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Writer of the Month: Emily Templeton
Get to know Miami University alumni and top creator Emily Templeton!
The talented team of response writers make our world at Odyssey go round! Using our response button feature, they carry out our mission of sparking positive, productive conversations in a polarized world.
Each month, we'll highlight a response writer on our homepage. For May, that writer is Emily Templeton, a recent graduate of Miami University. She's been writing for Odyssey since her freshman year of college! Read on to hear her story.
Want to stay creative and earn some extra cash this summer? Become a response writer! You’ll get to choose your own topics and write one response a week to one of our top trending articles. Your work will be featured on our homepage and in our weekly Overheard on Odyssey newsletter. Plus, for your first 10 articles, you’ll be compensated by HQ at $10/response. Email email@example.com to learn more.
Hi there! My name is Emily Templeton and I am a response writer for The Odyssey Online. Although I became a response writer in December of 2022, I have written for Odyssey since my freshman year at Miami University in Oxford, OH. I recently graduated from Miami with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and writing response articles has been a great creative outlet for me. I was so excited when I received an email about the response writing opportunity because I’ve always loved learning about others’ experiences and fostering dialogue in a virtual environment!
Each week I’m given three to four articles to choose from, related to different topics I’m interested in or have experience with, like studying abroad, body positivity, sustainability, traveling, and relationship building. The topics that I’m able to choose from are often things that I’m passionate about in my daily life, so writing about them allows me to express my thoughts and relate them to others. I like to read each article before writing my response to get a sense of what I can add to the conversation and examine the intent that the original author had with their idea. After I decide on what I want to write about, I usually draft my title, subtitle, and then the article itself! I find that as I write my response, the idea I have for the article changes so it’s great that Odyssey is flexible and open to creative choices. Then I save my draft to Odyssey, add any photos that I would like to include, and bam! It’s that easy.
Being able to see my responses published on Odyssey is an incredible opportunity. It allows me to witness the connections that people make with my content and be a part of a supportive and productive community of writers. Sharing my response articles on my Instagram allows me to connect with my friends and family as well as those outside of my close social network. For example, after writing a response article about the importance of supporting sexual assault survivors year-round I received a message on LinkedIn from an advocate based in Connecticut that provides technology that increases access to resources surrounding sexual harassment. They showed appreciation for my efforts in raising awareness and that interaction truly meant so much to me as I realized the importance of sharing your thoughts on an issue. My goal has always been to emphasize positivity and growth in my work so being able to see that my work is making a positive difference in different communities has been a great joy.
Being paid for my responses was a great reward for taking part in one of my favorite hobbies since the beginning of my college career. I’ve always loved learning about new things and writing about topics that I’m interested in so receiving compensation for something I’m passionate about has been a great opportunity! The flexibility and support that Odyssey offers throughout the writing process are unparalleled and I have had so much fun growing in this role throughout the past six months. I’m so grateful to have response writing as a hobby going into post-grad life and look forward to writing about a variety of topics in the future!
Top 3 Response Articles of This Week!
Do you know what's trending this week?
Happy Memorial Day from Odyssey! We're excited to welcome in the summer season with our creator community. Each week, more writers are joining Odyssey while school's on break- and you could, too! Check out the bottom of the article to learn how.
Here are the top three response articles of last week:
When One Person and One Person and One Person Become Many by Mia MuñozWhen One Person and One Person and One Person Become Many
How changing our consumption practices can help combat climate change.
This is a response to 3 Ways You Can Help the Planet, One Day at a Time.
Music Heals The Soul by Giana ScafideMusic Heals The Soul
“I think music in itself is healing. It’s an explosive expression of humanity. It’s something we are all touched by. No matter what culture we’re from, everyone loves music.” — Billy Joel
This is a response to 25 Songs To Make The Perfect Playlist For Your Anxiety.
This Summer, Dress to Feel Like Yourself by Valerie GregorioThis Summer, Dress to Feel Like Yourself
I dress how I like.
This is a response to Dressing For Yourself and Not Others, With Confidence and Comfort.
Congratulations to all the writers! We'll continue to spotlight top response articles every week on our homepage and in our Overheard on Odyssey newsletter. Click here to subscribe!
Want a fun way to stay creative and earn money this summer? Our response writer community is welcoming new members! As a response writer, your work will be shared on Odyssey's website, newsletter, and social media platforms. Plus, you'll be compensated by HQ at $10/response for your first 10 articles.
To get started, email firstname.lastname@example.org. We're excited to hear from you!
We Need More Than Memorials this Memorial Day
Our Veterans need our help
When I was a child, I used to look forward to Memorial Day Weekend from the time I returned to school after Christmas vacation. It was the yearly benchmark announcing the end of the school year and the beginning of summer vacation. It meant I was one step closer to regattas, swim meets and tennis matches.
