Maybe Tomorrow

There is only one time during my life I can remember when I was somewhat happy with my weight. That was junior and senior year of high school when I was working out twice a week with a trainer, as well as more on my own, and aspiring to play college golf. That dream later became forgotten as I decided to follow another dream of attending the University of Florida (where I am starting my senior year now). Besides this time of “skinny high school bliss”, I have never liked my body. I wouldn’t say that I look overweight, it’s just hard when you are a 6 foot tall young lady and feel much bigger than all the shorter, tiny girls.

Growing up my family taught me a love for food. My grandmother is from a small town called Douglass in South Georgia, and had to cook since she was a small child. It could be any insignificant day and she would have a reason to cook a huge dinner with all the fixin’s just to show her love for us, make sure we were fed and not hungry. Food equated to love; if something was going wrong or you were down for any reason, food was the answer.

Living this way was like a rollercoaster. I would wake up and say “this is it, today is the day, I finally want to feel happy and healthy again,” but of course some obstacle like a midterm or paper would stress me out and I would turn to good ole reliable; food. “It’s ok, maybe tomorrow will be the day I really kick this. I’ll feel more rested then and can really go to the gym.” I’d reassure myself. This constant cycle was killing me, my confidence, and my ability to focus on what was really important – my health.

This past summer before I began my senior year as a News Telecommunications major/Poli-Sci minor at UF, I went to my doctor to be blood tested for a thyroid condition. Over summer I went to the gym almost everyday, tried to eat healthier on a “buddy system” with my mom, and tried as hard as I could to de-stress as much as possible. Despite my valiant efforts, I was not losing the weight I wanted to. After a week or so, a nurse called and said all my test results came back fairly normal and the doctor had no reason for alarm. Of course I was happy to hear everything was “normal”, but deep down I knew something was wrong. So I went to my OB/GYN for a more in depth look at my hormones.

After a few tests and examinations, my lady doctor was right. She suspected that I had a condition called PCOS. PCOS, short for Polycystic Ovary Syndrome, is a “problem in which a woman’s hormones are out of balance” according to webmd.com. Many small cysts may grow on the ovaries, which causes the hormonal imbalances leading to weight gain problems, insulin resistance, acne, infertility, excess facial and body hair, and anxiety. If you ask me that all sounds pretty terrible and at the moment I was devastated. One day it would be harder for me to have kids than other women, I would have to get my eyebrows and lip waxed more than usual, and worst of all I would have to try even harder to lose weight than I already was.

This blog is about my new journey of living a healthy, balanced life with PCOS. The key here is balance. Just because I have a condition that I have to pay special attention to, I will not let that define my life. I am not PCOS. I am a 21 year old girl (almost 22), who loves to have fun with my friends, attend football games, be creative, and enjoy life. While there are many things I should not eat with PCOS, there are many yummy things I can still eat – which I will discuss in later posts. I hope to bring hope to other women with this condition and share my experiences as I am figuring out how to live a healthy life that I love.

– Liz

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CMIR and the Amazing College of Journalism

The Center for Media Innovation & Research (a.k.a CMIR) at UF has given me so many great opportunities throughout my time as a telecom student. After spending many late nights in the Innovation News Center and many early mornings for TV 1 and 2 shifts, I could not imagine my college experience without the College of Journalism.

I remember as a freshman, I wanted to get into the News track for telecommunications as quickly as I could so I would be able to start on my major classes. I took the News Test the spring semester of my freshman year and I was so overwhelmed. Unfortunately I received the email I had been waiting on, but it didn’t have good news; I didn’t pass.

Once I joined the National Broadcasting Society, I found an amazing group of people who displayed their immense passion for telecom and journalism. In this club I found great mentors who were able to help and lift me up as I was feeling dejected. The NBS also offered great resources to help students be prepared for obstacles such as the News Test, and I made sure to take advantage of them. After I attended the News Test workshops the NBS directed, I felt prepared and ready to try again.

