Do you get paid? How much do you make? Do you have to do it for your school? Why do you do it?

I get asked these questions a lot when people see me. It may be just small talk or it may be genuine curiosity. However, when they ask me these questions, a swarm of thoughts and feelings pop up to answer the questions.

I think: the odyssey is an outlet for me. It gives me a place to go and talk about what I feel and express myself. My tweets show my annoyance about something trivial in my life, while my Facebook posts consist of numerous pictures of my past, eventful night. My Instagram has aesthetically (hopefully) pleasing pictures of me with my friends. However, nowhere on those platforms can I speak up about my personal thoughts and opinions on politics, college, relationships or life. The odyssey online gives me the opportunity to speak up about my past experiences and helps me reach other to others who may be in the same situation. It allows me to form thoughts and speak out.

I do not do it for the money or for the shares. I do it for myself. I want to look back and see what I was going through during my college career. Now, sitting here writing articles, hanging out with friends, studying for tests, I think I will forever remember these moments and thoughts. However, the truth is, I won’t. When I sat there in high school, listening to the teacher lecture me about cells, the mitochondria, and other confusing subjects, I thought I would be able to look back on the thoughts running through my mind at that moment with ease. However, after a couple months, those moments disappear because they are small and insignificant. By writing about my thoughts and publishing them allows me to catalog my opinions for when I want to look back.

With clubs, a social life, a job, and school, my plate is absolutely full. The odyssey only adds to that, however, it is something I do because it is rewarding. When I’m in the elevator chit-chatting with a friend and my friend surprises me by mentioning my article, I feel good. When someone comes to me and tells me they connected with last week’s article, I feel happy. Those little comments warm my heart because I see that it is impacting others. It not only connects with others, but I can also see myself growing throughout the process. The way I think, the way I write, the way I see the world is constantly evolving and my improvements show my growth in knowledge and experience.

So when I get those questions: Do you get paid? How much do you make? Do you have to do it for your school? Why do you do it?

I don’t give sit there and tell all of my reasons of why I choose to write for the Odyssey. Instead, I tell them a very simple answer, “I write because I enjoy it,” because that is the significant and sincere answer I have for them – I write because I truly, genuinely enjoy it.