Let's celebrate creativity not bash it.

In Defense of Odyssey

Let me put it this way. If you want your news, look to CNN, NBC or Fox, not the Odyssey. This is a place for people to express their creativity and to have fun writing, not necessarily a spot for someone that is launching their prime time journalism career.


I know a lot of people that get annoyed with Odyssey articles appearing on their Facebook feeds and I recently read an article entitled "Please, for the Love of God Stop Sharing Odyssey Articles," written by a college student criticizing the type of articles written and published by Odyssey Online creators. I thought I'd take a minute to address the some of the claims made because while the author claimed to be writing about the Odyssey's purpose, I think they missed it completely.

*I also just want to note that I completely respect the author's view on the Odyssey as everyone is entitled to their own opinions. I am in no means trying to be mean in any of my responses.

"But all joking aside, if The Odyssey is any indication of my generation's potential, we should be seriously concerned."

I think the opposite. Being a member of the Odyssey requires a weekly submission for a post to be published. That is a totally new idea and concept to think of every week, on top of all of the work students have in college. This gets incredibly difficult when you are at a loss for ideas. To shoot down the articles that illustrate a situation or event from the view of a famous person or character is being ignorant to the creativity and thought that had to go into the writing of the article from that person's perspective. It requires a great sense of creativity to come up with something to submit. While a lot of the articles can be repetitive at times, the creativity and thought that the writer put into that article should be celebrated.

"The result is that nothing of significance ever arises out of these articles besides a quick hit of instant gratification. No lasting discussion, no reflection, no critical thought."

Let me put it this way. If you want your news, look to CNN, NBC or Fox, not the Odyssey. This is a place for people to express their creativity and to have fun writing, not necessarily a spot for someone that is launching their prime time journalism career. Maybe instant gratification is the problem here, but in the opposite sense. We are so used to having the latest information at the tips of our fingers that if its not news on social media then what is the point? I personally enjoy seeing something other than the constant flow political news on my Facebook feed. Why does everything to have to be informative, political or argumentative?


The article also went on to bash the Odyssey's use of Listicles as a viable publishing option for each week. I personally have fun coming up with ideas for listicles. Just because it is a list doesn't mean that it is any less of an article. For example, I used the listicle format to write about changes that you can make at the beginning of the new year that you might actually be able to keep. If I wrote a bunch of paragraphs for all 30 resolutions, wouldn't you fall asleep reading that? I know I would. But setting it up nicely with just a sentence or two with a resolution changes that.

"It is the publication for readers whose only other sources of information are Snapchat's Discover stories and Instagram's Popular page."

While the whole article rubbed me the wrong way, this quote bothered me the most. Because I as an Odyssey Creator, don't publish articles that cover the top actions of Donald Trump day to day, I don't know what is going on in the world? I am that self indulgent and absorbed that my only news source is Snapchat and Instagram? I didn't chose to write for the Odyssey to cover the trending stories. I'll be the first to admit I am not at all the type of person to get into political discussion or to respond political statements. That being said, I am not shut in a box ignorant to the problems and issues in the world, especially our country. If someone wants to write about the latest movie or any element of pop culture, let them. But don't assume they are any less up to date on news from other sources than Snapchat and Instagram...

Again, like I said in the beginning, I am not trying to be mean or ignorant in my defense/response to the article. But I do feel like I need to address the claims the author made. I enjoy writing for the Odyssey and am proud of a lot of the ideas I have come up with, NONE of which gained its content or information from a Snapchat news story. The time, creativity and thought it takes to fully create an article should be celebrated not shot down. And if you are tired of seeing the articles, then don't follow the Odyssey! It's as simple as that!


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10 Abnormally Normal Things About College

Some stuff just doesn't fly in the real world.

College is a weird, weird place. For whatever reason, the young adults who are supposed to be cultivating their minds with all of the worldly knowledge available to them, seem to get away with quite a bit using the justification "it's college." Even the best students live abnormally while on the alien planet that is a university. So, while to us college students it may just seem like another day, here are ten things that are only normal in college.

1. Straight up theft.

In the future, if I walk into my forty-something-year-old neighbor's home and see a collection of stolen signs, stuff from the local restaurant, and property from the construction site down the road, I would definitely be concerned about the character of my neighbor. However, in college, people proudly display campus signs, traffic cones, or dining hall napkin dispensers that they have impressively commandeered - it's a cheap decoration and a great conversation starter.

2. All-nighters.

Maybe with the exception of parents of little babies, very few people willingly stay up for close to 24 hours on end. In the real world, if a friend came to you and said that they literally did not sleep the previous night, it's completely logical to be worried. On the other hand, when a friend in college says that he was up all night you laugh a little, give him an understanding pat on the back, and walk with him to the coffee line.

3. Atrocious eating habits.

Sometimes you don't have time to eat. Sometimes you order pizza at 2 in the morning. Sometimes you eat three dinners. Sometimes you diet. All I can say, is thank goodness that our metabolisms are decently high at this age.

4. Breaking and entering.

In high school, you hopefully knew everyone who entered your home. After college, hopefully, that's still the case. However, when you live in the middle of thousands of bored college students, people knock at your door, walk into parties, cut through your yard, and stop by without invitation or hesitation. It keeps life fun, but still not normal.

