Saffron Watson

Friday, 22 September 2017

Passing My Driving Test

I first started driving about four years ago. It was going well but I wanted to pass my theory (of which you need to pass to progress onto your practical test) and I had failed the first time. My funds were getting a bit thin and I decided to give my education priority, so I postponed learning to drive.

Then, last summer I got my bum into gear and passed my theory test, however my money still wasn't great (if you've read my budget and overdraft posts you'll know it's been this way for awhile). With my last student loan I decided to put the majority to one side and dedicated to learning to drive.

I started off with one or two lessons a week to slowly get back into driving, I wasn't really having a good run at first. I was quite nervous and panicky. With my extra wisdom in those four years I'd grown very scared and cautious of other drivers and everything that could go wrong.

My instructor recommended a therapy spray, and I tried some before a lesson and found that it did help calm me down. (Much like the one below, which I got from Holland and Barrett.)



Things were gradually improving with my manoeuvres and independent driving so we decided to set a deadline. I booked a test in a month's time, and started to worry a little bit as time was going to fly by! But it made it more real, and I could see the possibility of driving by the end of the summer and grew very excited!

My progress began to slow down a little bit coming up to my test, and I was crying in frustration a lot during my lessons which was very anti-productive. We decided that it would be best to have a week of lessons every single day to try and build up my confidence as we didn't want to cancel my test (you have the option to cancel three working days before your test).

I was getting there in my lessons, but I was having a lot of hesitation and doing silly things.

Then, it was the day of my test. Oh boy.

I've never been the best at exams and interviews, and I haven't really had to deal with either for quite awhile so it's bit of a shock to the system, especially with my anxiety.

Preparation

I tried not to think about it too much over the weekend, as I know what I'm like. I fantasise about the future and figure out all of the outcomes so I am prepared. I tried to keep myself calm as I didn't want to freak out, I have been putting so much pressure on myself to learn to drive.

On the day I woke up with plenty of time to spare, I had a small breakfast (Kellogg's Cornflakes) in case I started to feel sick with nerves, I didn't want a big breakfast. I tried to picture myself passing, I knew I wanted the conventional certificate pose to post later on my Facebook page. So I made sure I was wearing a bit of make up, and wore one of my favourite H&M jumpers that says "stay positive" on it.

I also had mine and my mum's lucky charm; a small snoopy toy that we take everywhere with us. My dad and my step nan gave me good luck cards and I brought those with me too, I wanted to have every ounce of luck I could possibly have.

Going to the driving test centre was very surreal and I began to feel panicky, but instead of breaking down and crying about it, I used my time to breathe and calm down.

I knew it was going to be weird not having my instructor in the car with me, but my examiner made me feel a bit more relaxed. My test wasn't completely smooth sailing, I did lots of little mistakes but I chose not to dwell on them and to carry on as normal. I thought I had failed in all honesty, but it turns out I only got six minors!

I HAD PASSED.



After all this time of being stuck using public transport and asking for lifts, I finally earned my freedom to drive myself around. Even though I was a little but chuffed with passing, it still didn't seem real and I was still disappointed with how I drove on my test. But, I knew what I needed to improve and was looking forward to getting my first car!

I'm thinking of doing more driving related posts as it's a huge part of my life now, and I'd like to help or inform people in the same position as me!

If you've got any questions about my driving test experience don't hesitate to comment below or tweet me!

I hope you enjoyed reading my post.

Love Saffron x
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Friday, 8 September 2017

Life After University

Top: New Look Sunglasses: River Island

I've been quite absent on social media and not tending to my bloggy things (apart from my Instagram which you should totally have a look at). It's made me sad as I love writing and publishing posts and interacting with other bloggers. I've been quite busy since graduation with working, going to Canada and Disneyland Paris (posts and videos to come for both!) and I'm still planning more adventures in the near future.

Since finishing university I've felt in limbo, I've got my degree but I haven't got a proper job (by this I mean either a full time job or a more serious part time job). I've applied for jobs in different sectors but I either don't have enough experience or none in that field. I'm also at that point where I don't want to offer my services for free anymore, one; because I'm not in education and two; I feel I'm worth more than free labour.

Whilst the job hunt isn't amazing right now, I've been quite focused on spending time with friends, family and myself. I've been looking back at how my mental health was one year ago to now a lot, and it's improved but I still have my bad days. I think we forget how hard it is sometimes to get out of bed, let alone go into anxious unknown situations, and we need to give ourselves a pat on the back.


I'm trying to get myself together, during university I sort of fell apart in many aspects and lost myself amongst all of the stress and mental health issues. So I'm trying to patch things up that I'd been neglecting and to become a new and improved Saffron, which also means going back to my counselling tasks to help me get back on track.

