Why I Chose to Write for the Odyssey

Why I Chose to Write for the Odyssey

I can talk about what I feel and express myself.

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.

Cover Image Credit: denisaoosthuizen

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I Blame My Dad For My High Expectations

Dad, it's all your fault.

I always tell my dad that no matter who I date, he's always my number one guy. Sometimes I say it as more of a routine thing. However, the meaning behind it is all too real. For as long as I can remember my dad has been my one true love, and it's going to be hard to find someone who can top him.

My dad loves me when I am difficult. He knows how to keep the perfect distance on the days when I'm in a mood, how to hold me on the days that are tough, and how to stand by me on the days that are good.

He listens to me rant for hours over people, my days at school, or the episode of 'Grey's Anatomy' I watched that night and never once loses interest.

He picks on me about my hair, outfit, shoes, and everything else after spending hours to get ready only to end by telling me, “You look good." And I know he means it.

He holds the door for me, carries my bags for me, and always buys my food. He goes out of his way to make me smile when he sees that I'm upset. He calls me randomly during the day to see how I'm doing and how my day is going and drops everything to answer the phone when I call.

When it comes to other people, my dad has a heart of gold. He will do anything for anyone, even his worst enemy. He will smile at strangers and compliment people he barely knows. He will strike up a conversation with anyone, even if it means going way out of his way, and he will always put himself last.

My dad also knows when to give tough love. He knows how to make me respect him without having to ask for it or enforce it. He knows how to make me want to be a better person just to make him proud. He has molded me into who I am today without ever pushing me too hard. He knew the exact times I needed to be reminded who I was.

Dad, you have my respect, trust, but most of all my heart. You have impacted my life most of all, and for that, I can never repay you. Without you, I wouldn't know what I to look for when I finally begin to search for who I want to spend the rest of my life with, but it might take some time to find someone who measures up to you.

To my future husband, I'm sorry. You have some huge shoes to fill, and most of all, I hope you can cook.

Cover Image Credit: Logan Photography

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Minimalism Addresses Our Culture Of Consumption

Decluttering your life and consuming less allows you to live in the moment.


Most of us, at some point in our lives, have become trapped by our culture of consumption. It's a disgusting display of wealth and social status that social divides us. This social divide does a great job at inhibiting our potential at building objective, meaningful relationships. Material possessions become our identity and we begin to lose a true sense of who we really are. It's entirely possible for us to exist as content, beautiful human beings without participating in the culture of consumption we have been duped into believing in.

The problem with our culture of consumption is that it has become a key aspect of every activity. We give too much value to "things," focusing less on their contribution to our overall wellbeing, passions, or happiness. We may experience temporary contentment or pleasure, but it seldom lasts forever. Minimalism eliminates the "things" from our routine, allowing us to find contentment from the simple things in life.

Minimalism is not an expensive hobby one takes up on the quest for self-discovering and happiness. There is this huge misconception that being a minimalist requires a fat wallet and that your life is now restricted by rules and limitations. This simply is not true. This misconception comes from the elitist culture which has emerged through social media outlets. This distorted perception has blurred the individualistic nature of minimalism. A lifestyle often associated as a fad is actually a lifestyle that de-clutters your physical and mental state.

Minimalists are people who…

  • Make intentional decisions; that add value to their lives.
  • Focus on personal growth and the quality of their relationships.
  • Live in the moment.
  • Discover personal potential by eliminating obstacles standing in our way.
  • Consume less and intentionally.
  • Gift experiences rather than material possessions.

There isn't anything necessarily wrong with owning material possessions. If you find importance in an object that genuinely makes you happy then, great! Minimalism doesn't have to look like white walls behind aesthetically placed black furniture. This concept focuses on the internal value system we all forget we control. Start small; declutter your thoughts. We easily get stuck in our routines that we forget to look slow down and just breathe. Living in the moment is by far the most valuable aspect of minimalism because it allows us to feel and experience every minute of our existence.

If you're someone who enjoys nature, there's more value to be found in the adventures we seek out and create than those created for us. Discover birds you've never seen before, wander down trials in your neighborhood, or uncover beaches no one else knows about. You'll find more value in the creation of your own adventure because those experiences are completely your own.

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