Throughout most of my life, I never really thought of myself as a leader. Sure, I'd had some small "leadership" roles in the past. I'd helped in teaching a Vacation Bible School, I helped run some programs at my local library, but even in these roles I was never truly the "leader". While yes I did some leadership type work, there was always someone who was "above" me that I could turn to or who was actually in charge of the event.
When I joined the Odyssey in the spring of my Junior year I never expected that I would be walking into one of my first true leadership roles. When I first began writing for the Odyssey I was both a writer and a contributing editor. This put me in the same position I was used to being in, while I did take on somewhat of a leadership role, there was still someone else, our Editor in Cheif who was truly the leader of our group.
So you can imagine my surprise when one day over the summer I was relaxing at home when I received a phone call asking if I would be interested in interviewing for the Editor in Chief position for the 2016-2017 school year. After getting over my initial shock I responded that yes, I would be interested and went forward with the interview. I went into the whole thing with low expectations, so my shock was only furthered when about a week later I found out I had received the position.
While the Editor in Chief does work alongside their Managing Editor to some degree, we are each generally wholly in charge of each of our communities, mine at the time was William Paterson's Odyssey. Our ME helped me get started and gave me some guidelines and expectations, but it was mostly up to myself to keep things running and for once I was the one truly calling the shots.
Being the Editor in Chief for William Paterson's Odyssey has so far been an amazing experience, filled with so many different lessons. I am so glad that I decided to accept that interview back in June and become the leader that I had no idea I was capable of becoming.
Am I the perfect leader? Definitely not. There are days where I feel overwhelmed, where I slack off or forget to do something that I needed to do. But then there are days where we reach a new goal for our article count, where one of my writer's articles goes viral and I realize just how rewarding it is to get to be in this position.
I can't wait to see where the rest of my year as the EIC of this Odyssey team takes me and what other new skills I will learn in the process. I am so thankful for my Managing Editor for helping me gain these skills, for my writers who put in so much hard work and who I hope are getting as an amazing of an experience as I am with the Odyssey and for all of you reading this, for helping the Odyssey become what it is, a positive influence in the lives of so many.