Letter To Aspiring Creators

A Letter To All Aspiring Odyssey Creators

Just remember, quality over quantity!

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Hello internet world!

It's almost a month since I've posted an article, and I do apologize for my absence, I've missed you so much! I've been on a study abroad trip to Costa Rica, and am currently stuck in Ft. Lauderdale after there was miscommunication about my flight departure time (thanks JetBlue)! But now that I'm back on stable WiFi, I'm back and I'm not going anywhere!

Now that we have the tearful reunion out of the way, it's article time! Whilst traveling the beautiful country that is Costa Rica, I was thinking about it, and I realized that my one year anniversary with Odyssey passed on June 15th! A year ago, my president Christine took a chance on me, and I am so glad she did! This community has brought me some of my best friends, has challenged me both intellectually and creatively, and has made me fall in love with writing again! As a one year creator, I thought it was important to share what I've learned with the new wave of people who are coming into the community.

First thing, THIS IS NOT EASY. If you're going to apply to be a creator thinking that it will be an easy resume builder, you have another thing coming my friend! You have a weekly deadline that must be followed, this means you need to come up with something new each week! Now I am in NO position to be lecturing about following deadlines, I have not been the best at meeting deadlines, as I am typing this article, I'm in an airport hoping I meet the deadline with the time difference! This job is not easy, it will challenge you, but I promise you that it is worth it! Which brings me to my second point...

BE CREATIVE! When I first started, all of my friends used to joke about the "Open Letter" articles that would constantly get posted on the website. And while these articles are good and sentimental, people get bored of them easily. If these articles are meaningful to you and help articulate your feelings, more power to you, however, I encourage you to branch out, write about something unique and interesting! Offer a different perspective, write about different cleansing tea combinations, or even write about the time you went parasailing with a goat named Frank (if anyone has a story like that, salute to you!). My point is, don't do what everyone else does. Write what matters to you and what you believe, the beauty of Odyssey is that you have a platform to produce what ever content you want! This leads me to my third and final point, which is...

HAVE FUN WITH IT! We're not getting paid for this, so enjoy yourself! Don't worry about page views either, I know this may be shocking but hear me out. When I first started, I was basing my topics of writing based off "what would be popular". What I found tho was that this was constricting my writing process, and I wasn't producing quality content. If you have a well written article, the views will come, I promise. I have written articles that I thought would blow up that have less than 100 views, and I have articles with thousands of views that I just wrote to get my feelings out. My point is that your QUALITY of your product is more important than the QUANTITY of the views it gets.

The past 370 days since I joined Odyssey have not been easy, I have struggled with relationships, school, and my own mental health. But the one thing that remained a constant was this website, and the outlet it gave me to express myself. If you are looking for a place to grow professionally and intellectually, come on and join Odyssey! You'll be surprised where it takes you!

Stay true to yourselves my guys, gals, and non-binary pals! (Shoutout to Thomas Sanders for the killer catchphrase!)

Cover Image Credit:

Dimitri Sotos

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20 Phrases All Roommates Say To Each Other

Some common phrases all roommates have said to each other at some point.
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1. Do I have to go to class?

2. When do you have class today?

3. Want to get lunch before your next class?

4. Do you think I need to wash my hair? I can’t tell if it’s greasy.

5. What’s the weather? I don’t know what to wear.

6. Are you going out tonight?

7. What should I wear tonight?

8. Can I borrow a shirt?

9. We have to watch *insert Netflix show here*.

10. Want to order in dinner tonight?

11. We have to take a cute picture tonight so I can Instagram.

12. Is this a good caption for my Instagram? How’s the edit?

13. Ok I instagrammed … go like and comment.

14. We should probably clean our room soon.

15. Can I borrow your *insert random item here*

16. I’m so hungry.

17. I think it’s time to do our laundry.

18. I’m going to start eating healthy and go to the gym more.

19. The dining hall menu is so bad today.

20. Thanks for being my best friend.

Cover Image Credit: Author's photo

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To My First Best Friend Who I Lost Because I Was Foolish

We all make mistakes, but losing you was the one I wish I never made.

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When we met, we were young. Two twelve-year-old girls with little to no life experience, naive and waiting for the world to come at us with all that it had.