5. Calling mom when stuff goes down.

I really doubt a time will ever come that I don't need to call my mom for guidance on how to do something. But, hopefully the frequency of those calls with go down a little bit post-graduation. Maybe after four years of doing it on my own, I'll know how to fill out government forms, cook real dinners, and get stains out. But for now, I'm going to keep calling while I still can without seeming totally pathetic.

6. Being intoxicated at weird times.

Drunk at noon on a Friday is the quintessence of an alcoholic at any time - unless it's college. Not that this is necessarily a good thing, and it certainly doesn't apply to everyone, but there aren't many other places where people would instantly assume someone is intoxicated if they're acting even a little weird. I've even seen people drink in the library....

7. The messed up dating scene.

There are people who meet the love of their life at college and live happily ever after. They are people who meet the supposed love of their life at college and never talk to them again after Sunday. There are people who use Tinder. Hormones are high, freedom is bountiful, and football players are cute - what else needs to be said?

8. A warped sense of time.

The career I'm pursuing will require me to be at work by 7 am, five days a week. I am fully aware of this. Now, will I enroll in an 8 am next semester? Absolutely not - I'm not a demon. In college, nights often start at 10 p.m., dinners are eaten at 4, and mornings can begin anywhere from 8 to 2. We don't get that whole 9-5 idea.

9. Costumes... for no apparent reason.

High schoolers have a dress code. Adults have dignity. College students have fun. Here, people will wear a corn costume to get on ESPN, a fanny pack to get into a fraternity, or a tutu to match a theme party. Is it actually a weird thing, though? No one even blinks an eye.

10. Insanely close friends.

Name another point in your life when you live with your friends, study with your friends, drive with your friends, eat with your friends, go out with your friends, and even grocery shop with your friends. I'll wait. At college, it's easy for friends to seem like family because you're with them constantly. Love it or hate it, it's weird about college.

So, enjoy this weirdness while you can - it won't last forever!


Uncensored Roommate Confessions!

Cover Image Credit: Matthew Kupfer

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12 Unhealthy College Habits That Never Should Have Become Normalized

No, you shouldn't have to pull an all-nighter to pass every exam.


College is a weird time in our lives, but it doesn't have to be bad for our health. Here are some trends I've seen on social media and watched my friends practice that really never should have become a "thing" for college students in the first place.

1. The "freshman 15."

Everyone has heard of the dreaded "freshman 15," where college freshmen gain 15 pounds because of access to all-you-can-eat dining halls. Rather than eating healthier options at the dining halls or, you know, only eating until you're full and not stuffing yourself, we've just accepted our fate to gain what's really a large amount of weight. Not a very healthy mindset.

2. Eating only junk food because we're "too poor" to buy real food.

For off-campus students, the theme is ramen and peanut butter & jelly sandwiches. This is really not how it needs to be. You can buy a bunch of romaine lettuce for around $1 at the grocery store I go to in my college town, and other produce like broccoli, potatoes, and apples are always cheap. Shop sales and keep your pantry stocked on staples like dry pasta, rice, beans, and other canned vegetables. It's not that expensive to eat decently.

3. Gorging on food at the dining hall just because you can.

This is what leads to the freshman 15. Just because you can eat whatever you want doesn't mean you should.

4. Procrastinating EVERYTHING.

I'm always ahead of my schoolwork, but all of the people in my classes push things right down to the wire. It creates unnecessary stress. Just get things done in advance so you don't have to worry.

5. Being generally unorganized and struggling to keep your life together. 

Actually using my planner is one of the best things I've done for myself in college so far. I don't know why it became popular for college students to be a hot mess all the time, but again, do what you can to avoid putting unnecessary stress on yourself.

6. Pulling all nighters, ever.

If you don't understand it by midnight, you won't understand it any better by five in the morning. You'll do so much better with less studying and more sleep than the other way around. Take the L and go to bed.

7. Waiting until the very last minute to start studying for your finals.

This is what typically leads to the aforementioned all-nighters. If you have an exam in two weeks, start studying NOW. Give yourself time to figure out what you need to focus on and get in contact with your professor or a tutor if necessary. Do yourself the favor.

8. Getting blackout drunk Friday and Saturday night...every weekend.

A lot of college students like to drink. That's fine, I get it, college is stressful and you just want to have a good time. But you don't have to go out every night of every weekend and drink so much you don't remember anything that didn't occur between Monday-Friday every week. Give yourself a break from drinking every so often.

9. Getting iced coffee before class and being late because of it.

I always make sure I get to campus early if I plan to get Starbucks, which I often do. It's rude to come in late, and it's detrimental to your education to consistently miss class. Your coffee can wait if you're running late. Plan better next time.

10.  Committing to 10 different extracurriculars because "it'll boost your resume if you have more on it!"

If you only participate in one club where you're the head of marketing and the treasurer, that will look SO much better than if you participated in five clubs but were just...there for all of them. Excel in one thing rather than being mediocre in many.

11.  Skipping class whenever you feel like it.

You can take the occasional mental health day, but if you're just being lazy, you're only hurting yourself. Go to class. You're paying a lot of money for it, after all.

12.  Spending every last penny you have to go somewhere for spring break (Daytona Beach, anyone?).

"Broke" college kids always end up taking the most extravagant spring break vacations. I'm sure it's fun and you'll cherish the memories, but wouldn't you cherish that $500 more if you saved it for things you actually need rather than living off of ramen for a month when you get home?

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