid and boring. At this age many of the guys in my year started slapping and pinching girls bums around school, with no fear of consequences. I don't think any girls spoke up about it (including myself) even though we were clearly uncomfortable and not "asking for it".

During my mid-teens at school many guys would flirt with girls with no intention of being with them, it was just because they could. They wanted to be seen as an alpha male and have other classmates be in awe of their presence. I made it clear one day that I fancied this alpha male and he kissed another girl in front of me, what purpose that had I don't know other than to hurt my feelings.

Although at the age of fourteen, I met my current boyfriend when I had just about given up on boys. He was kind, sweet and cared about me. I started to love myself and have confidence as someone actually loved me for me (apart from my parents).

When I was eighteen I started to go clubbing, for awhile I didn't get any male attention which I liked as I had a boyfriend and wasn't interested. I was happy in my bubble until various men boys started to pinch and slap my bum (much like during secondary school) and had no interest in talking to me. They would flee or hide in their group of mates and laugh because it's hilarious when a girl wants to confront the person who just assaulted and violated her. It's too loud in clubs to lecture these boys (because they are clearly not real men) so you suffer in silence.

I've heard from many of my friends worse accounts than I've had, and I don't appreciate strangers groping me or my friends. For the record I don't flash loads of skin, I cover up because I'm not comfortable in my own skin, I wear leggings and leather jackets so I can hide my flaws, and yet I still get harassed and felt up.

A few times I have been quite drunk and some guys spot their chance at seizing my vulnerability to 'get' with me. Why is it that guys want to get with girls/women who aren't completely conscious? It's twisted, the same as just wanting to feel a woman and walk away with no intention of getting to know them.

I know this is not all guys, but I've had so many encounters I've lost count. I've also lost count of the amount of nights ruined by guys harassing me and my friends over and over again. Just because women are out clubbing does not mean it's an invitation to assault and harass them.

13 Reasons Why made me sad and angry about the way that men boys look at us, even though it's fictional I bet the majority of women out there have experienced harassment at least once in their life.

It shouldn't be right to have to completely cover up so you don't "ask" for attention, and still get groped. It shouldn't be right that women can't get drunk because that's "asking for it" I don't hear of many cases where men are drunk or wearing revealing clothing and getting groped and assaulted by women.

If you've had similar experiences with harassment in clubs, or feel you've been objectified from a young age, please speak out. The more we talk about this, the more chance there might be of changing the way society is behaving.

Let me know what you think in the comments or @ me here.

Saffron x

Friday, 7 April 2017

ASOS Spring Wish List

Here's a few items I am lusting over from ASOS for spring.

One of my must have items at the moment is an embroidered jacket or patches on a denim jacket, I really would love a comfy slightly oversized one. There's something really summery about denim jackets, and if it's oversized you can have a hoodie inside it so if it does rain (which it does, it's England) you've got a practical hood. 

My style changes from day to day, but I'm loving the tops and dresses with chokers attached to them, and I quite like rock-style tees as I tend to pair them with my leather jacket when I go to the pub, and I feel like a boss in it.

I really want the laurel shirt, if you're a film buff or know much about film festivals when you get nominated or when you win you put a laurel on your film poster. One of my favourite parts about spring and summer time is that you can dress a bit more casual as you don't have to layer so much and there's more room for accessories!

Now that it's starting to get a bit sunny I'd love to sit in the garden with a cute colouring book and colour any stresses away, and this book looks so instagram-able!

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Saffron x


Thursday, 6 April 2017

Why You Should Watch '13 Reasons Why'

WARNING: There might be spoilers in this post, and discussion of mental health and suicide.

If you haven't heard of 13 Reasons Why yet, where have you been and get Netflix asap. I managed to watch all thirteen episodes and the behind the scenes video within twenty four hours...I had a day off ok...I thought I'd do a little post while the series is hot on why I think everyone should watch it.

It starts a conversation about mental health and suicide 

So many important issues are raised in this series, and I feel for each and every character (except Bryce), the story is so detailed and they tried to get it as accurate as possible. I can't remember the last series or film to touch on an issue so strongly in a long time.

Anyone can relate to some part of the series

I personally can relate to some of the issues that pop up throughout, and I don't think I've ever felt so tied to characters before by knowing what they've been through. And they are fictional characters.

It's easily binge-able 

Ok, yes the episodes are nearly an hour long each, BUT I just had to know who was on the next tape and why Clay is on one of them.

The soundtrack is amazing

I personally cannot stop listening to the soundtrack, it sounds so "come of age" and there's some Cure and Joy Division on there too. Take a listen for yourself, I don't usually listen to albums all the way through but after loving the songs in the series I can listen to it on repeat.

