Looking Forward

As the end of my first semester of freshman year draws to an end, it is the perfect time to take a moment to reflect on everything I have learned this semester. It has definitely been a huge transition to go from living under my parents roof, to having complete freedom in college. It has been a semester full of change, new things, and growth. There were times that I didn’t think I would make it through, but I did it. I am so lucky to still have the support of my amazing family and friends back home. They are my biggest cheerleaders, and they are the ones that make me want to do my very best so that I can make them proud. It has been hard to be away from my family and friends back in Broken Arrow, but Norman is starting to feel like home and I couldn’t be happier.

It is difficult to be away from my family and friends in Broken Arrow, but luckily they are here for me every step of this journey. I couldn’t be more thankful for the daily texts, phone calls, face times, care packages, and pictures they send me to make sure I know that they are always rooting for me. I wouldn’t be able to survive without their constant support and love. I am lucky to have a best friend who still stays by my side even though I can’t always physically be there for her, and a little sister who helps me face time my dogs when I’m feeling sad.

Luckily in  Norman I have found a home away from home where I can be myself around people that care about me and want the best for me. I am so lucky that this semester I found my home at Alpha Phi. It is an incredible feeling knowing that I have so many sisters that will always have my back. I have found girls in there that I know will still be my sisters not just for four years, but for the rest of my life. Some of these girls have seen me at my best and at my worst and they still love me the same. I have been so blessed by the bonds of my new sisterhood.

I have also found a home in the academic side at the University of  Oklahoma. It has definitely been hard, but I enjoy having classes that challenge me and help me grow academically. It may only be my first semester as a journalism major, but I already am so in love with it! I am not 100 percent certain that I will stay as a journalism major, but I am certain that even if I change my major it will still be something under the school of Gaylord. Being a media major is the right choice for me because nothing else fascinates me as much as the media world does. Media majors are the storytellers of the world. It is their job to be tell  the people of the world what is going on in the world no matter what side of the media realm you are on.

This semester I have been fortunate enough to write this blog for JMC 1013 at the University of Oklahoma and be a writer for the OU branch of The Odyssey. One of my articles for The Odyssey this semester got 16,592 (and counting) shares! It is so exciting to see my work get shared when I thought my mom was the only person who actually read my articles. It has been a great experience to put my work out there for the world to see it. I am excited to try more new things in this field and really step out of my comfort zone. I love having the chance to have various opportunities that can help with with my future media degree.

Right now I am back and forth between being a journalism major and being a public relations major. With either one I would still be in Gaylord, and I feel like I could be very happy in either path. I am sure as I continue on in school it will become more clear to me which path is the best choice for me. I am so eager to learn more about the various media majors and continue to grow in my skills and knowledge in the different career paths.

It has been a challenging, but incredible semester here at the University of Oklahoma. It is a great feeling to be confident in the fact that I know that this is where I belong. I am so excited for the next seven semesters of college and to see where God takes me. It might be a long hard road, but I know great things are at the end of it.

Please enjoy this video of compiled pictures of my first semester at the University of Oklahoma:

The Media’s Version of Beauty

Unknownimages

Please take a moment to watch an introduction video to this blog post!

In today’s society, the definition of beauty is very narrow. When you open a magazine, newspaper, book cover, turn on the tv, or go online there is usually a certain type of male or female that looks similar.

You usually see a tall, blonde, flawless, beauty with the perfect hair, makeup, outfit and body. Or, you might see a tall, dark and handsome man who is every girls dream guy.

The problem with this portrayal of beauty is that young girls and boys look up to these figures. They aspire to look exactly like them, but unknown to them, that is impossible.

It is totally okay to look up to someone who has a healthy workout, a healthy dietary plan, and is a model. It is so not okay to let little girls believe that the girls they are looking up to really look like they do in their advertisement photographs.

The models that we all see every day do not look like their picture. These models are perfect because of the skills of many people who spend hours upon hours creating the perfectly photoshopped image in order to sell or promote their product or business.

CBS news interviewed an agent and former model who had this comment on today’s modeling industry: “‘It is important that a fashion model is a fashion model.’ Bethann Harrison said. ‘She has to be lean. She should be tall and it is not someone who is fuller body. That is not fashion. That is something else.'”

