If I could do it again

Graduating from Auburn University in one short week, I have a great deal to be proud of. I have passed difficult classes, built a website and endured late nights and busy weeks. The best part of all this, though is my growth into the person I am now. I am now so different – and so similar – to who I was when I entered my freshman year of college.

A firm believer in the value of mistakes, I refuse to let myself regret any of mine, especially from these past four years. I would not have learned so many valuable lessons without said mistakes. While freshman year me (and honestly senior year me) made every kind of mistake, I would not trade a single one of them for the world. I am so thankful for the ways I have changed in reaction to the things I have learned, especially through my many mistakes.images

Auburn is a place where I have had the opportunity to meet genuine people, learn immeasurable lessons on friendship and experience diversity. There is something to be said about such a place that can influence not only in the classroom, but in the community.

I feel so lucky to learn that every peak has a valley. The roller coaster that is college has reinforced this idea, and I have learned to appreciate every high, while I make it through every low and come out stronger.
I will cherish and treasure every memory I have made in college. The times that we’re hard, the times that I laughed, the times with my friends, and, my personal favorite: the times that surprised me. You never know what is coming your way and all the impact it can have on your life. This is both scary and exciting, but I feel like I have
an appreciation for this concept after my four years at Auburn.image1-2

In the least cliche way possible, I would only tell myself to enjoy the time, whether it be a peak or a valley. I would tell my freshman self to appreciate every mistake, and treasure all the lessons. Keeping a positive mindset has been such a saving grace and I would encourage it to my freshman self.

I encourage all readers to do the same: keep positive and appreciate where you are in life for the purpose it serves in your greater path.

In regards to  do-overs: I would love nothing more than to experience college again, but only if it could be exactly the same the second time around. So thank you, Auburn, for the most thrilling, adventurous, educational and memorable years of my life.

If I could do it again, I would do it exactly the same.

Making your way

College is a time in your life where many difficult choices are made. Quickly approaching the end of my undergraduate career next month, I am freshly aware of these decisions. I would confidently say, though, that I do not regret any of the choices I have made.
One of the toughest decisions of college is deciding your major. It defines who you are to some extent. Your major gives you an opportunity to learn about yourself and create goals and even dreams. I chose public relations for a few reasons, and am leaving the coursework thankful for my choice for many more reasons
than I could have ever expected.lizzyresume

I originally chose public relations because I like people, efficiency and writing. While all of these are prominent in this coursework, I have learned so much more and could not be more thankful. I now love public relations because it is fast-paced, organized, systematic and creative. If any of these words sound attractive to you, then I would not hesitate to point you toward this major.

The coursework at Auburn University has made me a better writer, a stronger communicator and a more intent listener. Through the constant – and I mean constant – projects and presentations, I have learned how to work with others in a group setting. This skill is invaluable, regardless of what work environment you enter into. I have also become more comfortable communicating with people and in front of audiences.

The community created within Auburn’s public relations major is the best and most unique support system I have been exposed to during my time in college. Everyone is learning the same things in our courses, yet we all retain it in a different way and can apply our learnings to different industries, goals and ideas. It has been so rewarding to watch the unique fashion with which everyone has displayed what they are learning.

The public relations coursework is constantly building on itself, as each subject and system is expanded on in each subject. Each class gives you the opportunity to see an idea or theory through a new angle with a new client, as most of our classes have given us the unique opportunity to have real world clients and create real world public relations campaigns for them.

17021430_10212414216134140_4935470303164036455_nI have also found joy in watching everyone begin to move onto their next steps, post-graduation. I am proud to announce that I have just accepted a job offer in a sales position, where I get the opportunity to utilize my skills from Auburn’s public relations program, while continuing to learn everyday. It is so wonderful to me that there are so many different careers that can be created with this degree. I am excited to use the foundation of relationship building skills which I have developed as a public relations major to make an impact and succeed in my position within the IT staffing industry. This versatile major has given me many options in my job search, and I have been able to really figure out what is important to me and where I can see myself continuing to grow.

The final spring break

My final spring break before graduating and entering the workforce is one that I am determined to make the best yet. Tomorrow, 23 girls and I will caravan to Destin, Florida, where we will share a house for a week. My overarching goal of the week is to enjoy the relaxing beach atmosphere, while making memories with my closest friends.sb

To achieve these goals, maximizing the potential of my final spring break, my objectives are to spend at least six hours outside each day. Another objective would be to go out to eat authentic seafood at least once a day. As I am usually very busy with school and work, I am making an object to enjoy this free time by reading one novel over the course of the week.

To assure that I get to eat seafood at least once a day, I will research good restaurants with fresh and local menu items. This is going to be my strategy for achieving my objective to eat a lot of seafood.