You're never sure what's going to happen in each episode

From the outset you know that Hannah commits suicide, but you're not sure of all the reasons why until the end (so watch it all the way to the end, please).

Cassette tapes 👌🏼

Everyone thought cassette tapes wouldn't make a comeback, well they were wrong and I want a cassette walkman now. Every time I wear my Sony headphones I feel like I'm listening to the tapes.

Some parts are uncomfortable to watch

But that's good, it's not supposed to be easy. I know some people are a bit squeamish but for me it was so good to see how it feels. It's meant to start a conversation.

It was a book before it was a Netflix series 

Seeing how amazing the series was makes me want to read the book (my inner book worm coming out).

It's good to get angry

During and after watching this I did feel down, but also anger. For the injustices, against a number of the characters, and what people in real life might go through. 

Parents should watch this

If ever a parent wanted to understand what their millennial child is going through, watch this. For someone who's experienced bulling in real life and online this is a pretty accurate representation.

Clay is bae

For me Clay is the living embodiment of an awkward teenager, Dylan Minnette plays him so well. Even though he's a male character I can connect to how he feels, he makes me laugh, makes me cry, makes me cheer him on.

There are some beautiful shots

As a film student I analyse TV series and films automatically and by choice, there are some stunning shots. One is during their winter formal, and sometimes the narrative flips to visions that Clay has and they are beautifully haunting.

Have you ever wondered?

If you've ever wondered what emptiness looks like, what depression/self harm/suicide/objectification...then look no further. If you want to understand what it's like to be a girl in a man-made world, and how your reputation can diminish with a few rumours, then please watch this.

Oh look that was 13 reasons why...

What did you think of 13 Reasons Why? Or let me know if you now want to go and watch all thirteen episodes!

Another perk of this series is before an episode begins that might trigger some audience members it tells you beforehand, and it lets you know where you can seek help. I know the US and UK might be slightly different but I always see adverts for the Samaritans and Childline, if ever you are seeking help.


Monday, 3 April 2017

Beauty and the Beast Review (2017)

I recently saw the live action version of Beauty and the Beast, I knew this was probably the most excited I'd been for a Disney reboot (aside from Alice in Wonderland). I love Emma Watson and her values, and that she turned down the chance to be in La La Land for BATB. If you haven't seen the original BATB or ever heard of it before, then beware there may be some spoilers!

Somehow I had forgotten how much I love this fairytale, I used to watch it non-stop (when I wasn't watching The Lion King) and I'm pretty sure it's where I got the idea to have my own massive library similar to the one in the Beast's castle.

I wasn't too sure on the casting choice of Dan Stevens for the Beast, I loved him in Downton Abbey but thought he seemed a bit odd in the beginning (he did have some rather bowie-esque make up on). Plus you don't really see him throughout the film, mainly just his voice in Beast mode. Sometime's the animation for the Beast seemed a little unrealistic, yet in other times he was really believable and even a bit scary (for a 21 year old).

Emma Watson aced it as Belle, I couldn't help but think how much of an inspiration she is, and that her and Belle hold the same values, much as I do too.

I'm going off tangent for a second here! I was getting some serious girl boss and feminist vibes throughout the film. Belle doesn't want to marry, or at least not marry Gaston, but he and the other villagers think a woman should be domesticated and reproduce. I feel these prejudices remain today, and I'm a sucker for growing up wanting to marry and have kids, however, I also have so much drive to make something of myself, why can't a woman do both?

Now I know it is hard to have a career and have kids, but I do want both in time, my career will come first for the meantime, as I've always believed in having a career and home before having children. And I know that perhaps Belle's values get a bit lost when she falls in love with the Beast, but they have common interests and explore those together. And yes sometimes when you fall in love you do lose yourself, but she's still so headstrong that she know's what she wants, and she still admits to not being free.

She changes the Beast, I also know that when I was growing up I heard the phrase "a leopard doesn't change it's spots", but at some point in a persons life they were good. Love can change people, sometimes more than others, and women aren't stupid for thinking they can change men. It means they have power to tame the beast.

Right, I think I've said my piece now!

This version does more or less run side by side with the animation, but it also had other elements of comedy in it. Belle also gets involved with inventing, which I heard some people didn't like, but I love that she learns from her father, she's a smart woman how could she not pick up a skill? It also was a huge surprise as to whom some of the furniture characters were played by! For example Emma Thompson played Mrs Potts, Ewan McGregor - Lumiére and Ian McKellen plays Cogsworth, and I didn't find out until they were turned back into human form.

