Farewell To Sophomore Year

I am not really sure how this happened so quickly, but I am officially finished with my sophomore year of college. I swear that I blinked in August and now it is already May. Like seriously how did that happen? This year has been filled with new memories and growth. I thought that it would only be fitting to highlight some of the best (there is a lot, so I for sure cannot fit them all) moments of my sophomore year of college.

In August, I got to move into the barbie dream house, aka Alpha Phi. I was a little nervous to live in a house with over eighty girls, but it has been one of my favorite parts of college. I cannot thank my roomie, Jesse, enough for all of the Netflix binge watches, late night food runs, cries, laughs, rant sessions, fashion shows and more. Room 233 became a home, and I am so thankful I get to live with my bestie in the dream house this year. It will be missed!

 

What is the absolute best season of the year? Football season of course! Collge would not be college without looking forward to every single Saturday game day in good ole Norman, Oklahoma. From dressing up in crimson and creme, spending the day tailgating with my sisters, and cheering on my favorite boys, game days are for sure the best days. I mean seriously…it is September yet? Boomer Sooner!

One of my favorite parts of freshman year was getting blessed with the best big out there. This year, my family grew a little bigger because I got two of the best littles out there! Hannah and Taryn are two perfect additions to our fam. They might drive me a little crazy at times, but I absolute love being their “mom” while they are at college. I cannot name two people that make me laugh more than my two littles. They keep me young and I am seriously so blessed that God put them in my life. I am not sure how I got lucky enough to have the best family out there!

If you know me, you know how seriously obsessed I am with my cousin Jessica’s two kids, Kaden and Blakelee. I honestly had no clue it was possible to love someone so much until these two kiddos were born. People usually think that Blakelee is my kid since I post so many pictures of her on social media, but do not worry guys I am totally content with playing with my B and Kaden for a long long long (long) time before I even think about having kids. I am beyond blessed to be “RaRa” to my two favorite babies on the planet. I thank God every single day that I get to play such a big part in their lives. They definitely have my wrapped around their fingers. I loved getting to watch them grow this year. From my little Kaden turning four and my Princess B who is about to turn one (ugh how?).

This year, my family decided to celebrate Christmas a little differently this year. Instead of spending Christmas at home, we loaded up and spent a week in a cute little house in beautiful Destin, Florida. I am not one for change, but it was such a nice little getaway with my sweet family. Plus, the good thing is that we can celebrate the birth of Jesus no matter where we are at. I am so lucky to have such a perfect Savior and such a perfectly dysfunctional family! You cannot choose your family, but I would not trade them for the world (most of the time at least).

 

Sophomore year also brought a (somewhat) big milestone with it, I have somehow made it to twenty years of life! Birthdays in college are a little hard without having your family, but luckily I have the best family out there. My mom, dad, and little sister drove up to Norman to spend the weekend with me. Also, my very best friend surprised me and joined us! The perfect day for me is being surrounded by the people I love, so I must say it was such a perfect day. They for sure know how to make a girl feel loved. I cannot wait to see what the rest of my twentieth year has in store for me.

 

March 4, 2017, was the No. 1 highlight of my sophomore year of college. What is so important about that day? One word: Soonerthon. In the fall of my sophomore year, I took a risk and decided to apply for Soonerthon Exec. I was lucky enough to be selected to serve as an Ambassador. As an Ambassador for Soonerthon, I basically was tasked with raising as much money as possible for the Children’s Miracle Network Foundation. I fell hard and fast for Soonerthon. There is nothing more rewarding than getting the chance to spend the day with some of the best kiddos on the planet and get to watch them enjoy being a kid for the day. The number of money we raise is important, but it is so much more than a number. That number is lives changed. That number is families getting to stay in Oklahoma to get the care their child needs. That number is so much more than a dollar amount, and I am so beyond blessed that I got to play a part in it. This year, I also learned that I get to serve on Soonerthon for the second year in a row as a team captain on Ambassadors, so I absolutely cannot wait!

