11 Ways Writing Has Shaped Me Into The Person I Am Today

11 Ways Writing Has Shaped Me Into The Person I Am Today

Through writing, I have truly changed as a person in a way I will forever be grateful for.

Ever since I started writing for Odyssey, I have been asked nearly a million times why I write. The answer I typically give is just “I love to write, so I do it for fun.”

Well, a lot of the time people don’t take that and want more of a reason. Writing, for me, is not only fun, but it is also a therapeutic outlet for me and is something that makes me feel safe (and sane).

1. I tell a story that, if done well, will resonate with many of the other people who read it.

Nothing feels better than knowing you made someone know that they are not alone. You never know what you’re writing could do for someone.

2. My writing that I keep private is a way for me to let everything out.

This is something that helps me to destress and not have so many worries. Everyone has different ways to cope, and writing just happens to be one of mine.

3. It helps me to become more creative.

Thinking of article ideas every week to produce new content is very challenging, and it is not always easy to do. You have to take time and think about what story you want to tell and how you want to tell it, which is always both exciting and challenging.

4. Having something I love so much be complimented is the best feeling in the world.

Seriously, nothing beats this. I work so hard on every piece of my writing, and when it resonates with people or they just generally compliment it, it makes me feel like all of the hard work I’ve put into it has paid off.

5. I want to make people feel something.

My goal in my writings is to make people feel some sort of way that they didn’t before reading my piece. Whether that feeling is sad, happy or even just them becoming newly informed, I want them to learn and recognize something with every single piece of mine that they read.

6. I’m constantly learning.

I am someone who can’t just stop learning something new. Through my writing, especially my writing through Odyssey, I am always learning something new. Whether it be trying out new writing techniques or learning how to properly edit an article for publishing, it’s something I didn’t know before, and that is so satisfying.

7. To connect with other people.

Some of the people I have met and gotten the opportunity to work with because of this adventure with Odyssey are some of the greatest people I’ve ever met. Not to mention sharing my work and having people engage me with it helps me to meet people who do all sorts of different things, besides writing.

8. Writing is needed for everything you do.

Whether it’s creative writing or writing a simple email, you need to be able to do it. Why not practice?

9. Writing brings opportunity.

When a new writing piece of mine is published, there is no way to tell where it will go from there. You never know who is going to find it.

10. I want to inspire people.

I want to inspire other people to speak out. To share their stories and let their voices be heard. I write in hopes that through my own writing and others' writing, we will change the way people view themselves.

11. Writing is my passion.

Writing makes me feel alive and makes me feel like I’m doing something to help someone. That’s all I want to do and because of writing, I feel as though I am able to do it.

Long story short: through writing, I have truly changed as a person in a way I will forever be grateful for.

Cover Image Credit: pxhere

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44 Lyrics For When You Need An Instagram Caption

Your caption is just as important as the filter.

Choosing the caption for your Instagram can be almost as challenging as deciding on a filter. So, if you’re ready to post that Insta, but don’t know what to say, here are 44 lyrics for when you need an Instagram caption.

1. “Be young, be dope, be proud.” - Lana Del Rey, "American"

2. “I can’t really see another squad tryna cross us.” - Drake, "No Tellin’"

3. “Darling I’m a nightmare dressed like a daydream.” - Taylor Swift, "Blank Space"

4. “I’m throwin' shade like it’s sunny.” - Nicki Minaj, "Want Some More"

5. “I’m gonna live like tomorrow doesn't exist.” - Sia, "Chandelier"

6. “Find me where the wild things are.” - Alessia Cara, "Wild Things"

7. “If I was you, I'd wanna be me too.” - Meghan Trainor, "Me Too"

8. “Sweet like candy to my soul, sweet you rock and sweet you roll.” - Dave Matthews Band, "Crash Into Me"

9. “I swear this life is like the sweetest thing I’ve ever known.” - Drake, "Over"

10. “I hope you never lose your sense of wonder.” - Lee Ann Womack, "I Hope You Dance"

11. “But if you close your eyes, does it almost feel like nothing’s changed at all? - Bastille, "Pompeii"

12. “You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one.” - John Lennon, "Imagine"

13. “You can’t choose what stays and what fades away.” - Florence + The Machine, "No Light, No Light"

14. “She acts like summer and walks like rain.” - Train, "Drops of Jupiter

15. “She’s a good girl, loves her mama. Loves Jesus, and America too.” - Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, "Free Fallin’"

16. “Lights will guide you home, and ignite your bones.” - Coldplay, "Fix You"

17. “Say you’ll remember me.” - Taylor Swift, "Wildest Dreams"

18. I’ve got thick skin and an elastic heart.” - Sia, "Elastic Heart"

19. “Give me the beat boys and free my soul.” - Uncle Kracker, "Drift Away"

20. “One of these days the clocks will stop, and time won’t mean a thing.” - Foo Fighters, "These Days"

21. “Sunshine mixed with a little hurricane.” - Brad Paisley, Perfect Storm

22. “You are the piece of me I wish I didn’t need.” Zedd feat. The Foxes, "Clarity"

23. “Her mind is Tiffany twisted, she’s got the Mercedes bends.” - The Eagles, "Hotel California"

24. “Life imitates art.” - Lana Del Rey, "Gods And Monsters"

25. “Nobody said it was easy, no one said it would be this hard.” - Coldplay, "The Scientist"

26. “You’re gonna keep my soul, it was yours to have long ago.” - State Radio, "Keepsake"

27. “Celebrate we will ‘cause life is short but sweet for certain.” - Dave Matthews Band, "Two Step"

28. “It’s always darkest before the dawn.” - Florence + The Machine, "Shake it Out"

29. “There are many things I’d like to say to you but I don’t know how.” - Oasis, "Wonderwall"