Fall of my sophomore year I felt confident and ready to tackle the test once more. This time, the email read congratulatory news and I remember that moment perfectly as I read it on the couch in my first apartment and cried tears of joy!! This has been one trend I have found with the College of Journalism; there were many tears, tears of joy, tears full of stress, and tears when the story was finally completed and ready to air.

Beginning in radio and making it onto WUFT as a reporter, the Innovation News Center was full of many familiar faces and friends. Whether people were gossiping about the latest Kim K drama, or the sports crew was debating over which football teams should play for a National Championship, the newsroom was always a welcoming environment to let friendships blossom and hard work flourish.

One of my favorite parts of the College of Journalism is that there are so many opportunities for all majors to become involved and get real world experience at the best University in the nation (I know, I’m biased).

Below is a picture of me at my last shift of Radio 1 when I was finally confident and knew I wouldn’t lose a phone call when I transferred to the sound booth. I also included the video of my first time live on WUFT. While it makes me cringe a bit, it’s nice to see how far I have come in my professional career.

With only one more semester left, I am excited to do my best and finish strong on my journey to graduation. I am beyond grateful and thankful for all that the University of Florida has given me. The College of Journalism has been a truly amazing experience and I would recommend it to any aspiring journalists and future reporters.

– Liz

 

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Review – The Tipping Point

The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell is a great resource and guide to aid any aspiring blogger or marketer. Gladwell first sets out to explain and identify why some trends stick, and why others fail terribly.

In the first chapter, Gladwell explains what he calls the “tipping point”. The tipping point is the moment that connects all of the individual events that have led to a certain trend. He also states the “Three Rules of Epidemics”: The Law of the Few, the Stickiness Factor, and the Power of Context. I found it interesting that Gladwell seems to stick to a formula – like solution to identifying trends and styles, and that most trends and styles have a very similar birth.

The Law of Few was the first factor that included three kinds of people: the connectors, the mavens, and the salesmen. The connectors are the people who have “connections” in many different networks, and therefore are able to relate between groups. The mavens are people that will help the consumers make decisions, and the salesmen are the people who will help shape the buyer’s decisions and choices with their great personalities.

The Stickiness Factor describes the unique quality that causes the trend to “stick” and stay in the minds of the consumers. Gladwell uses the example of children’s television shows and how they transformed over time into educational television. PBS’s Sesame Street was the major pioneer of educational children’s television and proved the fact that the show helped toddlers and young children develop literacy skills. Blue’s Clues was another example that came long after Sesame Street began, but continued to use these techniques that “stuck”.

The Power of Context is explained through the necessity of the environmental or historical moment being right in order for the tipping point to occur. Gladwell illustrates this through the example of small changes that altered the environment in New York City and caused crime rates to decline. By keeping neighborhoods looking nice and enforcing small laws, city authorities were able to create an environment that did not promote crime.

I thought the next point Gladwell raised was interesting: group size can influence the climax to the tipping point. 150 is the magic number. Groups less than 150 are usually intimate, interdependent, and efficient, while groups over 150 tend to lose these characteristics.

Gladwell continues on with the examples seen in the case study of the rise and decline of Airwalk shoes, and the cast study of suicide and smoking in teenagers.

Overall The Tipping Point conveyed great ideas and methods that should be used in PR and marketing. In order for a trend to materialize, work within the niche market and then find ways to appeal to a larger audience. As a beginning blogger, this was a great read to gain ideas and strategies to market my brand and appeal to specific groups.

A major trend that I can think of today are Ray-Ban sunglasses. After reading this book I became interested in how the Ray-Ban trend exploded. Wherever you go on a Gator game day, you see so many people in Ray-Ban sunglasses; the company definitely did something right and found their “tipping point”!

 

 

Blog Reviews: Part 2

As I continued reading all the blogs, these next three stuck out to me. I really enjoy to see people write about things that are so important to them.

A blog that really caught my attention was Tonia Borsellino’s, as she writes about what it means to be personable in all aspects of our lives. I think this is a great topic to make people aware of because so many people have forgotten what this means. I thought her post about being personable on social media was a great reminder, especially during this election time, that everyone deserves courtesy even if their opinions are different than yours. Words do hurt, and everyone should treat others as they want to be treated.

