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.

 

My Interview With An Up And Coming InDesign Professional

Today’s blog post is a little different than usual because I am interviewing a pretty cool person (just kidding it is just me). This will give you a little insight into the time I spent creating this weeks Public Relations Publications assignment. I, Sierra Abbott, will be asking the creator of this project, my alter ego: Blair Waldorf, all about the ins and outs of this assignment. I hope you can follow that logic because I barely can. Let’s get started!

Blair Waldorf GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

Hi, Miss Waldorf. Can you tell me about your assignment that you had to do for Public Relations Publications today?

Hi, Sierra. I certainly can tell you about the assignment I completed today for my Public Relations Publications class. Last week, we were tasked with creating a business card for the organization of our choice through InDesign. This week, we had to create a letterhead for that same organization and use elements for the business card we created.

Can you tell me about the letterhead you created?

I created a letterhead for Soonerthon. Soonerthon is a 12-hour dance marathon that students from the University of Oklahoma participate in to raise funds for the Children’s Miracle Network Foundation. The letterhead I created has many elements of the business card I made last week. I kept it clean and simple. The only pop of color is the balloon, which is the logo for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals.

Tell me about your strengths you had during this assignment.

I am extremely passionate about Soonerthon. I think that if you are passionate about something, it is easier to have fun doing work centered around that.

Tell me about your weaknesses you had during this assignment.

I am certainly not quite a professional when it comes to InDesign, but I am getting better each time I use it. InDesign is hard and it is easy to get frustrated, but I love that I can see how much easier it is to use and how much I improve each time I use it.

Do you have any advice for those who might want to try out InDesign? 

My biggest advice is to keep persevering. You will hit breaking points where you feel incapable and unintelligent, but I promise that you will get it. It takes a whole lot of practice. You have to learn how to critique your own work and step out of the box.

Thank you for your time!

Check out my final product:

New Challenges: Creating A Business Card

This week in public relations publications, we were tasked with the assignment to create a business card for any organization that we wanted.

I chose to create a business card for Soonerthon.

I am currently on exec for Soonerthon as an Ambassador. As a Soonerthon Ambassador, I am in charge of raising a lot of money (and I mean a whole lot) and keeping track of donation boxes around Norman. I wanted to create a business card for Soonerthon because it is an organization that I am extremely passionate about and actively involved in.

Soonerthon is all about raising money for the incredibly strong kids that have to spend their days at the Children’s Hospital in Oklahoma City.

When I was a junior in high school, I lost one of my very best friends to cancer. She spent many of her days at the children’s hospital in Tulsa, OK. She is the reason why I participate in Soonerthon. She was an inspiration to me and so many others from my high school. Unique had a tough fight, but she fought every single day with an extreme amount of strength and a never-ending love for God.

As you may know, I am a total control freak and perfectionist. I like having strict guidelines when it comes to projects and assignments. Assignments like creating a business card for the organization of my choice is hard for me because I like concrete instructions.

I decided to create a business card for Soonerthon because it is an organization that I am a part of, one that I am passionate about and one that I strongly connect to.

When you strongly connect to a brand, it is easy to portray their message through a project. I am glad I could portray my love for Soonerthon through something as simple as learning to create a business card.

I still have a lot of things to learn when it comes to creating through Indesign, but I am finally starting to get the hang of it.

Practice, practice and more practice is all it takes. It might not be perfect yet, but here is an example of what I have learned to do through Indesign so far:

I still have a very long ways to go, but I am learning the process one day at a time.

Why I Am FTK

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What is FTK you may ask?

FTK is for the kids. It’s the slogan for dance marathons at universities, colleges and high schools across  North America that raise money for the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals.

Last year, I decided to be a participant at Soonerthon. Soonerthon is the University of Oklahoma‘s dance marathon that raises money for the Children’s Miracle Network Hospital right here in Oklahoma City, OK. This event is OU’s official philanthropy. It is a 12 hour dance marathon where OU students come together to stay on their feet for 12 hours in order to symbolize various things, like the fact that many nurses are on their feet for shifts that last for 12 hours, or even longer.

Soonerthon 2016 was an incredible day. We got to celebrate and hang out with the kiddos from the hospital, dance for 12 hours straight and raise an incredible amount of money for these kids and their families who deserve our support and love.

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Soonerthon raised $721,941.16 last year. I raised a little over $1,00 of that, and I was so thankful that I decided to participate in something as amazing as Soonerthon. I cannot even describe the feeling that I got when I saw that number on stage last March. It made me proud to be a part of the University of Oklahoma because I could see first hand the heart of my university. It felt so great to be a part of something so much bigger than myself. We raised that money for the kids.

soonerthon.ou.edu
From: soonerthon.ou.edu

This year, I have the honor of being on Soonerthon Exec. I am a Soonerthon Ambassador. Basically, my goal is to raise as much money as I can for the kids. We are starting a million dollar campaign this year, so our goal is to raise $1 million for the amazing kiddos at the Children’s Miracle Network hospital in OKC.

Why am I FTK?

I am for the kids because they deserve to have a normal childhood. They deserve to play with their friends and go to school without thinking about their next trip to the hospital that can last days, weeks and even months. They deserve to be carefree and pain free. They deserve to be kids.

I wanted to participate in this cause because of my friend Unique. From the seventh grade to my junior year of high school, I saw my sweet friend spend so much time at the hospital. I would visit her often, and even though she was spending so much time at the hospital, she never lost her positive spirit. I never once saw a big smile leave her face. She was brave. She was bold. She was Unique. After she passed away, I knew I wanted to do something in her honor. When I heard about Soonerthon, I knew I found my chance to honor her memory.

I want to first encourage you to get  involved in an organization that you are passionate about. Whether you are in high school, college, or a “real” adult, it is imperative that you give back to your community. Many of us are living the “good life” right now. I’m not saying a lot of us don’t have struggles, trust me we all do. I’m saying that a majority of us probably have a high school degree, maybe a college degree, a roof over our heads, food on the table, a healthy body, a family to support us, etc. Think of all the good things you have in your life that others might not have. If you have any of the things I mentioned above, you need to give back to your community. Do something that is bigger than yourself.

Check out this recap video from Soonerthon 2016 to get inspired:

FTK