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.


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!


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

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 to look forward to autumn 🍁

Love Saffron x

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

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