I tried meditation once and it was amazing. I believe it was this one by Mark Williams that my counsellor recommended, I'm not sure what happened as to whether I dozed off because I was so calm or if I was at peace by the end of the session. Honestly, try it! I want to become more zen, so be less stressed and angry at situations and take calmer approaches because being angry and irritated isn't going to help anyone.



In summary, finishing university hasn't been amazing! But, I do not and will not be missing deadlines and coursework! When I have spare time it's actually spare time to do whatever I want to do. I've seen a lot of other people struggle too after university, and post-graduation depression is a real thing.

Despite this being a rather gloomy rant, I  do sometimes feel positive about the future and I'm on my way to improving my day to day life, go me!


If you have any advice on how to deal with life after university let me know! I definitely could use it.

I hope you are all well and had a nice summer...now to look forward to autumn 🍁

Love Saffron x


Photo credits to Connor Cleary who shot these on his Ricoh.

Check out Connor's social media:

Connor's Twitter
Connor's Instagram


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Monday, 31 July 2017

Pryzm Nightclub Review | Portsmouth

The lovely Mike Douglas from Mike's Open Journal got contacted by an agency that invited the Pompey Bloggers have a VIP experience in the new Pryzm (previously Liquid).



It's based in the perfectly spot in Portsmouth, just an arms length from public transport and pre-drink bars and pubs.

The entrance has been modified, it's been brought forward which pushed the queues further out of the venue. What used to be the cloakroom is now a new room!

The Curve

I love the look of this room, I like how there's the perfect ratio of booths, seating areas and dance floor. There's also a huge mirror to take selfies in with your friends! The music was quite current and un-modified which I prefer sometimes to mixes.



Pryzm


I didn't spend much time in the main room, it looks so lavish with the big circular booths and I loved the lights. This room will most likely be where all the big names will be performing/DJ-ing.

Vinyl




With such a funky name, it lives up to it's expectations. With images of icons covering one of the walls by a seating area you get throwback vibes. You won't be able to miss the ginormous colour changing dance floor, definitely a huge selling point as there's plenty of room for everyone to jump on! Again there's plenty of seating and VIP booths, and there's a nice long bar to order drinks from. There was also a little cloakroom in this room as well.

I will definitely be coming back to Pryzm, I've got my birthday coming up soon so I might show my face there as I think a lot of my friends will love it and it's still all new and exciting.

Thank you to the lovely people at Limegreen Communications for organising the night for us!

Let me know if you've been to Pryzm or if you're thinking of paying it a visit!

Love Saffron x


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Monday, 24 July 2017

My Grad Ball | In Review

If you haven't seen on my social media I've recently graduated from University, and had my Grad Ball.

I was a bit sceptical about attending my ball, it's more the price that was concerning me. Starting from £35 - £45 each just for entry, or to help cover the attractions inside. However, any other day of the week the Students Union is free to enter...

I spoke to my parents about it and they convinced me to go as I only get to do this once, and therefor had to convince Connor to come with me too!



A little shout out to the lovely ladies at Diamond Quays in Fareham for doing my make up and hair for Grad Ball, it took a weight off of my shoulders and I was in love with how dolled up they made me!




The theme for the evening was "Spring into Summer, Fall into Winter"...not much of a specific theme in my eyes, but each room had a different season. My favourite was the big white marque decked out as Winter named 'Ice Palace', I loved the decorations and the fairy lights! They had live music acts on until 10pm then the silent disco started.

I didn't take too many photos I'm afraid as I wanted it to sink in that this was my last piece of university. Most of the union was draped in white fabric which did add a bit of mystery and it didn't look like the union by day. It was nice that there were different rooms to go to and little sitting areas, dotted around.



I loved that there were two backdrops for the photo booth (The Photo Lounge), one was summer and the other winter (as seen above). There were lots of props to choose from, but I panicked for original ideas for the four poses, and we had ten seconds in-between to change props. Connor made me laugh so much when he put on the goggles and rug he said "I can't see??!!" and I was creasing! They print out one copy there and then and the rest went up on their Facebook page the next day.

It was nice to see my peers all glammed up and have some good byes and see you soons, but in a way the event didn't feel as formal as we were dressed up to be. It was quite clubby, and in certain areas it was so crowded and a bit awkward to actually move around the building. However I'd say our favourite part was the Bandeoke in what was the Waterhole Bar but was transformed into An Ode To Autumn. If you haven't heard of Bandeoke before, it's where they have a band and a list of songs they can play and you go up and pick one of them to sing, so a more sophisticated karaoke. Connor and I were laughing so much at the drunkards getting up there and not singing along in time, but good on them for having the courage to do that!

All in all I feel if there was a bit more formality to the event and a bit more space as it gets quite cramped in there quickly! And of course it would have been nicer if it was a tad cheaper, as the whole graduation week and not to mention the whole process of going to University is so expensive, it would've been nice to have gotten a little bit more back...