Like so many of our nation's holidays, we've lost sight of what Memorial Day is actually about. It isn't meant to be known as the unofficial start of summer. It is meant to honor our troops and the innumerable sacrifices they've made in the name of protecting and fighting for the United States of America.
Truth be told, I would settle to a return to memorializing our troops. Israel flashes the name of each fallen soldier on television during their Memorial Day celebration. I can't remember the last time I saw anyone doing anything to honor our troops on Memorial Day.
More than memorializing, however, our country needs to take a long and hard look at the way we treat our veterans. This is an issue that has been talked about for years. Every now and then there seems to be an uptick in the outrage over how our men and women in uniform are treated both while they're actively serving and after they've been discharged. It never seems to be enough for any changes to be made to the system.
Are there public programs geared solely towards assisting our men and women in uniform? Yes, there are. Do these programs make any measurable or quantifiable difference in the lives of our veterans? Yes, they do. The qualifier is that the programs help veterans who meet arbitrarily created prerequisites. For example, in order to qualify for health benefits, you need to have an address to put down on the application. This does nothing whatsoever to help the thousands of homeless veterans in our country.
Many cite pacifism as a reason to avoid getting involved in this cause. Pacifism is a noble belief and an ideal the world as a whole should strive towards. What it is not, however, is a reason to avoid supporting our veterans. If you're a pacifist you don't have to fight in our wars—a luxury that would not be afforded to you if we still lived in the era of the draft. You should be thankful that there are enough volunteers to serve in the armed forces to make the draft unnecessary. The men and women who serve are protecting each and every one of us—regardless of whether or not you agree with every military campaign the USA becomes embroiled in. It is their choice to serve, but it is not their choice to fight no. This is a critical distinction. There are very few people in the country who have a say in where the military goes (the main person, of course, being the President of the United States). You don't have to like where the military is sent or the causes they are sent to fight for (or against) but refusing to support our men and women in uniform is not going to do change anything and you're naive if you think it will.
Mental health is another big concern for our nation's veterans. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (more widely known as PTSD) is rampant among veterans. Men and women return from war zones and are unable to connect with their friends and family members. They can't find the words to articulate what they've witnessed or what they endured overseas. The military, for their part, is still old fashioned (to put it kindly) when it comes to any kind of mental illness. They see it as a personal weakness and a defect that renders the man or woman suffering from it incapable of service. If you are diagnosed with PTSD or any other form of mental illness while still on active duty, you will most likely be discharged immediately. If you're lucky it will be an honorable discharge. More often than not the signs and symptoms of PTSD are ignored. When this happens, the result is often far more catastrophic and tragic than it would have been if it was caught early on. Sufferers of PTSD often lash out, sometimes violently, when they are subjected to one of their triggers (which can be something as inoccuous as a car backfiring because it sounds like a gunshot or an explosion). If an active duty member or a veteran lashes out violently because of PTSD they are criminally punished for their actions. This is both ineffective and morally wrong when you consider it may have been avoided if the sufferer had been provided with treatment.
This issue deserves far more attention than it can be given in one article. We live in a country where serving in the military is not mandatory. I for one am increibly grateful for this because I would be hopeless fighting a war. I recognize that in myself. That doesn't mean I don't need to concern myself with how veterans are treated, however. If anything, I am MORE invested in helping our veterans procure the services they so richly deserve because I am not obligated to join the military. The men and women who serve our country do so voluntarily. They put everything on the line for our safety: yours and mine. The least they deserve when they return from active duty is help securing a job (if they choose to leave the service), healthcare and a home. These are basic necessities that we all need to survive. Our men and women in uniform are doing a job that not everyone wants to do. Remembering their service once or twice a year is not enough. We need to actively care for them each and every day.
This Memorial Day Weekend, it is my fervent hope that you and your loved ones will take a moment to not only remember our fallen heros, but to do something to help our living veterans and active duty service men and women. Contribute to the Wounded Warrior Project or volunteer your time at the local VA hospital. However you decide to do it, celebrate the contribution these men and women have made to our country. What better way to start the summer season than by commemorating the very people who are the reason we have the last Monday in May off every year
5 fun Summer Vacations that won't break your bank
Enjoy the sun, relax the wallet - here are the estimated costs
Camping in a National Park, US:
time-lapse photography of river Photo by Hendrik Cornelissen on Unsplash
- Transportation: Round-trip gas if driving, approximately $100-$200 depending on distance and vehicle efficiency.
- Accommodation: Campsite fees, approximately $15-$30 per night. For a week, that's about $105-$210.
- Food: Groceries for cooking on a camp stove or fire, approximately $50-$100 for the week.
- Activities: National Park admission, approximately $35 for a 7-day pass.
- Total Estimated Cost: $290-$545
- Transportation: Round-trip flight to Berlin, about $600-$1000. Train from Berlin to Prague, about $20-$50.
- Accommodation: Budget hostels, approximately $20-$30 per night. For a week, that's $140-$210.
- Food: Budget meals, approximately $10-$20 per day. For a week, that's $70-$140.
- Activities: Museums, historic sites, etc. can range from free to $20 per visit. A week's worth of activities could be $50-$100.
- Total Estimated Cost: $880-$1500
Road trip along the California coast:
body of water during daytime Photo by Luise and Nic on Unsplash
- Transportation: Round-trip gas if driving, approximately $150-$300 depending on distance and vehicle efficiency.
- Accommodation: Budget motels or campgrounds, approximately $60-$120 per night. For a week, that's about $420-$840.
- Food: Eating out and groceries, approximately $20-$40 per day. For a week, that's $140-$280.
- Activities: Beaches are free; parks, tours, and attractions may cost $10-$20 each. For a week, this could be $50-$100.
- Total Estimated Cost: $760-$1520
Exploring New York City:
Empire State building Photo by Emiliano Bar on Unsplash
- Transportation: Round-trip flight, approximately $200-$400 depending on location and when you book.
- Accommodation: Budget hostels, approximately $50-$70 per night. For a week, that's $350-$490.
- Food: Eating out, approximately $20-$40 per day. For a week, that's $140-$280.
- Activities: Many free sites; museums, Broadway shows, tours may cost $20-$100 each. For a week, this could be $100-$200.
- Total Estimated Cost: $790-$1370
Volunteer abroad with a program like Workaway or WWOOF (e.g. in Costa Rica):
- Transportation: Round-trip flight, approximately $300-$600 depending on when you book.
- Accommodation: Often included with volunteer program, $0.
- Food: Often included with volunteer program, but budget $50-$100 for eating out.
- Activities: Depends on free time; nature activities are often low-cost or free, but budget $50-$100 for tours, etc.
- Total Estimated Cost: $400-$800
water falls in the middle of green trees Photo by sterlinglanier Lanier on Unsplash
A College Summer Isn't Even Summer
It's just work, work, and more work.
I remember how exciting summer was when I was a kid. I would just be eagerly waiting for school to end so that I could fly to some exotic location with my family for the summer. Or hang out with my friends every day. Or just lay around in bed or read, paint, draw, basically do whatever.
What happened to that when I entered college?
While I definitely was counting down the days to summer, mainly because I was exhausted from the quarter and just wanted finals to end, I knew that this summer would not be full of family vacations and hanging out with my friends.
In college, summer is all about improving your resume and working on what you can do to get ahead, either in school or the job search. A lot of college students take multiple summer classes and have to deal with finals and homework all-year round. Other students study for tests like the MCAT, LSAT, and GRE, to name a few, so they're definitely not just chilling and partying.
In my case and several other students, we're working and/or interning at companies to get experience in the fields we want to pursue as well as funding our broke college bank accounts. A majority of us, including me, are back home with our parents as well, so it's much harder to go out with friends when we have to follow rules and curfews.
It is hard to squeeze in a family vacation when everyone has busy work schedules and working in different cities around the country. Even seeing your friends becomes tough. You don't get to see them every day between classes or have dinner or go out with them at night. You do the same "we really need to hang this summer!" and "I'm busy this week, how about next week?" cycle until summer ends.
Everyone's busy with their own thing and after work, you just want to catch up on sleep, watch some Netflix alone, or spend time with your family. Summer just isn't the same anymore but that's the consequence we face as we grow up and learn to be responsible, independent adults with budding careers.
In conclusion, summer is 13 weeks, which is about 5 weeks too long. It starts to feel like another quarter in school, but I'd honestly rather be studying in school than the same work grind every day and then doing nothing after it. I never realized how much I missed school and all the hell that came with it until summer came along. It's just too long of a break and disturbs my study schedule as well. I almost feel like I forgot everything about school, what classes I'm going to take, and the whole layout of my college campus.
Summer is great, but I've definitely gotten over it. Just wait till school comes along and I'll be talking about how I miss summer vacation so much.
Songs About Being 17
Grey's Anatomy Quotes
4 Leaf Clover
1. Brittany Morgan,National Writer's Society
2. Radhi,SUNY Stony Brook
3. Kristen Haddox, Penn State University
4. Jennifer Kustanovich, SUNY Stony Brook
5. Clare Regelbrugge, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign