I started writing for The Odyssey Online during the fall of my freshman year of college. At the time I didn't know what being a part of Odyssey would entail, but two and a half years later I can honestly say it was the best part of my college experience. Freshman year I didn't know what I was going to get involved in or if I would even make any friends at all, but Odyssey gave me not only something to do but some amazing people to do it with.
Odyssey has taught me more than I ever expected it to and has meant the world to me the past few years. As my time with the team comes to an end and graduation looms on the horizon, I felt it was time to reflect on all the things I've learned while writing for The Odyssey Online.
1. Your voice matters.
What you say matters. Writing for Odyssey has taught me that no matter who you are or how many other bloggers out there are writing similar pieces, it doesn't diminish your unique voice and perspective. We live in a world where everybody can share their story online, so share yours. There's no excuse not to and what you have to say matters.
2. You NEED to get involved.
Before Odyssey, I was not involved in anything. Since joining, I have found a community unlike any other. I didn't realize how much I needed this group of people until I had them. I highly recommend getting involved in something. Anything. Even if it's a little scary.
3. Be proud of yourself.
In Odyssey, we are always promoting articles we write on social media. This has taught me to be proud of the things I write. I could write just for myself, or I could share my writings with others. We don't have to be ashamed of what we write. Writing is art.
4. Your worth is not found in page views.
If you get one view or one million views it doesn't change your worth. You don't have to make a world-changing impact to make an impact in the world, even if it's just for one person.
5. What you say and share can impact others.
That being said, people read what you write. Not only that, but they can be moved by it. What you say can make a difference in someone else's life and that's really big.
6. Friends are everything.
Really. You don't need to have a ton of friends, but you do need to have good friends. Having people to count on is incredibly important in college as well as everything beyond.
7. God can use your talents for His glory.
If I've learned anything in Odyssey it's that God can use our talents to glorify Him. I came into college knowing I wanted to write, but not knowing what to write about. Through writing for Odyssey I've felt called to talk about faith-based issues in a way I hadn't dared to in the past. It's been incredible to see God use something that I have a knack for and use it to bring Him glory.
8. There is always something to write about.
I know writer block is real, but there is always something new to write about. People often say that all the new ideas have already been done, but I disagree. I think new ideas are created every day. There's always a new take on something. You just have to find it.
9. Be careful what you say.
Especially on the internet. What you write, and even more so what you say, can't be taken back so be careful what you say and how you say it.
10. Never stop writing.
Writing gives a voice to people who are too afraid to speak. I write things that I would never be able to articulate out loud. When we write we can be unapologetically ourselves. We can write and rewrite until we have something that says what we really feel. So whether it's articles published on a worldwide platform or notes scribbled in a journal, never stop writing.
Farewell Odyssey. You have fanned the spark of my passion for writing and allowed me to learn more about my skills as well as about myself and the power I can have to make an impact on the people around me. You have given me a platform from which to test out my voice through writing, even if only for a little while, and I will be forever grateful. Thank you.