I loved the music, I know it's the same to the animation but the film as a whole just made me smile whilst sitting in the cinema and the occasional giggle out loud. I can see why people went to see it again, when it comes out on DVD I am definitely buying it so I can watch it on repeat! I also might get the soundtrack too...

I know this isn't my usual content for my blog, but I loved the film so much I just had to write about it and about what it means to me. Plus, I am mainly a lifestyle blogger so I write about things in my life, and here you go; 'A Film I Loved'.

I would definitely recommend you see it while you can, especially if you are a Disney fan! I wouldn't call myself a massive Disney fan but I do love Disney films!

I hope you enjoyed some different content on my blog, and let me know what you thought of Beauty and the Beast or whether you will go and see it!

Saffron x

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Sunday, 2 April 2017

The Truth About Uni | Accomodation

This is the third instalment of the blogger collaboration I'm a part of as a student blogger.

For this post I will be talking about accommodation at university.

First Year

Even though I lived fairly close to my university (Portsmouth) I wanted to experience living on my own (and with several other people) I wanted to live in halls as it seemed like an interesting living situation. Unfortunately, either something messed up in the post or I was so busy with my college deadlines I missed the paperwork for when I should apply for halls.

I was a bit devastated as it was only two months until I started university with no where to live. I was advised to still apply for halls but that I was better off to looking into private housing. I had no clue where to start. I visited various Facebook pages with calls for housemates but I was a bit sceptic living with people I'd met through Facebook and if they looked a bit dodgy.

I worked as a sales assistant at the universities graduation photos, and one of the other assistants needed a housemate (I felt a bit more positive this time as I felt I knew her after working up to twelve hour days by her side). I had already said yes to another house at this time, but there was no contract, and apparently I couldn't move in until the first day of uni...I wan't too fond of this but at the time I had no where else to go. As there was no contract I wasn't obliged to pay anything, or find a replacement for them (I was also a bit miffed at how I was treated but oh well).

I visited this new potential house and it was the best one I'd seen, it was all inclusive so once I'd paid for my rent that also covered all the bills each month as well (bonus!) the last room available was the front downstairs one. I wasn't overly keen as I'd never had a room downstairs at the front of the house before but it was a decent sized room.

My mum helped me move in with a mediocre load of my belongings (it's worth noting how much stuff multiplies when you move in some where) and when it was time for my mum to leave we both got really emotional. I hadn't had time to actually process that I was moving out, even though I'd already spent a lot of time at my boyfriends, this was something definite. When she left I felt really alone as I didn't know if anyone else was in and I put on Buffy the Vampire Slayer and shed a few tears in self pity.

After a few days I got to know my housemates and settled in, I tried to go to as many Fresher nights out as a I could and made new friends. My housemates were all third years and they didn't go out clubbing at all so it was a bit hard to make friends so I had to make some on my course.

In my first lecture I met my future housemate as we instantly got on, and you have to start looking for decent houses by October/November if you don't plan on staying in your current one. Looking for decent houses is really stressful, basically all student houses have mould, it's something really gross you have to deal with. Landlords won't really help with that you just have to clean it with mould spray yourself (I learnt this the hard way when one landlord just painted over it, that doesn't work at all). Or you end up with really tiny rooms.

Second Year

As previously mentioned I moved in with two of my course mates and a mutual friend. I became the lead tenant as I liked to organise things and had arranged all of the viewings for houses. I was really excited as this was a bigger house and I bagged the bigger room (it's noted there was some arguing and falling out over this, in retrospect I was quite stressed from my first year and wouldn't have minded one of the medium rooms).

I did get on with my housemates really well but there's always issues over bills (this time we had to pay via meter) or cleaning as you don't realise how quickly a kitchen can get messy with four people living in it...ok maybe you can.

Three of us were second years, and we lived with one third year but we all loved going out and clubbing and bonding as housemates, which made me really happy! We'd go out on a regular basis and take lots of housemate selfies.

In the middle of the year, we decided to live in the same house to save the hassle of looking for another one, we were really close to uni and the centre of Portsmouth and some of the discrepancies of the house could be overlooked.

However, our current landlords sold the house to another company who wanted to redo the house into a seven/eight bed property and charged ridiculous prices. So we were left to look for another house.

Third Year

I'm jumping to third year because after a lot of university stress and mental health problems, I'd decided to live at home to try and save my sanity. I'd realised in my current state I wasn't fit to live with other people and needed to move back home to try and get better, as I'd started receiving counselling. This meant I could save some money as I'd only have to pay a bit of rent to my mum and cover travel to and from university.