My favorite restaurant along 30A in Florida is called the Red Bar. It has the most wonderful food I have ever eaten and is right off the beach. The atmosphere is unbeatable. In order to eat seafood at least once per day, I will make an effort to go to the Red Bar during my vacation. This will be one of my tactics to achieve my goal.red-bar-grayton-beach-racquel-morgan1

A strategy to make sure that I am able to spend at least six hours a day outside will be to purchase items that will enhance my beach and outdoor experience. My tactics in this adventure, will be to make a trip to buy a beach chair, some beach games and a football. I plan to be thorough when shopping for this trip, walking up and down every isle in Walmart. Another tactic will be to make sure that I am safe being outdoors for at least six hours a day by purchasing sunscreen and water bottles to protect my skin and stay hydrated.

My strategy to finish a novel by the end of the spring break week, is to do research and find the perfect book to buy for the week. A tactic in this objective is to look online for book reviews and ask friends and family for suggestions. This objective will also encourage me to be outside reading, therefore it is an event and task that will help me spend at least six hours a day outside.14670637_10211180076328201_7765047171958309154_n

I will know that my goals have been met if I keep track of how much time I am spending outside and if I am able to meet my objectives of eating seafood at least once a day and reading a novel. At the end of the trip though, my success will ultimately be evaluated by how much fun I had and the memories I created. I have no doubt that with this PR styled plan, that I will have a wonderful time and make unforgettable memories.

Social media release – the 2018 Chick-Fil-A Kickoff Game

**This is simply a proof of concept.**


The Auburn Tigers and Washington Huskies will face-off in the 2018 Chick-Fil-A Kickoff Game, set for Saturday, Sept. 1, 2018 in the new Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia.


Created in 2008 by Peach Bowl, Inc., the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game is a bowl-style, neutral-site game featuring two elite football programs and has been nationally televised on the first Saturday of the college football season since its inception. The game has hosted teams with national rankings of No. 1, No. 2, 5 (twice), 6, 7, 9, 14, 16, 18 (twice), 19, 22, 24 (twice) and 25 (twice). The Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game boasts an average attendance of 67,645, has been watched on television by 47.4 million viewers, and has distributed $51.9 million in total team payouts. For more information, visit our website.

Quick Facts

  • The 11th installment of the nation’s longest-running kickoff game will feature the Auburn Tigers and the Washington Huskies in the first-ever meeting between the two schools.
  • The 2014 Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game featuring Alabama vs. West Virginia pulled an average of 6.4 million viewers to become the most-viewed game in Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game history. All time, more than 43.9 million viewers have tuned in to watch Chick-fil-A Kickoff Games.
  • Over its eight-year existence, the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game boasts an average attendance of 66,869 — higher than the attendance of 33 bowl games last year.
  • The game will be nationally telecast by ESPN. Kick time is yet to be announced.
  • All tickets will be sold through the university ticket offices.
  • The Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game averages more than 67,000 fans for each game – higher than 33 bowl games from last year – and its team payout averages $4.7 million, which is higher than 24 bowl games last season.


“We’re looking forward to the opportunity to play in the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game for a third time,” Auburn Head Coach Gus Malzahn said. “Auburn has a great fan base in Atlanta and we’ve always had a big number of Georgia kids in our program. We appreciate the partnership we’ve had over the years with the great people at the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl.”

“We are excited to compete in the 2018 Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game in Atlanta,” head coach Chris Petersen said. “I know our team will look forward to competing against a great program in what will surely be a thrilling atmosphere inside the new Mercedes-Benz Stadium.”

“We’re excited about the chance to play in what will be a world-class venue and great atmosphere for the 2018 Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game,” Auburn Athletics Director Jay Jacobs said. “Our student-athletes love big games on big stages, and playing a quality opponent like Washington in this new stadium at such a prestigious event will be a great experience. Since our goal every year is to get to Atlanta and compete for a championship, I also like the opportunity for our team to play there early in the season. That’s an advantage for us. Atlanta is a great city, and the Auburn Family has a huge presence there. So it’s a great game, venue and location for our student-athletes and our fans.”

“The Chick-fil-A Kickoff game is well known as a terrific event, and we are honored to participate,” UW Director of Athletics Jennifer Cohen said. “The trip will provide an exciting opportunity for our student-athletes to compete on a national stage inside a first-class venue, and should be a fun trip for a great number of Husky faithful.”



The Southerly Warehouse opens in downtown Opelika

Previously published on The Corner News.

The Southerly Warehouse is now open in the historic district of Opelika as a new industrial-styled event venue.

The space is a 5,519 square feet nineteenth century warehouse. It has on-site parking and is within walking distance of downtown Opelika. The venue is both an indoor and outdoor space with a removable stage and a large bride’s room.

The venue owners, Ashely and John Marsh, created this venue with a vision to cultivate a unique experience for their customers, therefore serving a niche role in the community. The couple has completed over 100 renovations in Opelika.

“One thing you can’t duplicate is the feel of something that has history,” said John, “there is nothing like this with a story like this.”

Also contributing to The Southerly Warehouse are Beth Walton, owner of Above and Beyond Catering, and Alex Neumann, creative director for The Southerly Warehouse. Neumann has been working with Ashley since Neumann was a student intern four years ago.

Above and Beyond Catering is also the in-house caterer for the venue. Walton and the Marsh’s have known each other for almost 20 years.

Exposed, original brick walls, wooden-beamed ceilings and antique chandeliers are the bones of this venue’s design. “I won’t say I have an eye for design, but that I have a heart for it,” said Ashely on her vision for this space.

They chose the name for the various definitions of “southerly,” which are “to have a truly southern experience” and “of the southern winds.”

This visionary group envisions building an entire community with the same historical, industrial atmosphere around the existing Southerly brand. “Our heart is that this is the keystone to a great community of technology, creativity and hospitality,” John said.

Located at 1007 Avenue B, you can contact The Southerly Warehouse at 334-749-5616 and visit them at www.thesoutherlywarehouse.com.

Above and Beyond Catering is available for contact at beth.abcatering@gmail.com or 334-524-9256.

Tim Tyler Tuesday to benefit local charity

Previously published on The Corner News.

Alpha Chi Omega hosts Tim Tyler Tuesday, a concert benefiting the organization’s philanthropy, domestic violence awareness and prevention, on Oct. 18, at SkyBar Café in downtown Auburn. Doors open at 8 p.m. and Tim Tyler will perform at 9 p.m.

“Tim Tyler Tuesday is a philanthropy event that we host to have a good time and listen to good music, while also raising money for a good cause,” Caroline Livingston, Alpha Chi Omega vice president of philanthropy, said.

All of the funds raised from the event will be donated to the local Domestic Violence Intervention Center (DVIC) in Opelika, Livingston explained.

Tickets to the concert can be bought for $5 leading up to the event and $7 dollars at the door. Tickets will be sold on the Auburn University main concourse as well in the days leading up to the event.

Alpha Chi Omega puts on this event twice a year and the concert raised over $7,000 last spring.

“We also want this event to raise awareness in the Auburn community and around campus about our philanthropy, because that is how prevention really starts,” Livingston said.

Contact Caroline Livingston at cml0035@auburn.edu with questions or for ticket inquiries.

Freshman Leadership Program: Everything You Need To Know

Previously published in Auburn Family.

Freshman Leadership Program is one of Auburn’s leadership organizations, containing nine different groups, each lead by upperclassmen, focusing on individual objectives throughout the academic year to teach leadership skills, strengthen the community and encourage involvement.

“It’s a really great way to learn leadership qualities and professional development. It’s also a wonderful community for your first year of college,” said Mizna Kanafani, 2016-2017 Freshman Leadership Program (FLP) president.

This year 405 freshmen were accepted into a FLP, with each group having 45 members. The groups are Philanthropy and Leadership, This Is Auburn, Global Leadership, All For Auburn, ELITE, Health & Wellness, LEAP, SERVE and Freshman Forum.

A majority of the programs are the same from year to year, with the exception of the All For Auburn group. This group partners with Miss Auburn every year to further her campaign initiatives on campus and in the community.

This year’s All For Auburn group is working with this year’s Miss Auburn, Madison Rolling. This group will focus on collecting clothing donations in accordance with her campaign, “fill the rack with Rolling.”

Other programs work with different university outlets and organizations. Freshman Forum works with Auburn’s Student Government Association (SGA), while many other groups pair with local Auburn and Opelika initiatives and nonprofits. Some of these include working with Soles4Souls, Auburn University Dance Marathon, Joyland Daycare, Lee County Humane Society, Storybook Farm and Auburn-Opelika Tourism Bureau.

“I wouldn’t have the same goals for my future that I do right now if it weren’t for that experience,” Kanafani said on her freshman year in FLP, “you never know how impactful one organization is going to be in your life.”

The goal of this organization is to encourage students to be involved on-campus and in the community, while simultaneously enhancing their leadership skills.

Applications and interviews occur in the first weeks of every fall semester and the groups meet weekly throughout the fall and spring semesters.

All FLP events or fundraisers will be displayed on the AUinvolve homepage and onFLP’s website