After three and a half years of writing weekly articles, my time with Odyssey has come to an end.
In January of 2016, I received an email from a student at Ball State accepting the application that I had placed on Odyssey's website. After seeing a few of their articles on my Facebook, I thought that Odyssey would be a great opportunity for me. I loved to write and was considering changing my major at that point. I also had failed to get involved in any campus organizations by then, so I was hopeful Odyssey would be a good way for a shy girl like me to get involved on campus.
Within a few days, I began writing my first article, declaring that 2016 would be my year of self-love. I remember how quickly that article blew up — with high school classmates and family members commenting and sending me praise for an article that I now look back on and cringe at. This love has continued on for three and a half years, even with the wide range of topics I've covered in my weekly articles shared with the world.
I choose to continue writing on Odyssey for so long because it was the one place where I felt like I could really be myself. On Odyssey, there are no restrictions as to what a creator can write about. This was liberating. Through my Odyssey articles, I've been able to share my perspective on a variety of topics in a way like no other. Once my articles began gaining some popularity, I started getting more and more shares. My articles would be featured on Odyssey's social media, on their website's homepage, and in their emails. This felt particularly good because not only was I able to express myself and share my thoughts with the world, but I was also gaining recognition and support from total strangers around the world. I felt appreciated and like my writing was actually doing something.
A lot has changed in three and a half years. I entered a relationship that I ended up leaving. I changed my major…twice. I made plenty of new friends and lost just as many. I experienced death for the first time, and then again for the second. I met a lot of temporary people. My 'favorites', whether that be movies or music or TV shows or fashion trends, changed. I changed. I graduated, and I took a position that I will be beginning here in a few weeks. The one constant in my life has always been my weekly articles. Being able to write about whatever I want, and then share them with my social media network, was something I could always know I could count on.
Thank you, Odyssey, for everything. I am so grateful for the community I called my little virtual home for so long. Thank you for allowing me to be a creator and editor for so long. When I look back on my college experience, there's no way I'll be able to look at it without thinking of the articles I wrote throughout my time and all the memories attached to that.
This has been an experience of a lifetime, one eighteen-year-old Sarah had no idea she was signing up for by filling out an application three and a half years ago.