Even though the travel is a hassle when it comes to late finishes and getting stuck in traffic (I tried to take the bus because it was cheaper than the train), and with going clubbing and having to pay £15-£20 for a taxi home, I felt a lot better living back home at my base and not falling out with housemates as it's just me, my mum and our two nuisance cats.

If you're a regular on my blog you'd have read my Why I'm On A Spending Ban post, and by living at home I've been able to crawl out of my black hole of an overdraft.

I don't regret living at home at all, I feel more grounded and more me again! I have fallen out of clubbing for now, I'm not sure why but I'm going to write a post about it soon! I just wonder what it might have been like if I'd stayed at home this whole time, would I have more savings, would I be able to drive??

Even though I've learned a lot through living away from home, I already had some life skills through working and through how my parents raised me. For some moving away from home is essential for what university you go to, but if you can, I would advise living at home for at least one of the years.

So there you have it, my accommodation story! I hope it's insightful for those going to university this year, and maybe even current students who are having housemate/landlord/money issues!

I will be posting the next instalment in two weeks time!

Please check out the other lovely blogger's posts:

Jasmine from Thoughts From Jasmine (she brought us all together)

Jen from Velvet Spring

Becky from The Owlet

Annaleid from Actually Anna 

Sophie from The Glamour Reel

Katherine from Millennial Rants

Tori from Legally Brunette

Saffron x

Sunday, 19 March 2017

The Truth About Uni | Why I Chose Everything

If you don't know I'm part of a blogger collab with other university student bloggers! I've been really excited to start posting on this collab, as I've already wanted to write about my university experience for some time now.

In this post I will talk a bit about my course, why I chose it, how and why I chose the university I went to.


I chose the University of Portsmouth, on my list of options I believe I had picked this as my last option. I wasn't too interested about going to a University on my doorstep (as I lived in Havant at the time), I wanted to move away (mainly to London) and I didn't think Portsmouth was good at the time. After going to interviews and not getting into Ravensbourne (a sort of prestigious film school with very limited spaces), and Bournemouth Arts (Edgar Wright went there, if you don't know of him google is your best friend!). I was quite disappointed with two of the unis rejecting me, I was so passionate about film I didn't understand why they wouldn't want me. But, I thoroughly believe that things happen for a reason.

As time got nearer, I looked at going through clearing (a certain time towards going to university where you can give up all of your acceptances to go to another option you didn't choose before), I had looked at going to Greenwich, as it's in London and their film course looked really good! I've always had this feeling that one day I'll have to move to London or near it for my career.

However, I chickened out of moving away to London and when I looked around Portsmouth it actually was pretty good! I was still going to move and live down there, but this meant I could keep my job for extra income.


If you've read my posts for a while, and even my tweets you'll know that I study Film Production. Originally I wanted to be a writer (novels and women's magazines such as Fabulous, Glamour and Cosmopolitan) I then started looking at becoming a film critic, and thought it would be amazing to watch and talk about films for a living! This is obviously a niche as there's only two big film magazines; Empire and Total Film.

My boyfriend did a media course at college and it mainly centered around filmmaking, of which I was allowed on set to help out. This was my first instinct that I had to make films, I loved the feeling of being on set and watching something be created in front of my eyes. Although it was my intention to learn more about the filmmaking process to make me a more competent film critic by understanding the ins and outs.

As you may have guessed I fell in love with filmmaking. I took a BTEC for one year (as I'd already taken photography, english language and english literature A Levels). I was so confident and creative, I took on every single role, and often created these short videos single handed (they weren't great but I had such a passion and tried new things).

So writing took a back seat as I prepared myself for three more years of filmmaking at uni.

My course is accredited which means that the industry recognizes it as a course that prepares us for that industry. We have some amazing kit; Arri Alexa, Black Magic and the C300, I've loved learning and using these cameras but at times the kit is limited when there's a large amount of demand even for when it comes to film units.

There's a lot of theory to learn as well, at college we focused on the practical side of filmmaking not theory (that would be media/film studies) so I had a lot more to learn than some other students. I haven't particularly enjoyed this aspect, it has been interesting learning about film noir and Hollywood, but I'm just not very good at theory!

I'm in my third year now, which means in a few months I will be finished. Gosh I cannot wait!

So that's it for my first post of the collab, if you have any questions about my course of university you can comment on this post or tweet me @SaffronWatson_ I hope you liked learning a little bit more about me!

Please check out the other lovely blogger's posts:

Jasmine from Thoughts From Jasmine (she brought us all together)

Jen from Velvet Spring

Becky from The Owlet

Annaleid from Actually Anna 

Sophie from The Glamour Reel

Katherine from Millennial Rants

Tori from Legally Brunette

Another post will be up in two weeks!

Saffron x
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