As a young woman, that statement is infuriating to read. The fact that so many people believe the previous quote shows just how twisted our idea of beauty really is. It is not realistic for young girls to think that they have to be tall, skinny, and drop dead gorgeous. There are many factors like health and genetics that prevent many girls from being the perfect height or weight. We should not be putting that kind of pressure on young girls. We should be teaching young girls to grow up loving their body so that they will continue to have a positive body image as an adult.

Businesses put out images of models that are unrealistic, yet it works because most people want to look like the model they see in the picture. Consumers buy the product because they believe that it will make them look like the model shown with the product. This puts pressure on young people, but mainly teenagers. Most teenagers already feel the excruciating pressure to fit in, so it adds even more pressure when they see perfect images and try to live up to those standards.

These fake images of airbrushed models have provoked a real danger in the lives of adolescents. It  can make them hate their own body, which can be a serious harm. According to a study from Media Smarts,  “having poor body image can have numerous negative effects: one of the most common is lowered self-esteem, which carries with it its own associated risks. In a national U.S. study in 2008, 25 per cent of girls with low self-esteem injured themselves on purpose (compared to four per cent of girls with high self-esteem); and 25 per cent reported disordered eating (compared to seven per cent of girls with high self-esteem).”

This is an issue we have seen in the world since the start of the media world. The world’s definition of beauty might evolve, but the issue of unrealistic images still remains. It is more prominent in the present media world because now we have more technology to help with airbrush and photoshop to make it more realistic to audiences.

The only way this will change is if more companies take a stand to really show their models as who they are without all of the photoshop. The male and female adolescents need more positive role models to look up to who are proud of their bodies without all of the photoshop.

It is our job as citizens to demand that we want to see a more realistic version of what beauty really is. We should demand to see photographs that are untouched and real. The next generation needs to see a world where they can grow up having a positive body image that is healthy and real.

 

Bring On The Tears

Don’t deny it…you definitely cried at the end of this commercial.

The goal of companies is to sell their products to the right audience. In order to promote their product, it is obviously necessary to create advertisements. The advertisement should make consumers want to buy the product they see in the ad.

The video above is obviously an advertisement for Extra gum. It displays the relationship of a young couple starting from when they first meet in high school, and it goes all the way to the moment Juan proposes. The proposal tugs on the heartstring of every hopeless romantic out there because Juan saved the gum wrappers from their sweet moments together and he illustrated the moment on the wrapper. He hangs all of the wrappers up in picture frames, and then he proposes and I know the tears are already streaming down your face at this point.

This advertisement is my personal favorite ad of the year. It is the type of ad that is perfect for all audiences, which fits since the product is for basically anyone who can chew gum. The heartfelt love story draws the audience in; it makes them either reminisce about their true love, or for me, it makes me wish I had a boy that was as sweet as the one in the video.

Who does not relate to a love story? Basically every human being craves that kind of love that seems like it is never-ending. So many connect to that feeling of love, and it makes the ad unforgettable.

It was not even necessary for the ad to have a single world of dialogue. The actions are enough to draw the consumers in. The perfect song playing in the background of the love story is the perfect combination.

Ads that make the viewer really feel  emotions are very successful. Tears are usually the best emotion to evoke in ads. The feeling that it brings makes it very memorable, and it makes consumers want to buy that product when they see it in the store. When they see the gum, the consumer will now think about this love story and happily buy the pack of gum.

12 Things You Don’t Want To Answer This Thanksgiving

ThanksgivingIt’s the time that every high school and college students dread: Thanksgiving. Don’t get me wrong we love the food, family, and the break from school, but we do not like the millions of interrogative questions we do not want to answer.

  1. Do you have a boyfriend?

(insert major eye roll). The standard question that students know is coming from family members. No I still don’t have a boyfriend, and no I don’t know why.

  1. Have you changed your major?

No I haven’t changed my major, and if I do I probably will let everyone in my family know so don’t worry about it.

  1. Have you made any new friends?

Yes I try to be social and make new friends don’t worry about it.

  1. Who are the people in your pictures?

They  are random strangers…just kidding obviously they are my friends.

  1. Are you eating enough?

I promise I am eating. I might be eating lots of junk food, but don’t worry I am eating even if it is at midnight.

  1. Freshman 15?

First you ask if I’m eating enough, and then you casually ask me about the weight I’ve gained. Yes I know I might have gained a little weight, but I don’t want your opinion on it.

  1. Is sorority life partying 24/7?

I know you have the stereotypical view of a sorority, but I promise you we are so much more than that. I am a part of a sisterhood that holds me to high standards. It is a place where I can be myself, and be pushed to be the best version of myself.

  1. How are your grades?

Not that it is any of your business, but don’t worry I basically live in the library. I am trying my hardest, but trust me college is a lot harder than high school.

  1. Are you sleeping enough?

Probably not, but don’t worry I sleep till 12 on the weekends.

  1. What clubs are you in?

I am usually at the library or my sorority, so I basically don’t have time for anything else.

  1. Do you do your laundry?

I try to keep up with it, but I also have a busy life. Don’t take for granted being at home and having your mom do your laundry.

12. Do you go to the gym?

Honestly I don’t have time for that. Does walking to a class that is twenty minutes away count?

12 Classic Movies You Have To Watch

Who doesn’t love a good movie? I have compiled a list of 12 classic movies everyone needs to watch sometime during their life (in no particular order of course).

Unknown1. The Notebook (2004) 

Who doesn’t love a good love story? I may be a hopeless romantic, but The Notebook is one of my favorite love stories. It may be the most recent film on the list, but it is definitely one you need to watch.

Unknown-12. Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961)

This classic 60s movie stars the timeless beauty, Audrey Hepburn, and shows the story of a young New York socialite who has big dreams.

Unknown3. The Breakfast Club (1985)

A classic 80s movie that portrays five different characters that everyone can connect to.

Unknown4. Wizard Of Oz (1939)

This dreamy tale is perfect for any age and can make even the hardest hearts smile.

Unknown5. To Kill A Mocking Bird (1962)

A movie based of the novel by Harper Lee, and something that really makes one think about racial injustice that is still relevant in present day.

Unknown-16. The Sound of Music (1965)

The perfect mix of a movie and music starring the radiant Julie Andrews.

Unknown7. Mary Poppins (1964)

Full of catchy tunes that will never escape from your mind and also starring the classic actress Julie Andrews.

Unknown-18. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937)

This classic animated movie is one of the first films that ignites the desire for little girls to become princesses.

Unknown9. Titanic (1997)

A tragic story of loss and love based off of the tragic sinking of the Titanic vessel where many lives were lost.

Unknown-110. Toy Story (1995)

This classic animated movie is one that touches the heart of the inner child in all of us and continued to be a success way after the release of the first one.

Unknown11. Clueless (1995)

Maybe one not everyone views as a classic, but it is a movie that is still referenced in today’s culture. It portrays the life of a wealthy young teenage girl who discovers the important things in life.

Unknown-112. Sleeping Beauty (1959)

Last but not least I had to throw in my very favorite princess movie. Who doesn’t love a disney princess movie?

Feel free to share your favorite classic movies in the comments!

 

The Queen of Journalism

Photo on Tim Milloy's Story
Photo on Tim Milloy’s Story

I am currently a student at the University of Oklahoma and I am studying journalism. When someone asks me what media professional inspires me, the first person that comes to my mind is the queen of journalism herself: Diane Sawyer.

As a woman who wants to be a journalist, I am thankful for Diane Sawyer because she paved the way for it to be a normal occurrence to see a female journalist on TV.

She was the very first female correspondent on 60 Minutes which is a huge deal! She did not let the men in charge stomp on her dreams. Sawyer did not give up on her dreams and now she is a huge inspiration for me and the women of the world.

Sawyer worked her way up from starting at a local station, to the White House press office under Nixon, to 60 Minutes and then she just kept growing! She showed the world that it was possible to achieve bigger dreams.

She knows how to work the camera and make people listen to what she has to say. She is a talented communicator and she has many dedicated followers.

The woman who started out as being known only by the people of her town is now a woman who recently had the first televised interview with one of the most controversial people in pop culture.

I grew up staring wide-eyed at my television watching Diane Sawyer on the screen and in those moments I knew that I wanted to be just like her.

Thank you, Diane Sawyer, for being such an inspiration to me and to so many other women who aspire to do what you do.

Please enjoy this video of Diane Sawyer’s interview with another inspirational woman, Malala Yousafzai.

 

Ten Ways to Succeed with Studying

Taken by Sierra Abbott

The days of walking into a class and taking a test without studying the night before are over. This is college and it is pretty much impossible to ace a test without studying endlessly. I was the girl in high school who made perfect graders without ever having to study, but sadly I got thrown into a new world where studying is absolutely necessary if you want to succeed.

In hopes of helping poor college students like me who did not know the ways of studying, here is a list of ten things, in no particular order, that help me get through the process of studying.

  1. Get out of your room

I know your room is comfy, but trust me get out of your room to study. If you are anything like me, when you try to study in your room you will either a) fall asleep or b) get distracted by Netflix (usually Gossip Girl).

2. Go to the library

My very favorite place to study is at the library. Granted, if you don’t attend the University of Oklahoma then you are seriously missing out because our library is so beautiful. I love the atmosphere of the whole building and it is a great environment for studying. My favorite room is the great reading room because it looks like it came straight from Harry Potter. The other good thing is that you can’t make noise, so it is the perfect place to get away from distractions.

3. Go alone

I am so much more focused if my friends do not come with me to study. If they come with me there are sure to be lots of laughs and not very much of the actual studying part. When I am alone I can accomplish so much more and get it done a lot faster.

4. Starbucks

What is studying if you don’t have the perfect Starbucks drink? I know that sounds silly, but I don’t think I could get through studying without my favorite study buddy: an iced vanilla latte. Coffee helps me get through those long nights of studying till the sun comes up.

5. Put your phone away

Yes I know that in today’s society it is so hard for us to disconnect from our cell phone even for a minute, but trust me you will retain more information and get so much more done if you just disconnect from the outside world for a little while. If you put your phone away you won’t get distracted by the vibrations of your phone that go off every five seconds.

6. Classical music

Don’t think I am lame, but listening to classical music is a must for me when I am studying. It helps to calm me down and focus on what I am doing. Don’t try to listen to pop, rap, country, or anything in between because it will not work. Go to the classical music pandora station and you will be set.

7. Index Cards

Index cards are probably one of my favorite study tools. I usually write all my notes down on a normal sheet of notebook paper and then transfer the terms or concepts on to index cards. If you put the term/concept on one side and the definition on the other, then you have a great way to study that isn’t just you straight reading what you need to learn.

8. Pretty pens

My brain does not like just looking at plain pencil or even just black ink. I like to spice up my notes with pretty colored pens (usually pink of course) so that looking at my notes is more fun. It makes studying a little less boring.

9. Snack breaks

Snack breaks are very important. Reward yourself in the middle of studying with a snack that will fuel you with more energy to keep going, But let’s be real, I usually reward myself with candy which is fine too.

10. Change it up

One thing that I have learned through studying is to not just focus on one thing for four hours straight. Break up your studying for one exam with homework from another class. Your brain will feel like mush if you only focus on one thing all night without changing it up.

These ten things are what help me study in college and hopefully they can help you out too! Best of luck to all of you out there that know the pain of studying and are experiencing it at great levels right now. You can do it!

Feel free to let me know what helps you study! Leave your tips in the comments!

 

The New Age

Before the lifesaving website Amazon was created, writers had a hard time getting their work published. It used to be a very intricate process that usually only the wealthy could afford, unless you just had a brilliant idea that ended up in the hands of someone that could publish it for you.

The exciting factor of today’s book publishing industry is the newfound simplicity that Amazon created. Literally anyone can publish their own work on Amazon by a few clicks and for free! This is a huge asset to writers who have a brilliant idea, but cannot afford to go through a major book publishing industry.

Once a writer publishes his or her work on Amazon, anyone has access to read it. Readers can easily download these works for free onto their Kindles or other eBook devices.

In today’s society so many people who are now famous were found on free websites like YouTube and even Amazon! It is something that is becoming more common and it is a great way to find raw talent. You never know who will see your work once it is posted on the web. The great thing is that you can post it for free, so what do you have to lose?

Writers now have the option to take more risks and post new content on to the web because it is not like they will lose money if nobody picks up interest in their work. This really opens up the chance to be more creative and not stress about making the book only about topics that are selling right now.

This is such an exciting time in the book publishing industry because more people have the potential to get their work out there and really change the world. You never know what opportunities could come your way, and it is a great experience even if your work does not go anywhere.