April 7, 2018

Wow, my most anticipated article I have ever written (for now). SO many of you have asked me to write on my website about my experience through this whole journey so I will try my best.

For those of you who don’t know, on April 7, 2018, I posted a graduation photo on Twitter (the one posted). For me, this wasn’t a controversial photo, however, for a lot of people it was. Never in a million years did I ever think I would be on national news. I always grew up wanting to be famous, in fact, I always wanted to be on Disney Channel, but this was so much better. As you could see I received a lot of backlash for it and most people wanted my thoughts on the backlash and, to be honest, I thought getting the backlash would be really hard but I came to realize I had thicker skin than I thought. At first when I posted the photo I read most of the comments, a lot were good but of course, there were a lot of bad comments and although it was frustrating to read… it didn’t bother me one bit. I’ll tell you exactly why it didn’t bother me. Clay Travis and I had some twitter conversations once my photo started going viral and the thing that he said that touched me the most was “you rarely get hate from someone more successful than you.” Clay was also the first famous person that I talked to once my photo gained popularity and he gave me such good advice so thank you, Clay.

I posted my photo on a Saturday so it took a couple days before I got any huge attention. The very first big station to reach out to me was The Blaze, specifically the Doc Thompson show. I was a nervous wreck but for my being my first bigger interview it went pretty well. Next, ABC reached out to me and said they wanted to do an over the phone interview, I was hesitant at first but I accepted. I was busy working when they called so I rushed to my car and was also a nervous wreck, the desk assistant asked me all the questions and in the background, you could hear her fingers typing my responses so fast, this made me more nervous. The media attention kept growing and one day in class I got a call saying I was going to be on Fox and Friends… TALK ABOUT NERVOUS. I only had 24 hours to prepare. They booked a studio at a local news channel, I arrived at 5:50am and kept going through what I was going to say in my head. Being on Fox and Friends definitely was the hardest. I was so nervous that I didn’t eat for a day and my stomach was in knots until it was over. It was also the hardest because I was in front of a camera not able to see who I was talking to. The studio had Fox and Friends playing on the TV in front of me but it was a couple minutes behind so it was a distraction. After vigorously preparing I have to say Fox and Friends was my most successful interview. I then continued to be on NRATv and OANN Tipping Point with Liz Wheeler. After all these media appearances my nerves started to call down. I was then asked to speak at a Regan Day dinner here in TN and the next day I was to appear on the Huckabee Show which filmed right across the street from my house. Huckabee was probably my second biggest interview but was the easiest for me. My parents were in the crowd and Huckabee just made things seem so easy so for the first time I was not nervous and it was so much fun. Two HUGE appearances that didn’t get to happen because bigger stories ended up happening were Jesse Watters and CNN New Day. Although the interviews got canceled it was an honor just to have been scheduled to do an interview with both of them. Although the thought of doing an interview on CNN made my stomach turn I was still so excited.

Throughout this whole experience I gained around 63k followers on Twitter and around 28k followers on Instagram… this was so insane. AND while going through this whole journey I was also preparing to graduate. My life was the busiest it had ever been in my entire life. I was driving back and forth from Nashville and Chattanooga, trying to study for finals and make media appearances.

I couldn’t have done this without my amazing family and friends.

Mom, thank you for supporting me through this whole journey, I know it couldn’t have been easy for you. Thank you for being my best friend and helping me whenever I needed. Thank you for instilling me with conservative values and for raising me in a Christian home.

Dad, thank you for the constant love and support, I know it wasn’t hard seeing all the backlash I was getting, as my father I know you always try to protect so seeing people on the internet saying such hurtful things couldn’t have been easy, also thank you for making me listen to Rush Limbaugh on the way to school. You have been my role model and hero my whole life.

Caitlin, my sister, thank you so much for the constant support. Fun fact: my sister stayed up all night researching the TN gun laws because she was so scared something was going to happen to me. Thank you for being the best big sister and thank you for doing my makeup the morning of my national tv interview.



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