I loved getting dressed up one more time for a University event with Connor. I started University with him, and I've finished it with him as well, and it's been the best experience to have had my boyfriend and best friend with me on this journey.

Let me know what your Grad Ball was like, or if you're excited for yours!

So long University!

Love Saffron x
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Monday, 10 July 2017

Embroidered Shirt Shoot


If you've seen one of my latest Instagram posts (or the amount of coffee I consumed over a few weeks) I recently completed a placement at a production company. I wanted to look smart so I bought a few things from; Boohoo.com, Primark, M&S and F&F at Tesco.

Before my placement started I wanted to have a little shoot to show off my favourite finds, and my willing photographer/boyfriend and I went on a scout for photogenic locations.







Embroidered Shirt - Primark
Bag - Primark
Jeggings - F&F at Tesco
Boots - Boohoo.com

I really enjoyed this shoot. I'm not a very photogenic person and most times I avoid having my photo taken by other people. Although I'm not the most confident with my physical appearance, I am working on it. I was quite surprised at how much I loved these photos, I hope to be doing some more exciting shoots in the future, and maybe have some more confidence!

Where else to find me


Connor's Social Media Links:

Twitter: @iamconnorcleary
Instagram: @IamConnorCleary

Saffron x
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Monday, 3 July 2017

July Giveaway!

When I hit 1,000 followers on Twitter, I mentioned doing a giveaway as a HUGE thank you to all of you who follow and interact with me. I got busy with university work, completed a placement and I've been working a lot.

Now here I am announcing the giveaway! I currently have 1,242 followers and I feel so lucky to have reached these milestones. This giveaway is to celebrate my small successes on social media, and to treat ONE lucky follower with goodies!


So we've got three face masks from Superdrug's own range, the two NEW LIMITED EDITION nail varnishes from Barry M with Boots (Stargazer and Shipwreck) which are a lovely mixed metallic colour, Barry M Matte Me Up Lip Kit in Runway and my favourite compact mirror in the shape of a mermaid shell from New Look.

All you have to do to be in with a chance of winning is to be following me on Twitter @SaffronWatson_ and retweet my pinned tweet.

-Quotes won't be counted.
-Must be following me.
-Giveaway is UK only.
-Giveaway ends 3/8/17 at 6pm.

Good Luck!

Love Saffron x
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Sunday, 18 June 2017

The Truth About Uni | Finishing My Degree

So this is possibly my last post with the student collab. The reason being that I've finished my degree, I've had all my grades back and I'm now preparing for graduation. I've really loved being a part of this collaboration and talking to the other bloggers involved.

Even though my last deadline was well over a month ago, there's no instant relief when you hand in your last piece of work. Yes, there might not be any actual work to do anymore but I had nightmares about my grades, and which units I passed etc. Not fun. But now that I've got all of my concrete grades, I do have a bit of relief that I've officially passed everything and got the grade I wanted. I'm sure it'll hit me when I'm walking across the stage in my cap and gown!

Now that the hard part is over, the even harder bit is round the corner. Getting a job! I've applied for countless jobs and even training schemes to not hear back. There's so many other graduates, previous graduates and even those who didn't extend their education going for these roles. What matters a lot to employers is your experience. There's some stressful times, but it's figuring out how to use your time wisely and effectively which could help you get employed.

It is nice to have a bit of freedom, I can work more or less if I want to. I can blog more, spend time with my parents and my friends. But there is the worry of money, of wanting to get into the film and TV industry hanging over my head, but I'm trying to enjoy myself and unwind a little bit. It's been really hard for me to complete my degree, and I do need to accept that I'm a little fragile and probably shouldn't jump into anything too soon.

I'll admit that sometimes I look back on university, and I have rose tinted glasses on. I have hated university so much that I've wanted to quit, at times it's been too much for my mental health and I've struggled to cope. If I hadn't gone to a university close to home, then I'm sure I would've quit. By being close to my family they supported me and helped me complete my degree. I do have to laugh at myself when I think I'll miss university, I'd rather be in the real world moving on with my life than do more further education.

I have learnt a lot whilst being at university, about myself and life lessons. I found out that I shouldn't be turning away from my parents, that actually it's ok to lean on and need your parents. I've been in and out of debt, and I know that I never want to be in debt again! I've also learnt a fair bit about the TV and film industry and luckily by using the university resources I got to experience being on a film set, at a production company and work with the university filming and editing videos for clients.

Even though I really didn't enjoy university, I worked hard to make the most of it, and to find the opportunities I needed in those three years to build my portfolio.

I still have a few university related posts up my sleeves, so this won't be the last one I assure you!

I wish the rest of the lovely bloggers in the collab all the best and look forward to reading the rest of their journey's!

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

Love Saffron x
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