12 Things I Learned In My First 12 Months With Odyssey
Start writing a post
Arts Entertainment

12 Things I Learned In My First 12 Months With Odyssey

Looking back, I wouldn't change anything about the past year.

828
12 Things I Learned In My First 12 Months With Odyssey
Faith Obringer

Let me just start by saying this: I am not a writer, or at least that's what I used to think. Writers create novels. They write about relationships between people and the deeper things in life. They build entire worlds out of nothing. That's not something I've ever been able to do, nor will I ever, so I surprised myself by applying to write for Odyssey last summer.

On July 25, 2017, I accepted an offer to write through Miami University's chapter, and the rest is history. It's now been one year since I started, and I've learned a lot of lessons along the way.

1. You don't need to "be a writer" to write.

Don't writers need to actually be able to, oh, I don't know, write? Like I said, I'd never considered myself a writer because I didn't know how to write things that others could relate to. Nevertheless, I had a few article ideas surrounding "The Office" based upon other content I'd seen, and I ultimately decided to apply because I know someone who writes for Odyssey through The Ohio State University. (Seriously, everyone, go check out Marly's page because she's an amazing and #relatable writer.)

2. Stepping outside of your comfort zone can be a good thing.

College is the time in your life to do absolutely everything even when you have time for absolutely nothing. I'm studying statistics and actuarial science, yet most weeks I write listicles about how college students relate to TV shows. You don't have to only join organizations that relate to your major.

3. How to market articles and utilize SEO

It's harder to make a difference if your articles aren't being read, so throughout the past year, I've had to learn how to market them to diverse audiences. Before Odyssey, I had no idea what SEO (Search Engine Optimization) was, but now I realize how important it can be for success.

4. There's a .GIF for everything — literally.

There are so many of these that it's actually amazing, and I never have to hunt anything down. You want corgis? I've got you. Dwight Schrute with a pumpkin on his head? Absolutely.

5. How to stand out

In a world where it seems like the internet already has everything you could need, it's hard to not feel discouraged sometimes when writing. When you finally do get an idea, you might find out that it's already been done 40+ times, so how can yours be different? How are you going to stand out from the crowd and make people want to read yours over everyone else's?

6. Your craziest ideas can be the most successful.

My most popular article, "If College Majors Each Had A Disney Theme Song All Their Own," has gotten over 217k views to-date. It quickly went somewhat viral, and I could never have expected the overwhelming, positive response. (Also, you can get paid by Odyssey if you reach enough article views within a month. Just another great perk of the company!)

7. Having a great support system is everything.

There have been plenty of weeks I'm sitting at my laptop with no idea what to write, and I wonder how I'm still doing this. Anyone who writes anything, even papers, knows that hitting writer's block can be the absolute worst, but it's my best friends who keep me going. Week after week, I have them asking what I'm working on, wanting to know when articles are going live, and occasionally giving me ideas for pieces they'd love to see me write. They're also the absolute best article subjects.

8. It's important to have a place where your voice can be heard.

My articles, as a collective, have received 237+ thousand views in my first year writing. While I do commonly write comical listicles, I've also written longer pieces with deeper meaning. It's so important to have a platform where you know thousands of people could be reading your work.

See: "I'm Sorry If What I Wear Bothers You. Oh, Wait, No, I'm Not"

9. Professionalism

What's Wednesday? It's Deadline Day! Despite most of the writers, editors-in-chief, and community presidents being college students, Odyssey is still a professional company. As writers, we have deadlines, we research and interview for articles, and we communicate with both our executive team and editors at company headquarters throughout the week. Odyssey has given me something not only to put on a resume but to start conversations with. People love asking about the work I do for the company, and I love talking about it just as much. Plus, I've gotten to do cool things like interview Daniel Handler (Lemony Snicket) on TV at my university and write about it.