We bonded quickly over anything and everything (whatever that could have been at this age) and became inseparable soon enough. Hours spent talking on the phone about which PBS cartoon was the best or what kind of boys were our "type" strengthened our blooming friendship and, for once, I felt like I finally had someone I could call my best friend.

I told you everything. I told you about my family and why I don't talk to certain members, and you told me about your family and why you don't know certain members. We trusted each other with our deepest and darkest secrets, we found solace in each other when it got hard to speak and we comforted each other when memories triggered emotions that were beyond our capabilities to handle.

As the months passed by, you became a bigger part of my life little by little. I remember a time where I couldn't have pictured going a day without talking to each other, and it seems like a lifetime ago when we would wake up early in the morning and immediately get on the phone after going to sleep late the night before.

I never wanted to believe that friendships don't last forever, despite what I had always heard. I wanted us to be different; I wanted us to be the exception that everyone could look at and say, "those are real best friends."

But I never took into consideration that sometimes, friendships don't last because one of the parties f**** it up.

We could talk in circles about what happened between us (we probably have) and we'd still end up at the same conclusion: It was me. And, at the end of the day, I think I always knew that I was the detrimental factor in our ultimate demise.

I did what every girl swears they will never do, what every girl says is the absolute worst thing to do: I chose my boyfriend over our friendship, and it's my biggest regret.

It's not that I meant to. I never thought I would even be capable of choosing anyone over you. We were unstoppable and I always believed I could never find anyone to be more important in my life than you, my best friend.

But, when you're "young and in love" (or blinded by what you think is love) you make stupid decisions without thinking of the consequences that will surely come.

I can't remember exactly what the situation was, or maybe I can and I just don't see a point in hashing it out for the millionth time because it only reminds me of what I wish I could change. Regardless, I don't think the details matter when the end result is what changed our lives forever.

The truth is, I don't really know how your life was after the fact. I know that I had a relationship that I dreaded, friends that I probably took for granted, and family that I didn't thank enough. But I never asked what got you through my absence, if my absence hurt as much to you as it did to me, or when you realized that you didn't need me anymore as much as you thought you did.

Maybe I didn't need to know, and maybe I still don't, it's just interesting to see how self-centered I was.

I've grown up a lot since then. I've dealt with some of the hardest things I would never wish upon anyone, I've come to see who I am and who I'm meant to be, and I've acknowledged and accepted my faults and mistakes a thousand times over.

I know I apologized to you more times than you can count, but I know that I'll never be able to say sorry enough. You were my better half, my lifeline, my best friend, and I kick myself every day for throwing it away like it meant nothing when it was everything.

We've moved past it together as much as we can, and we're now able to look back and chalk it up to "silly teenage girl things," but it doesn't mean that it can be erased. Our friendship exists now, but I can't help but wonder what it could have been if nothing would have happened.

2007 is a long time ago, twelve years since we met to be exact. We're both going to be twenty-four this year (you already are, I still have a month to go) and it would have been a friendship for the record books if we had made it this far.

Maybe our weddings would have been planned together. Maybe we would have been each other's maids of honor, and maybe we would have each planned kickass bachelorette parties that would never have been forgotten.

I know I don't want to have kids, but maybe in another world we could have been pregnant at the same time. Our kids could have been born with a best friend already chosen, one that would love and support them the same way that we would have done for each other. And though a lot of kids hate being thrown into friendships with their parents' kids, maybe ours would have been the exception.

I don't know what would have been, and I could go on forever with the "maybes" and the "what ifs" but it doesn't change the fact that they're all simply wishes and dreams, those that were lost the moment I turned my back on a friendship that was always there when I needed it.

You and me, we've found our homes in new people. We've formed bonds, made connections and surrounded ourselves with those who love us, and I think that's great and it's how it should be.

Still, I wish we could be for each other what we once were, what we should have been.

I made mistakes and I walked away from a friendship that was everything I needed it to be, and there's not a day that goes by in which I don't regret it.

And even though life goes on and we had to find a way to go along with it, I wouldn't mind going back and choosing differently. Because I know now that friendships as important and as pure as the one we had should always come first.

Always.

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