I also liked checking out Stefani Hunter’s blog about sports and fitness. Some of her posts include her workouts, sports clips, and Gator football updates. I really like her post about why you should try out Orangetheory Fitness. I’ve always been interested in taking workout classes there, so this gave me some more insight!

The last blog that stood out to me was Lauren Bromfield’s blog about dance! It was great to learn about her experience with dance as well as other interesting facts about dance that she shares. Her post about dance – health benefits informed me more on how dance is used as exercise not only for your body, but also a great way to take care of your mental health.

 

Blog Reviews: Part 1

During my time at UF, I have met some amazing people! It is great to be surrounded by students who value hard work and strive for the best. I think our diversity in the J-School also helps us to be better reporters.

I really enjoyed checking out my everyone’s blogs and seeing what they were writing about. I enjoyed Stephanie Byrne’s blog about her experience as a student and multimedia journalist at UF. Her post that really caught my eye talked about “unplugging” and how the we can become competitive and overwork in school and the newsroom, when sometimes we need to relax!

I also liked reading my friend Kelly Grosfield’s posts as an anchor and reporter for WUFT News. It was great to see examples of her work on air as an anchor and as a reporter creating the packages.I thought her post about the lion fish was a really cool story.

Another blog I liked checking out was Rachel White’s, where she puts a funny twist on everyday topics. The post I found interesting and funny was her post about dating apps, where she included a cute video titled, “Kids Make Dating Profiles for Adults.”

Its been exciting to see what everyone else is interested in and how their career at UF is going!

Liz

Growing up, my family was one of the most important things to me, and they still are. As a young child, both of my parents worked full time, so I stayed with my grandparents and became very close to them.

My experience in high school truly shaped who I am today. My life was centered around making excellent grades in hopes of getting into UF and practicing my golf game whenever  I wasn’t at school. My time on the golf course taught me perseverance, hard work, and honesty.

During high school, I had a few close friends, but my time with golf course restricted my social life. This made my family an even more important part of my life because they were always there for me.

One of the most exciting days of my life was when I got accepted to the University of Florida. It was a goal that I had worked hard for, and when I achieved it I felt like there was a future full of potential waiting for me.

Now as a senior at the University of Florida I have made many great connections that will last a lifetime. The friends I have encountered on this campus have impacted me in ways I am so thankful for. I know the people I have met through UF will continue to impact me in a positive way.

Welcome to the -Real- World

My time at the University of Florida has been amazing so far. With the fall semester more than halfway over, I am looking forward to planning out my schedule for the spring – my last semester at UF! Wow, they aren’t kidding when they say “time flies”. It feels just like yesterday that I was a young freshman worried about what the future held for me!

Now is the time that I am focusing on applying for jobs and meeting employers. At times it can be stressful, but I have confidence in what I have learned and experienced in the College of Journalism. Another great asset that UF has to offer is the Career Resource Center. Students can meet with an advisor and get 1-on-1 help on building their resumes! I took advantage of this, and it helped a bunch with mine!

“Hi, I’m Liz McCarthy, please hire me!!!”

Pumpkin Party

One of the first things that comes to mind when I think about October and Halloween are pumpkins! As a child I always remember carving a pumpkin with my mom and being so excited to see it lit up at night. Even on my first Halloween I was a baby pumpkin!

Usually I love to get creative and think outside of the box with a crazy pumpkin design, but this year I wanted to keep it more traditional. Just a regular jack-o-lantern face for my pumpkin man!

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There are so many other things you can do to add some [pumpkin] spice (LOL) to your Halloween pumpkin. Many other options include paint, drilling holes into a design, or even adding chicken wire for extra texture.

Half of the fun of pumpkin carving is going to the pumpkin patch and finding the perfect pumpkin. There is a great pumpkin patch down the street from my house at a local church that takes 100% of the proceeds from the pumpkins and donates it to charity. Carving pumpkins is only one of the many fall activities that I enjoy taking part in!

– Liz