Celebrating One Year With Odyssey

Celebrating One Year With Odyssey

Oh, what a year it's been.
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This past week marked my first year on Odyssey, and I am so proud of the personal growth in both my character and my writing. Within a year, I was able to move up from being an average, weekly writer to Editor In Chief of my community; something that I never anticipated would happen. I am so blessed to have this opportunity, and it has helped me develop greater confidence in myself and abilities, as well as improve them.

I remember writing my first piece about a portrait I saw in the Denver Art Museum in Colorado while on my family's annual vacation there. I remember how seeing that portrait startling something in me; a passion that needed to be further delved into beyond what my high school newspaper could provide me. I remember writing about how the portrait was complex, and one that can only be appreciated from several feet back to take in everything at once. I thought about how critical I am of myself, and if I only took the time to take a step back from myself and see everything I was I wouldn't be so hard on myself and realize that I am enough. Although that piece was written a year ago, I never realized how far I was from the reality of self acceptance, especially now that I have grown so much since the time that article was written.

Within this year, I got more involved in extracurriculars, I took three AP classes, gained and lost friends, got heartbroken and disappointed, further developed my own personal style, and continued to strengthen my writing and editing with practice. One thing that I always have loved about life is that you're never done progressing. Even when you think you've learned everything there is to know, there is always more. There are people and situations that challenge, obstacles to overcome, and things to learn about yourself that you never knew. In a way, I'm glad that my junior year of high school was filled with pain. I'm glad I lost friends and romantic interests, because I know they were all apart of my journey towards maturity and understanding. I learned common sense.

Pain, in the moment, sucks. Anyone will tell you that, but if not for pain, we would never grow. We would stagnate, and if your like me, I'm glad I'm 17 year old me that's learned a thing or two instead of 16 year old me that was naïve and overly cautious, or awkward 13 year old me full of self doubt and fear of my unknown future. Everyday I grow, everyday I learn, and everyday I am better. Even if its two steps forward one step back, I am still improving, and thanks to Odyssey, I have grown so much more than I possibly could have imagined.

So, here's to my year with Odyssey, and hopefully many more to come (if I can keep my deadlines.)

Cover Image Credit: destinationsdreamsanddogs,com

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I'm The Girl Without A 'Friend Group'

And here's why I'm OK with it

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Little things remind me all the time.

For example, I'll be sitting in the lounge with the people on my floor, just talking about how everyone's days went. Someone will turn to someone else and ask something along the lines of, "When are we going to so-and-so's place tonight?" Sometimes it'll even be, "Are you ready to go to so-and-so's place now? Okay, we'll see you later, Taylor!"

It's little things like that, little things that remind me I don't have a "friend group." And it's been like that forever. I don't have the same people to keep me company 24 hours of the day, the same people to do absolutely everything with, and the same people to cling to like glue. I don't have a whole cast of characters to entertain me and care for me and support me. Sometimes, especially when it feels obvious to me, not having a "friend group" makes me feel like a waste of space. If I don't have more friends than I can count, what's the point in trying to make friends at all?

I can tell you that there is a point. As a matter of fact, just because I don't have a close-knit clique doesn't mean I don't have any friends. The friends I have come from all different walks of life, some are from my town back home and some are from across the country. I've known some of my friends for years, and others I've only known for a few months. It doesn't really matter where they come from, though. What matters is that the friends I have all entertain me, care for me, and support me. Just because I'm not in that "friend group" with all of them together doesn't mean that we can't be friends to each other.

Still, I hate avoiding sticking myself in a box, and I'm not afraid to seek out friendships. I've noticed that a lot of the people I see who consider themselves to be in a "friend group" don't really venture outside the pack very often. I've never had a pack to venture outside of, so I don't mind reaching out to new people whenever.

I'm not going to lie, when I hear people talking about all the fun they're going to have with their "friend group" over the weekend, part of me wishes I could be included in something like that. I do sometimes want to have the personality type that allows me to mesh perfectly into a clique. I couldn't tell you what it is about me, but there is some part of me that just happens to function better one-on-one with people.

I hated it all my life up until very recently, and that's because I've finally learned that not having a "friend group" is never going to be the same as not having friends.

SEE ALSO: To The Girls Who Float Between Friend Groups

Cover Image Credit: wordpress.com

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Don't Be Afraid of Changing Your College Plan

It really isn't THAT bad...

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I can't claim to have any deep wisdom on life, but I at least have some good experience with a highly turbulent college career. I started as a game design major in a tech college in Rochester, NY, transferred to a college in Texas, and now I'm an English major at CofC.

My college life has been something of a roller coaster.

But I regret none of it. Maybe it would have been easier to stick to the track I was on initially, but I would never have been fully satisfied with it. Now I've finally found my place and, even though it may have taken a lot of shifting around, it was undoubtedly worthwhile.

I don't mean to say that everyone who is slightly dissatisfied with their major should transfer all over the country and change their major(I had to sacrifice the ability to get a minor because of the path I took, so I wouldn't recommend it to most people). I just believe that if you find yourself not liking the classes that are vital to your major or if you can't find a place at your current college, then changing your major or transferring isn't as horrible as you might imagine.

When I started college I was completely confident in what I wanted to do and what my future would look like. I thought it would be ridiculous for someone to stray from their initial path. That idea led to me deciding to transfer later than was smart.

I think everyone should know that having to change your plans for the future, sometimes in dramatic ways, isn't a bad thing. No matter how scary transferring and changing majors can seem, many people have done it before you and many will after, you aren't alone.

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