It's been almost a year since I joined Odyssey and I have grown in so many ways. As a college student, as an advocate for my own health and mental illness and the stigma around it, and as a writer. I joined Odyssey because I have always loved writing, but it quickly grew into something more for me.
College and your twenties are all about growing as a person and learning who you really are. I haven't been someone who keeps their mouth shut when they have a strong opinion; it normally gets me into trouble. If it was a joke that I didn't think was funny because of my ethics, or around stigma on a mental illness.
I have been someone who has always had something to say. Something that has stayed with me since I've started writing is: If you haven't made anyone mad or cause a reaction am I really a writer? It's something I say to myself, to my mom and sometimes my boyfriend when I tell them what the next scandal I'm going to talk about.
Ever since I was a kid I filled notebooks with poems, songs, and short stories, or honestly sometimes stories that took up multiple notebooks. Writing has always been a passion, a love, and something I don't find difficult. Most people find me making lists of ideas, writing or editing now a days. I know people say "you don't have to make your passion your job," but why hate your life when you could be doing something you love?
This past year I have learned a lot about myself, about my family, about our government, and about our country as a whole. I have learned what makes me mad, what makes good views, and what I think is important to share. Some people are probably thinking, "You didn't have to share your rape story" or, "You didn't have to share your anxiety struggle" but it has helped people. I am put on this planet to help people, I know that.
Since I have joined I have written fifty-eight articles and some days I sit back and think of how many people I helped, how many people I have given a voice for, and how many people I have helped with my advice and my own journey as a twenty-one-year-old, to a twenty-two-year-old. From death to love, to anxiety to chronic pain. It has been a journey and there has been nothing but support from my friends, family, and other editors near and far.
Sure, Odyssey is good for a resume and I have that in my back pocket for when I want a job in the writing field when I graduate; but it is so much more for me.
It's this giant cliff of support and telling me to take a chance, take a leap (as a cliche that is) and it was worth every fear.
The fear of what people were going to say, what people were going to think of me, if I would lose friends to say the truth, or if my family would be upset with something I posted that I haven't talked to them about. I am so thankful for this journey, and can't wait what year two brings me.