10. If you *really* want to go viral, write something extremely controversial.

We've all seen them — the viral articles that start arguments in comment sections and spark other Odyssey writers to write articles in response. Now, we obviously don't know when writing how big our articles can get, but this seems to be a pretty clear path to that happening. After all, I think most millennial internet users know about THE prom dress article that has received over one million views.

11. That said, it's better to find *your thing* and run with it.

Why be someone else when you could be you? If you like writing interviews, go for it. Janie, one of Miami University's writers, is the absolute queen of it. For me, I enjoy writing college listicles, especially about my friends and experiences, and it's something I've found to be extremely fun. I enjoy writing opinion pieces too, but the best articles are going to be pieces you feel strongly about. Do you, and everything else will work out.

12. We really do have the best team.

I couldn't thank our team, editor-in-chief, president, past executive members and staff at headquarters enough. I really do love writing for this company, and the past year has been better than I could have imagined.

It's been a long 12 months, with some weeks being harder than others to come up with ideas, but I wouldn't change it for anything. Here's to a great first year, and here's to two more.

If you want to join the Odyssey team at Miami University or your own university, you can apply here.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Lifestyle

TikTok Made Me Buy It: Flawless's Skincare Fridge

I bought and tested one of TikTok's popular products so you don't have to.

2489

I spend a lot of time on TikTok and I never know whether the products I see are worth it or not, especially when I'm looking at the price. For Christmas, my aunt got me a gift card to Ulta. I didn't know what to buy. I have way too many palettes and lipsticks. I have my essentials. What else could I need? Then it hit me that I saw a lot of people these past few months showing off their skincare fridges. So, the second I thought of it I went on the Ulta app and bought it. So, here are my thoughts.

Keep Reading... Show less
Lifestyle

37 Cute And Unique Pinterest Board Titles

Let's be real, the hardest part about Pinterest is thinking of a cute title for your board.

1268

I don't know about anyone else but I have recently become re-obsessed with Pinterest. Like, I am spending a stupid amount of time on Pinterest daily now. While I have been binging Pinterest I have found that I love making cute and aesthetic boards but it is SO hard to come up with a name to match it. So, I scoured the internet and my brain for you. Happy pinning!

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

This Is What Type Of Person You Are Based On Your Favorite Cereal

Your cereal preference reveals more than you think.

839
Photo by Nyana Stoica on Unsplash

Whether you eat cereal for breakfast or a late-night snack, you probably have a favorite. Little did you know that what you prefer says a lot about your personality.

Keep Reading... Show less
Alexis Hoffman

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we all know that cutting out social interaction has taken its toll.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

I Asked Instagram How 2020 Was, And Maybe It Wasn't The Worst Year Ever

2020 is a year to remember but it's not as bad as we made it out to be.

33806

It's finally 2021 and we're honestly all just happy that 2020 is over. I decided to ask my Instagram followers how they felt about 2020 and the results were a little more mixed up than expected.

Keep Reading... Show less

Ever since I watched "How To Lose A Guy In 10 Days," I've been a major Matthew McConaughey fan. I've seen most of his movies, and I definitely got way too excited when he finally made an Instagram! So when he announced he would be releasing a memoir titled "Greenlights," I knew I absolutely had to get my hands on this book. And so did the rest of the world, as the book began to flood social media.

Truthfully, I would much rather read a fiction book and dive into another world than read a nonfiction book - even if it is one of my favorite celebrities. But I had a feeling this book wouldn't disappoint or bore.

Keep Reading... Show less
Entertainment

The Armie Hammer Scandal Discourse Is Kink Shaming And Harming Actual Victims

The rumors surrounding Armie Hammer has resulted in some very toxic and harmful discourse.

10622

Sex is something that occupies a very significant place in our lives. Even asexual people can have an active sex life. With the various types of people that comprise this world, it obviously results in various sexual interests. And unconventional people can engage in some pretty unconventional sex practices. Even the most conventional people on the surface might surprise us with their sexual fantasies.

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments