A Letter To All Aspiring Odyssey 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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To My Best Friend Who Taught Me What True Friendship Is, I Can't Thank You Enough

"To the person who will love you endlessly, love her with kindness and understanding."
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Dear Best Friend,

You have been a part of my life for quite some time now. You have seen my good, bad, and ugly sides and have stuck by my side through it all. I don't know if I could ever find the words to truly thank you for everything your friendship has given me, but I am definitely going to try.

Our lives have taken some twist and turn these past few years, but we have stayed strong through it all.

Thank you for judging me just the right amount.

Throughout our friendship, I have made some very questionable decisions. A lot of people would say "thanks for never judging me", but I feel like everyone needs a best friend who's going to tell them how it is; to tell them when they are about to make a bad decision or how to avoid something worse from happening. You have always told me how it is (even when I don't always want to hear it), but I know that I can come to you whenever I need someone to set me straight.

You're always down to do nothing with me.

I think that you are the one person that I can call up to hang out and do absolutely nothing with and have a good time. From the nights sitting in and playing card games to ordering Chinese food and watching an entire Netflix series while I dance around with the cat: I know that we could do anything, and nothing together and it would be fun.

But also, you're always down to get lit with me.

I swear one day we will be two old moms at a bar drinking vodka crans and laughing about the stupid shit our husbands and children do. You're always down to go out and have a good time. Even if everyone else we're with is miserable, we find a way to laugh at ourselves.

You are one of the few constant things in my life.

I've lost a lot of friends in my life, but you have stayed by my side through everything. I can't remember the last time we actually fought about anything, but even when we do we can't stay mad at each other for more than a day. I know we will be in each other's lives until we literally keel over.

I want you yo know that you're the strongest person I know.

You've dealt with things that not many people go through ever in their life. You have always been so mature, and you handle everything with grace. You inspire me every day with your goals and successes and I am so proud of you and all of your accomplishments.

Above all else, you deserve the world.

It's so easy to get caught up in your own mind and think that you deserve the things that happen to you, but please know that the only thing you deserve is happiness. Please settle for nothing short of that. It may take a bit to find your happiness, but I will be there every step of the way. You're a remarkable human being, and I want nothing but the best for you.

To the person who will hold your heart someday, please do not break it. To the person who may wrong you, you will regret it forever. To the person who will love you endlessly, love her with kindness and understanding.

You, my best friend, future bridesmaid, godmother of my children, the person to bail me out of jail, the one who lets me cry on their couch for twelve hours,

I love you.

I will cherish our friendship forever. Thank you for being you.

Love always,

Your best friend.

Cover Image Credit: Adriana Ranieri

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Visiting Your Friends At Different Colleges Is Worth The Drive

Learning about the lives my friends are living at other schools is extremely interesting.

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When I went to college, many of my friends went to different schools. Some of us went to the same college, some went to other in-state schools and some even went out-of-state. If you are ever bored and are thinking about spending the weekend with your friend at their college, I recommend doing it!

As a student at the University of Florida, I already know the best places to eat, party and relax in Gainesville. During my time here, I have met so many new people and have experienced so many new things. But, sometimes I forget that my friends are living their own lives at different schools, as well.

When I went to visit one of my best friends at the University of Central Florida, it was neat to see how she matured as a person. She took me to all the cool bars, introduced me to all of her new friends and gave me a tour of campus. Getting to see how she has evolved so much was so fascinating.

Visiting my friends at Florida State University was a whole experience in itself. I had many friends go to this school. Each of them lives their own lives, some still hang out, and some are even roommates. The culture at each university is so much different than the culture at my school. It was fun to meet all of their new classmates and sorority sisters. Getting to know the people that spend every day with the friends that I used to spend every day with is something I love to do.

If you ever have a break from studying, get a little bored, or even just miss your friends, give them a call and ask to stay with them for the weekend! I promise you will learn so much more about them and how they are taking on their new phase of life.

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