Being an Odyssey Content Creator Changed My Life

Being an Odyssey Content Creator Changed My Life

It's your turn.
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I have been a Content Creator and EIC for Odyssey for the past few months, and it has honestly changed my life. I have been empowered by Odyssey's mission of revolutionizing social media and democratizing the creation and discovering of digital content.

Odyssey is recreating the face of journalism and giving millennials, like you and me, a role in deciding what is relevant and what should be talked about. They are literally changing the Internet, scratch that — world through thousands of articles a week and I get to be a part of that. No big deal.

If I haven't convinced you already just how incredible being a Content Creator for Odyssey is, then here are a few more reasons why it just might be the best decision I, and anyone, could ever make:

It gives you a voice.

Arguably the best part about being a Content Creator for Odyssey would be the fact that it gives you a voice. YOU decide what you write about. YOU create your content. YOU share your articles.

No one else tells you what to write about or filters what you say. No one tells you what should be important. You decide what is important to you, you write about it, and it is published. You then share it on several social media platforms in a way that you choose. For example, one week I wrote about terrorism, a few weeks lateran open letter to my ex best friend, (that legitimately went VIRAL) and the next I wrote an article literally on dog gifs.

I share my articles on my personal Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, Pinterest and StumbleUpon accounts. This is what makes Odyssey so unique — you are truly the creator. It takes journalism and social media to a whole other level and it empowers you, the Content Creator, in the process. One word: amazing.

It gives you a community.

Whether it’s your University or your geographical area, as a Content Creator you are writing for a community. You are immediately a part of a “team” of other Content Creators and although you typically create your own content individually, you work together as a team to encourage your community to thrive.

It is a lot like a sports team, but replace the running and sweating with GroupMe messages and social media shares. Within a few weeks of joining Odyssey, I had gotten to know dozens of people from my campus I never would have gotten to know on this level. I now have an Odyssey “family” that I can relate with artistically, professionally and personally.

One of my closest friends now was a Content Creator for the team. As an EIC, I have also made connections with other teams from all over the country — we even support each other’s work through social media. I have made close, diverse friendships that I now can’t imagine being without.

It challenges you.

I’m not going to sugarcoat this and say that being a Content Creator is always a breeze. It’s not. Writing one article a week sounds like a piece of cake, but putting yourself out there can be scary, let alone on social media for billions of people to see.

Knowing what to write at times is a struggle, or knowing whether or not you are ready to share with the world what you have created — it isn’t always an easy answer. In those moments that you are pushing the boundaries, or stepping out of your comfort zone, you are growing. You are taking risks and you are building your character along the way. The most incredible feeling is working hard and challenging yourself and seeing it pay off. Not only will you improve as a writer, but you will improve as a person.

It opens new doors.

Before Odyssey, writing was just a hobby of mine. I am a Psychology major with plans to pursue a career in counseling and human services/policy making. Now, after months of being a Content Creator and EIC, I am seriously considering making a career out of electronic journalism. This experience has shown me that I don’t have to take the orthodox route. I can use something I love, like writing, to reach my end goals and it is SUCH an amazing feeling.

Request an invite to join an Odyssey community as a Content Creator today.

You know you want to.

Cover Image Credit: Odyssey Online

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To The Girl Struggling With Her Body Image

It's not about the size of your jeans, but the size of your heart, soul, and spirit.

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To the girl struggling with her body image,

You are more than the number on the scale. You are more than the number on your jeans and dresses. You are way more than the number of pounds you've gained or lost in whatever amount of time.

Weight is defined as the quantity of matter contained by a body or object. Weight does not define your self-worth, ambition or potential.

So many girls strive for validation through the various numbers associated with body image and it's really so sad seeing such beautiful, incredible women become discouraged over a few numbers that don't measure anything of true significance.

Yes, it is important to live a healthy lifestyle. Yes, it is important to take care of yourself. However, taking care of yourself includes your mental health as well. Neglecting either your mental or physical health will inflict problems on the other. It's very easy to get caught up in the idea that you're too heavy or too thin, which results in you possibly mistreating your body in some way.

Your body is your special, beautiful temple. It harbors all of your thoughts, feelings, characteristics, and ideas. Without it, you wouldn't be you. If you so wish to change it in a healthy way, then, by all means, go ahead. With that being said, don't make changes to impress or please someone else. You are the only person who is in charge of your body. No one else has the right to tell you whether or not your body is good enough. If you don't satisfy their standards, then you don't need that sort of negative influence in your life. That sort of manipulation and control is extremely unhealthy in its own regard.

Do not hold back on things you love or want to do because of how you interpret your body. You are enough. You are more than enough. You are more than your exterior. You are your inner being, your spirit. A smile and confidence are the most beautiful things you can wear.

It's not about the size of your jeans. It's about the size of your mind and heart. Embrace your body, observe and adore every curve, bone and stretch mark. Wear what makes you feel happy and comfortable in your own skin. Do your hair and makeup (or don't do either) to your heart's desire. Wear the crop top you've been eyeing up in that store window. Want a bikini body? Put a bikini on your body, simple.

So, as hard as it may seem sometimes, understand that the number on the scale doesn't measure the amount or significance of your contributions to this world. Just because that dress doesn't fit you like you had hoped doesn't mean that you're any less of a person.

Love your body, and your body will love you right back.

Cover Image Credit: Lauren Margliotti

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In The Chaos of Summer, Don't Forget To Stop And Smell The Flowers

And remember, vitamin D is more important than that assignment you're stressed about.

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I have only finished three weeks of summer and I am stressed. Who let me work 40 hours a week and take 2 summer classes? Apparently optimistic April Emma was feeling like a superwoman. Now, don't get me wrong, I love my job. I love working 40 hours and doing what I absolutely love. The classes? Not so much. Those are the reason I cannot sleep at night and have oddly been at peace with turning assignments in late. Side note: when did summers become stressful instead of a break? Is this what it finally means to be an adult?

However, with all of these things (well okay, only 3 but it feels like a lot), I have been learning that it is extremely important to stop and take some time for yourself.

What does that look like? Sometimes, you just have to sleep. Take an L and try again tomorrow. Or, go for a nature walk. Or, watch that one episode of your favorite tv show that's been on Hulu for weeks and you're super behind because of your schedule. Or, try a new workout class. You can also practice some mindful meditation or try painting a picture that sparks joy. There are so many things. The most important part is that you enjoy them.

I don't think that we should ever become too busy where we forget about ourselves. I've found myself doing that lately, and I need to learn how to let myself have some downtime. And you know what that's actually going to look like? I'm going to spend some mega time with Jesus. It's been a hot minute because of life, but at the end of the day, He's more important than a math class.

Summer 2019, you might be stressing me out to the max, but I'm going to take my summer back one period of downtime at a time.

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