30. “You say you want a revolution, well you know we all wanna change the world.” - The Beatles, "Revolution"

31. “God is great, beer is good, and people are crazy.” Billy Currington, "People Are Crazy"

32. “Well my heart is gold, and my hands are cold.” - Halsey, "Gasoline"

33. “I don’t want to be heard, I want to be listened to.” - Twenty One Pilots, "Forest"

34. “Where you invest your love, you invest your life.” - Mumford and Sons, "Awake My Soul"

35. “I think I need a sunrise, I’m tired of the sunset.” - Augustana, "Boston"

36. “All of these lines across my face tell you the story of who I am.” - Brandi Carlile, "The Story"

37. ‘Ready or not, here I come. Where you at? The night is young.” - Bridgit Mendler, "Ready or Not"

38. “In the land of Gods and Monsters, I was an angel.” - Lana Del Rey, "Gods And Monsters"

39. “Turns out not where, but who you’re with that really matters.” - Dave Matthews Band, "Best Of What’s Around"

40. “Know yourself, know your worth.” - Drake, "0 to 100"

41. “I’m little but I’m coming for the crown.” - Lorde, "Still Sane"

42. “Didn’t they tell you I was a savage?” - Rihanna, "Needed Me"

43. “Hands in the air like we don’t care.” - Miley Cyrus, "We Can’t Stop"

44. “I’ma keep running because a winner don’t quit on themselves.” - Beyonce, "Freedom"

Cover Image Credit: https://pixabay.com

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Claudary Jones: Taking On Columbia University

"Not getting to an Ivy League school is not the end of the world."

This past weekend, one of my best friends visited me from Columbia University. Her name is Claudary Jones and one of the most humble, beautiful, brilliant people I know. You cannot help, but smile when you first meet her because she will always manage to make you smile. During her visit, I made sure to bring her to one of my favorite places off campus, Hidden Grounds. (Anyone who knows me knows that I live there.)

So as the two of us sat there and she sipped the delicious rose chai (highly recommend) I decided to ask her about life at college, at Columbia. Then I got the grand idea to just interview her and here is a portion of our conversation that would be way too long if I put all of it in this article. I may be biased, but she is someone to look up to and learn from.

Last year, you were going through the college application experience. Can you talk a little bit about it?

To say the least, it was stressful but ultimately it was positive and amazing. I had a unique experience. I had to deal with the fact that my father was absent from my life and I had to explain to colleges how he wouldn't be able to help me pay for college. I had a couple schools reject my noncustodial parent waiver, which would have impacted my financial aid. I had to work harder to convince them and plead my case.

What advice would you give to someone in that situation?

To not be afraid and speak up for yourself. I had to use my voice whether it was writing or making phone calls to explain my situation. Your voice matters and I realized that during the process. Don't be afraid to speak up for yourself.

And what would you say to someone who doesn’t get into an ivy league school?

Ivy league schools aren't the only schools in the country or the world. Most people don't get in and go on to do amazing things.

Tell me why you love Columbia.

Let me tell you the top three reasons why I love Columbia or I guess what I would call the three C’s, cash, clout, and city.

1. Cash: I would say that the financial aid office is understanding and very accommodating so that was a really big factor when I chose Columbia because I have the cash that other schools just don’t have.

2. Clout: So, Columbia is an Ivy League school and it is a competitive place. It is really challenging for students and being in this environment has helped me grow and be better. An advantage I'll be able to use no matter where I go.

3. City: The city is very important to me, being in the heart of Manhattan. Socially and culturally, it’s a really great experience. I’m able to go to the Metropolitan Museum of Art for free as a student and anytime that I want to. I also have access to events, festivals and have very easy access to public transportation. It’s easy for me to go anywhere in the city. It's a fun and exciting place to explore, especially with friends.

How has your first year at college been?

I will say that I’m glad to be done with my first year, although I did enjoy it. I’m just honestly more excited about my second year. I’m going to be a resident assistant, so I will get my own room and bathroom, which is awesome and I’m very excited because I'll be in a leadership role. I am also excited for my classes because I am finally taking classes more focused on sociology and human rights.

Did you have any issues with transitioning into college?

I didn’t have that much of an issue transitioning. I found my friends rather quickly. Living with another person was hard because you’re dealing with someone else. It was hard considering the fact that I’m an only child and I lived in a room all by myself for most of my life. I had to realize that I am living with another person who has a different schedule, has different needs and habits. From that experience, I learned a lot about having to communicate with people and that’s very important in order to get something accomplished and live with someone else.

What were the obstacles you had to overcome socially?

Some of the issues I overcame were how to manage my frustration when you find other people are talking about you. But I realized it's OK, not everybody will like you and that is fine.

What did you expect to find in college?

What I did not expect to find were really, really close friends. I would say that I’ve already found my best friends. That was something I didn’t expect.

You identify yourself as a black and queer woman. How has that shaped the way you approach things and your experience at Columbia?

I guess my race and sexuality do shape how I look at things at Columbia because I tend to look at things from a colonial perspective. In class, we read on a lot of western European literature and we listen to a lot of European music for music humanities and look at European art. There was such a large emphasis on European culture. So I actively commented how it’s not inclusive or, I guess, how it portrays black people.

I would say that it doesn’t greatly affect me. Columbia University is really diverse like Rutgers. So everyone brings their own perspective and I try to bring my perspective whenever I can.

What would be your advice to anyone starting college?

Not getting to an Ivy league school is not the end of the world. An Ivy should not be used as a proxy for intelligence because I can tell you there are plenty of people and people who get into schools for different reasons. It's OK.

What are your plans after college?

Make the best of your experience because you've the power. It's all up to you, so be open minded and try new things.

Cover Image Credit: Veronica Bido

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