Category Archives: advice

How I (FINALLY) passed my driving test

Hi all,

Hope everyone is well!

If you read my last blog post, you will have noticed that I had mentioned the hard work that I have been putting in to pass my driving test. It has been a long road (both literally and figuratively) and I cannot tell you how elated I am to have passed. I think I am actually more proud of it than my university degree since I never thought I would pass.

Indeed, I did not pass first time and this is something very common in the UK as the UK driving test is rated as one of the hardest in the world L So if you don’t pass first time please do not worry as it is very uncommon – yes only 45% of the population pass first time and certain test centres have even lower first-time pass rates.  This is because to pass the driving test you need experience of course but also a lot of LUCK!  And unfortunately not all of us are lucky, like myself, but NEVER give up. I know it may feel like the end of the world but you WILL pass. Keep going to the test centre and ignore the driving examiners- they are mean people who have to stay within the targets of the average passes of their test centres and who will probably make more money by you coming again and again.

Now I will speak about my own experience and hopefully a lot of you will be able to relate or at least be reassured. So my story starts from when I was very young. Yes not actual driving but driving in lego land when I was smaller. It is from that very moment that I hated driving and decided to avoid driving at any costs. I hated the rules of the road as I found them confusing and my seat belt  got stuck at the end of my driving slot.

Unfortunately, I was not able to avoid driving due to pressure from a certain family member and the year before I joined university I finally applied for my provisional licence. However, I did not start driving classes until the end of my first year and had a horrible driving instructor that completely put me off driving. Honestly, he was the worst driving instructor I have ever met – he would make me park up so he could meet his friends, be on the phone during lessons and tell me that ‘some people are natural drivers and others are not’. I stopped after 3 lessons and instead decided to focus on doing my theory test without driving the following year.

After this I went to Paris for a year abroad so my driving lessons were put on hold until I came back. Once I did I found an excellent driving instructor from the AA who taught me everything. His lessons were great and I really grew in confidence, however I was rushed by a family member to take my first driving test due to financial costs, which really blew my confidence. Indeed, when I went to my first test I do not believe I was ready but thought I was give it a shot to not let my family member down but it was honestly the worst test ever. I had a horrible examiner who kept tutting when I was driving when I was clearly very nervous, which is totally normal by the way. It was just horrible and I was not in my normal state of mind since my dog had just passed away two days before the test.

I decided to take it on the chin and redo another test a bit later after a few more lessons but I knew it would be difficult as I would be travelling between my university in Surrey and my home in London during weekends. I have to stay it was hard to balance my university work load and driving lessons but I did it. I thought about changing to an easier driving centre, which my brother had chosen to take his test at but once I tried some lessons there I realised it would be more difficult for me as I did not know the area. Hence, a test there would require double concentration on driving and focusing on the roads.

I then did a couple more tests in my initial chosen test centre until I decided that maybe I should switch test centre as the one I had been trying to pass at had been reputed for a very low pass rate. At this point I had driven for months and I was not so worried about not knowing test routes. I simply wanted to pass. With money running low from paying for driving lessons and tests, I decided to buy my own car. It was a big decision but I cannot recommend it enough! I could drive for as many hours as I wanted and this really made me an experienced driver.

 

Although, I was ready to take the test with my own car by this time, I decided to delay my driving test for a few months due to final year exams, which I did not want to fail. I then did another test in June and I felt physically sick and was convinced that at the end I would be told I hadn’t passed the test due to a few minor mistakes. However, to my surprise and delight I did pass. I was in so much shock and also super happy that I cried. I did 3 minor mistakes but I still managed to pass. This just shows you that you will eventually pass and given that you get the right person who will give you a chance, anything is possible.

To conclude, the driving test is not easy unless you are either naturally gifted OR super lucky. I think the latter is the most important as I do have friends who have passed their tests first time yet are too afraid to drive. Just remember you are not defined by the times that you do your test and actually this shows perseverance. According to a recent survey those who fail their tests are more intelligent than those who pass first time hehe.

Please do share your driving test experiences below and I am happy to answer any questions that you may have.

Lots of love,

Charlotte xoxo

Q&A: Answers!

Hey everyone!

 

Hope you are doing well. Let me just start off with apologising for my absence. Unfortunately I was really ill last month and have also been focusing on my final year exams so as you can imagine it has been hectic.

I am finally going to post the Q&A that some of you participated in. I hope you enjoy it! Here goes:

 

If you could wish for 1 thing, what would it be, and why?

 

To pass my final year of uni with flying colours as I have worked so hard for this and it will determine my future.

 

 

What’s one piece of advice you’d give your 10 year old self?

Just relax and have fun. Life will get more serious later ha-ha . Also, 18 is not an old age as I remember thinking it was!

 

 

 

If you had to pick a different niche for your blog, what would it be?

Maybe a cooking blog where I would post my recipes as I love food so maybe I could share that passion with others.

 

 

 

What was your favourite film of last year?

I love films so it’s hard to say! I think I would say Down by love as it has inspired me to write about it in my dissertation. This is a film about a love story between a prison warden and an inmate. It also reminds me of being in France as that’s where I watched it.

 

What are your perfect bath salts products?

 

I don’t use bath salts myself but I do like bath bombs. Usually I love to get these at lush as they have a super strong scent; however I don’t think they are natural. Alternatively I love to get bubble bath liquids from body shop. My favourite one is the honey bubble bath gel!

 

Lots of love,

Charlotte xoxo

 

Back to uni special: Interview with uni finalist, Catriona

 

Dear readers,

I hope you are well. I have been super busy and am now preparing to go back to university officially. Things have not gone as planned but I am persevering.

As it’s back to school time I thought I’d do an interview with a friend on my course at university to help you have a better picture of university life for those of you starting this year.

Enjoy!

freshers

What is your advice for fresher’s week?

My advice for fresher’s week is to take everything in your stride; it’s a new environment with new people. Go out and try new things, you’ll feel home sick at the start but it will soon go!! Everyone is in the same boat so making friends will come naturally, you will click with some people instantly and there will also people you don’t get along with.


Is it true that you can pass exams even if you only get 40% of the answers correct?

Yes the pass rate is 40% but you should work as hard as you can.


Will I be able to deal with the work load?

I found the work load in 1st year very manageable, you just have to set aside time for work and socialising.

Do you advise me to get a job whilst studying at uni?

I got a job in my first week at uni, it taught me to manage my time better and it was nice to have extra money. Be realistic whether you think you can handle juggling things.


What have been the best and worst things at university during your experience and an undergraduate student?

I have loved studying new and challenging things. I have also made lifelong friends who I know I will always keep in contact with. The best experience of time as an undergrad has to be my year abroad it France, I can’t describe it other than simply amazing!! As for the worst moments, exam season can get pretty stressful but it all worth it in the end.

 

Thank you Catriona !

Don’t hesitate to leave some questions if you have any.