Jake Prest and Leader were never heard in the same sentence.
At least that's what I always thought when I became EIC (Editor-in-Chief) of UMaine Odyssey back in Fall 2017. Berk from HQ was surprised I thought that way, but it's always been about me not pushing myself to do things by example rather than follow. It's easy to follow because you do what is expected of you by those above you, so that's what motivated me: lead instead of following. By the time Spring 2018 came around, I was running a well-oiled machine with fourteen or fifteen creators on the team and great CE (Contributing Editor) in Calli who is basically my co-EIC and later co-President because she and I always thought the same way and worked well together.
I can say now I wouldn't be the President I was these last ten months without Calli, Berk, and Kat in the trench helping me along the way.
These three ladies were the backbone of my career as UMaine Odyssey's EIC and President: always giving me advice, encouraging me, letting me 'cut a promo' (vent), even kicking me in the butt a time or two. I look back and believe that without them, I would be a different person with less confidence under the large umbrella of Odyssey. Their confidence, passion, and belief in me to lead UMaine's Odyssey team were why I continued leading even if my own confidence faltered now and then (especially when numbers dwindled this year).
Onboarding or calling my mom to pick me up?
I learned a lot about myself these last sixteen months of being with Odyssey, from educating our members to editing content to even keeping up communication with my CS, both Kat and Berk. They were both great mentors to a little kid like me, so thank you again for dealing with my craziness.
One important thing I will take away from this experience is my ability to keep the positivity up while dealing with multiple negative deterrents.
My article Confessions of A Depressed Romantic is possibly my favorite article because it was the first personal article that didn't involve music or wrestling. It had a negative aspect, yes, but I felt great expressing how I felt about modern romance and weird aspects of relationships. It wasn't a sappy look at my terrible love life, but in fact, how I truly felt about myself when people were telling me I'm a "good guy" and just "overthink things."
It was tough to write, but I didn't care: I was glad to write that article.
Sing it, Chet
Some concluding words to all you involved with Odyssey:
Listen to your President/EIC.
Submit on time.
Never be afraid to ask questions and pick fellow member's brains about Odyssey and what it wants.
I am now on my way out of UMaine Odyssey, but like in any wrestling storyline, a person never really leaves the "territory." They just come back when they least expect it.
See you later this summer, folks.
"The only thing that's for sure about Sting....is nothing's for sure."