My Last Article On Odyssey: It's Time To Pull The Plug

My Last Article On Odyssey: It's Time To Pull The Plug

I don't want to, but I need to.
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Two days ago, I announced to my Odyssey team that I'd be leaving after being a part of the community for two years. Like every college student/up-and-coming adult, I've had a lot of craziness going on to prepare for even more chaos coming up.

Just last month I wrote about my decision to come back to Odyssey last year after taking a break last year. It was a fantastic decision at the time; I missed my teammates' diverse conversations and companionship, but now I need to focus on different things (specifically things related that provide stable pay and are related to my desired career).

Now, I've been sitting at my laptop for nearly five hours, trying to decide what I want to write for my final article. I haven't been one for politics or creative fiction or poetry, and I've already composed my fair share of listicles, playlists, sports editorials, and the like.

I don't have any life-changing advice to share with the Internet after experiencing one new thing (who would take it from a twenty-something-year-old girl who's still in college, anyway?).

I considered writing about what I learned from a TV show or how people are sick of seeing the same two teams in the NBA finals for the last four years.

Instead, I decided to just write.

There's always going to be something new to create, and my team already does a decent job of covering a wide variety of topics. I'm proud of them for not being afraid to publish their ideas despite criticism of their stances and the platform in general. It's admirable, and I'm going to miss this part of my life. It's exactly what has prevented me from leaving sooner—I feared the loss of the friendships I built and the constant encouragement shared every week between the members of my team.

I wish I could be more dedicated, but a combination of maxed-out credit hours and multiple part-time jobs produced the most common reason writers give for leaving: I just don't have the time.

When I became an officer last year, I'd hear this from others who would come and go over the course of semesters, and I always deemed it as an excuse, a lack of passion. Now I'm facing this debate myself.

I've gained the tools of this platform: I don't want to give it up, but if I don't, I won't have time for other opportunities I need under my belt.

Like my time with Odyssey, I used my first two weeks of summer to pull the plug on a lot of things I didn't want to give up. Not because they were pushing me down but simply because they reached their potential. They peaked, plateaued—reached the maximum capacity of what they could give me in return for my work input.

It's time to move on to things that can provide me with benefits greater than or equal to my dedication. It doesn't mean I'm not appreciative of the experiences I've had.

I didn't have a direction in mind when I started this article, but I guess it can serve as encouragement for anyone who's debating moving on from something you care about. This is your sign. It's possible for something you love to hold you back.

Don't let emotional attachment override a sound decision.

Cover Image Credit: Marissa Swan

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27 Things To Do With Your Friends When You're Bored

A little bit of fun for any season.
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I am sure many could relate: you are texting or sitting around with your friends and no one knows what they want to do, everyone is bored, and everyone is flat out of ideas that are actually realistic and achievable. Boredom makes an appearance at it's finest moments... always.

Here are 27 things you can do with your friend in just about any season (some are exclusive to a particular season) when boredom takes over!

1. Find a local coffee shop to try out.

2. Or better yet, find a local restaurant that you’ve all been wanting to try.

3. Go shopping at each others' favorite stores.

4. Tie balloons with positive messages inside of them to random places in your town to uplift a few souls.

5. Cook a homemade meal for a homeless person and deliver it.

6. Get crafty and create a time capsule that you and your friends can open after (x) amount of years.

7. Make your own sushi.

8. Plant flowers in little pots for your homes.

9. Road trip to random local cities and do some exploring.

10. Have a photo shoot.

11. Buy or create a blank page’s journal filled art, writing, sketches, and pictures of your friends that can be used as a memory book.

12. Visit a pumpkin patch.

13. Go stargazing in the middle of the night with a blanket and a few midnight snacks.

14. Go to a haunted house.

15. Go to a movie with the group.

16. Have a giant sleepover with board games, snacks, movies, and crazy pajamas.

17. Have a game night with the peeps.

18. Have a gingerbread making contest.

19. Have a bonfire when it gets cool outside.

20. Make homemade ice cream.

21. Search on maps for the nearest natural spring or river and go swimming or canoeing.

22. Take a camera, your group of friends, and stroll around town taking pictures of your adventure.

23. Use the pictures you take on your adventures and create a photo wall in your home.

24. Have a "Madea" movie night.

25. Throw a themed party.

26. Write letters of encouragement to children (or adults) in hospitals.

27. Look up random keywords on YouTube for possibly some of the best videos ever.

Cover Image Credit: aurimas_m / Flickr

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What It's Like Being An Introverted Leader

Different people lead differently.

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When you think of the qualities a leader or someone in a leadership position should have, being out-going is often mentioned. However, I don't think that always has to be the case. I've been a part of many different leadership opportunities and programs, yet I'm still the same socially awkward hermit I've always been. Being out-going and extroverted doesn't qualify someone to be a good leader, just like being shy and introverted makes you a bad one, it's about your skills.

When I went to a leadership program at a summer camp, I often heard that I didn't talk very much or I was too quiet and shy for a summer camp entertaining kids, I should have been more talkative. I'd also get a few counselors coming up to be that when they were in the same program I was in, they were also the same things I was and not to worry about it. Even now, I'm still quite and relatively shy person, but that doesn't discredit my ability to be a good leader, or anyone else's.

In my high school ASB (Associated Student Body) class, we took a fun personality test to find out what kind of leaders we were; someone who likes to be in charge, be in the spotlight, more organized, or stay in the background. I got someone who likes to be in the spotlight, which was a surprise to me too, but thinking about it, it makes sense. I'm not overly out-going, but given the right motivation, I don't mind going up to people and striking up a conversation.

I can also say that at some point I have possessed all four of these personalities or traits over the course of my different leadership roles. The reason I'm even bringing this personality test up is that it definitely shows that there are different types of leaders out there, and not all of them have to be extraverted. I tried to find the one I took but couldn't find the exact one, but if you're interested there are a ton of different ones out there.

Over time, I've learned and worked on many valuable skills, like conflict resolution, time management, actually listening to what others have to say, and more. I keep myself up to date with my surroundings and what's going on in the world, and I still meet and hang out with people, when I have time. People grow and learn on their own pace, we should let them without overly critiquing them.

In the end, whether someone is out-going or not shouldn't determine the ability they have to be a good leader, sure in some cases it's better to more extraverted, but it's not a make or break trait. So long as they have their mind in the right place and know how to handle different tasks and situations, it doesn't matter.

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