One thing that I strive for every single year, is to grow in my faith. There is not a single “perfect” Christian out there because there is always room for growth. I actually love that concept. I will never be done learning and growing closer to God. God continues to amaze me year after year. In the moment I might not understand what he is doing or what he is trying to teach me, but a little farther down the road, I realize that everything happens for a reason. God never fails to reveal his glory to me and I am so thankful for that. This year God had me step out of my comfort zone, but it was so worth it in the end.

In January, I had the honor of being named the new Editor-in-Chief for the University of Oklahoma’s Odyssey community. I had big shoes to fill because of my EIC, Julia Bauer, was seriously such an incredible leader and mentor to me. I love being the EIC to my team. I get to edit articles and write articles, but most importantly I get to create relationships with my fellow colleagues on my team. I have grown so much as a leader this semester, and Odyssey is part of the reason to thank for that. I love my team so much, and I am so blessed to be their EIC!

 

 

My major is public relations, and I have seriously grown so much as a public relations professional this year. M first semester of sophomore year, I took intro to public relations and from there I fell in love. This semester I took public relations writing, public relations publishing, and global public relations. I seriously learned so much from those three classes. I also had the opportunity to be a part of OU’s student-run advertising and public relations agency, Lindsey + Asp, which also gave me great insight on the agency side of public relations. In April, I got to start my time as the public relations intern for Oklahoma Watch. I get to help set up for their monthly forums and it seriously so much fun! I love having so many opportunities to grow as a professional, and I cannot wait to learn more before I go out into the real world.

There are not many people I would go back to my high school for, but my best friend is one of them. My senior year of high school I took my best friend Ally to prom, and this year, I had the honor of being her date to her senior prom. It was so much fun getting to spend the day getting all dolled up with her and then spending the night dancing away. I mean let’s be honest, who needs a guy when you have the most perfect best friend on the planet? I am seriously so blessed that I get to call this girl my best friend. God knew that I needed her in my life. I cannot wait until she is at OU with me in the fall!

Well, there you go a highlight of some of the best moments of my sophomore year of college. I made so many incredible memories, but it might have taken you a couple days to read this blog post if I had included all of them. I am seriously so blessed to have one mighty God, an incredible family, perfect sisters, the best best friend, and the chance to attend the best university on the planet.

 

Welcome To Canva

This week in Public Relations Publishing, we were tasked to create social media for the organization of our choice on Canva, aka the easiest design website out there. Usually I am telling you all about my struggles of learning Indesign or Photoshop, but this week I got to use Canva, which I luckily already have experience with for creating various content.

Canva is basically Indesign/Photoshop for those less technically inclined (aka me). It is straightforward and simple to use. Most of its features are free, which is great for those who just want to create content in a short time period and publish it as soon as possible. There are pre made layouts to choose from, different elements like shapes and pictures you can add, a text box feature, a way to upload your own photographs, simple ways to change colors/font/spacing and overall just easy to use.

Social media is one of the best ways to promote events in todays day and age. Almost everyone has access to social media, and usually everyone is at least on one platform or more. This allows organizations to reach a wider audience with their content. It is incredibly important for public relations practitioners to be able to create content that is relevant and popular to those who will see it. Social media is one of the best tools for a public relations practitioner.

I chose to make my social media for Spring Preview Day at the University of Oklahoma, which is a day for perspective freshman women to get their first glimpse of what greek life is all about at OU. I specifically chose to direct women to want to check out Alpha Phi, the sorority that I am a member of.

I made my content simple and to the point, but enough to make those perspective Panhellenic women want to see more about Alpha Phi.

Check out what I created this week:

instagram post

facebook event cover

social media post

Hi There!

I am Sierra Abbott, but you can just call me Sierra. I am 19-years-old, and I am in the second semester of my sophomore year at the University of Oklahoma. My major is public relations and my minors are Spanish and nonprofit organizational studies.

There are various organizations on campus, and I am lucky enough to be a part of some incredible groups with wholesome people. I am a member of Alpha Phi, Public Relations Student Society of America, Soonerthon Exec, Lindsey + Asp, and I am the Editor-in-Chief for OU’s Odyssey community.

I am luckily enough to have my home where my family is and a home away from home here in Norman. I grew up in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma and I still live there. My home away from home in Norman is the beautiful Alpha Phi house where I currently live with over 80 of my sisters.

My biggest motivators are my supportive family members and my incredible friends. I would not be where I am at today without them. They constantly push me to dream big, never give up and to be the best version of myself. I am incredibly thankful for their endless love and support. I hope that I can make them proud in everything I do.

One of the things that I love more than anything is writing. I love writing because it helps me escape reality, pour my heart out, connect to others on a deeper level and hopefully even make a difference. I started writing for fun, but during my freshman year at OU I decided to become a Content Creator for Odyssey and create my own blog. I started out thinking that nobody would care about the things I was writing about, but I was thoroughly surprised when I started getting feedback from people other than my parents.

Another thing that I have a big passion for is public relations. I started my time at OU as a journalism major, but I changed to public relations the second semester of my freshman year. Public relations stood out to me because it encompasses a variety of things I enjoy: writing, meeting new people, social media, and other things. I love that public relations practitioners have the power to really change the paradigm the public has of various companies and organizations.

I am excited that I have the opportunity to grow my skills and learn new skills during my time at OU. I am eager to learn more about the public relations world and network with my incredible colleagues and professors.

If you have any other questions about me, feel free to ask!

Why I Wear Red

12711058_1187550347922563_6773869993494562736_oWhy do I wear red? 

I wear red because I am an Alpha Phi woman, who wears red in support of the Alpha Phi Foundation that supports women’s heart health among various other causes.

According to the Alpha Phi Foundation, “in 1965, Alpha Phi was one of the first women’s fraternities to establish a Foundation.

Demonstrating the philanthropic spirit of love and charity intended by our Founders, the Foundation was created as a trust to award grants specifically for scholarship and cardiac aid. Today, the original priorities of Alpha Phi Foundation remain.”

Every year, Alpha Phi chapters across the United States and Canada hold Red Dress Gala’s in order to raise money for the Alpha Phi Foundation.

Last year, I was a freshman at the University of Oklahoma and it was my first year as an Alpha Phi at the Phi chapter. I had the honor of joining Alpha Phi and then being a part of the committee that helped plan Alpha Phi, Phi chapter’s Red Dress Gala.

My Alpha Phi sister’s and I spent months planning this event in order to make it a special day for our members and their families, as well as making preparations for our chapter to raise money for the Alpha Phi Foundation.

Our Red Dress Gala included a dinner for our members, their families and alumnae. The freshman members were also introduced at this time. Then we had a silent auction and a live auction in order to raise money for the Alpha Phi Foundation.

Why does the Alpha Phi Foundation support women’s cardiac care?

According to the Alpha Phi Foundation, “at that time (World War II), rheumatic fever – a disease that causes serious, debilitating damage to the heart – was a leading killer of school age children in the United States. Alpha Phi wanted to help these children, but also wanted freedom to contribute money and service to other programs. Cardiac aid fit the bill – chapters and members were able to donate funds and service to various educational and research projects.

During the next few decades, modern antibiotic therapy sharply reduced mortality and causes of rheumatic fever became rare. Heart disease became the #1 killer of women in North America, and Alpha Phi Foundation thought it fitting that an organization of women help fight it.”

Before I came to college and became an Alpha Phi, I had no idea that heart disease was the No. 1 killer of women in North America. Now I am aware of that statistic, and I am happy that I can help spread awareness and raise money for something that is so near and dear to my heart.