Cape Town - One month into her reign as Miss South Africa 2018, Tamaryn Green, has put her studies on hold, and relocated from Paarl in the Western Cape to Johannesburg's ever-trendy and sophisticated business district, Sandton.
Channel24 met the 23-year-old beauty pageant titleholder for tea at the Table Bay Hotel in the Mother City to talk about how her life has changed since walking away with the coveted crown, the projects closest to her heart and her strong family values.
Tamaryn greets me with a beautiful and genuine smile, and before we get started she is approached by two young girls for a photo and autograph. She is more than happy to talk to her fans, and does so with poise, and a twinkle in her eye.
She says that her life has changed completely, but admits that she is enjoying the experience more, and more everyday as she has had more time to take it all in.
"I'm getting more used to my schedule and the attention. I don't really remember what the first week felt like at all. It's a really big privilege to have been crowned Miss South Africa," she says.
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'MISS SOUTH AFRICA IS MUCH BIGGER THAN MYSELF'
She says: "Miss south Africa is a huge responsibility. People had enough faith in me to select me as the person to represent South Africa."
Tamaryn calls the experience "amazing," saying: "It's a blessing that God actually put me in this position. The reason I entered was really strange. I always wanted to compete, but I never thought that I was ready and I wanted to complete my studies first."
The medical student, who was only 7 months away from graduating, says: "When I decided to compete in my final year people were surprised. But I'm really close to God, and to an extent it was Him who was telling me to do it this year."
"I decided to put my studies on hold. Miss South Africa is much bigger than myself. For me it's about God's plan, and I what I will use the platform for."
The small-town model from Paarl trusts that her "big heart and kindness" are qualities that will make her year-long reign a success: "I believe in being down-to-earth and humble, and I want to show the country that I am relatable. Every girl needs to understand that I've been in their shoes at some point in my life."
'YOUR FAMILY GOES THROUGH ALL THIS WITH YOU AND I DON'T THINK IT'S SOMETHING THAT A LOT OF PEOPLE UNDERSTAND'
"I come from a 'klein dorpie' where I went to school, and I worked hard, and it's important for me to show that side of me as Miss South Africa," she says.
Speaking about her family, she says: "At first they were very skeptical about me not finishing my final year, but as soon I started competing, and they could see that my heart was in it they automatically supported me."
And since moving to Johannesburg, being away from her family has been one of the hardest things she has had to face: "They have been there for me through the ups and the downs. I can call them anytime. My sister, and my brother as well. Just talking to them makes you feel better."
She adds that she is very family orientated and being away from them was a "big thing."
Tamaryn explains: "Your family goes through all this with you and I don't think it's something that a lot of people understand. Whether you compete or you win, it's not just your life that changes, it's your family's lives too."
The brunette beauty says that her family has been embracing the whole experience: "They have been so busy. People are always showing up at their house wanting to support. They always have to stand ready and I don't know if they were prepared for it. Because it's not something that you think about. It has been such a blessing that they are embracing it and not getting upset. That's great."
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'GOING FROM A VARSITY RES TO SANDTON APARTMENT WITH A WALK-IN CUPBOARD WAS AMAZING'
Speaking about the highlights on her Miss South Africa journey, she says: "The winning night was of course a big highlight. But from there on being exposed to things that I've never done before has been amazing. Being on talk shows, and doing radio interviews. I never-ever thought that I would be doing those things."
Another big highlight for Tamaryn was moving from Cape Town to Sandton in Johannesburg: "I really love my apartment. I see it as my little break-away. Even though I've been a little too busy to explore Johannesburg."
Having stayed in a varsity residence in Observatory, moving into her own apartment was "a dream come true," she says: "Going from a res room to Sandton apartment with a walk-in cupboard was amazing."
And even though she misses her family she sees the new experience a a great opportunity to meet new people. "I just want to make the best of this year," she says.
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'DEALING WITH THE MEDIA HAS BEEN CHALLENGING. FOR SOMEONE WHO IS NEW TO IT, I HAD TO LEARN A LOT AND FAST'
She admits that dealing with the media has been been a learning experience, especially being new to the industry.
"Dealing with the media has been challenging. For someone who is new to it, I had to learn a lot and fast," she says.
She adds: "But doing more interviews and talking to the media has helped me with my public speaking. I'm speaking much better, and gaining more confidence."
"I've never experienced people commenting on me and the Miss South Africa organisation really helped me with that. They explained to me that I am a public figure. But the first time someone said something bad about me, it really shook me. I was very upset."
And how did she deal with it? She watched YouTube videos of how famous people deal with negative comments.
"They approach the situation with humour and they can laugh about it. I realised that I can only learn and grow from these experiences," she says.
'BEING VULNERABLE DOESN'T MAKE YOU WEAK'
About the projects close to heart she says that South Africa's health is very important to her, especially coming from a medical background: "I can't tell you what my cause for this year will be just yet, but I am very excited about it. I have chosen one project, which will hopefully launch in August."
Not only will her platform be health focused, she adds that medicine has also helped her on her Miss South Africa journey: "Medicine is tough. It's not easy. You have to be disciplined and time management is really important. You also talk, engage and reason with people. It has made me better prepared."
When asked for a message to South Africa her eyes brighten as she says: "Have a dream. Doesn't matter how big or small it is. When you're growing up it's important to have a goal. Even if you don't reach your specific dream, you will still reach success.
"Work hard. Don't give it. We all have different circumstances and barriers, but don't be afraid to ask for help. Being vulnerable doesn't make you weak."