My Journey With Odyssey Has Come To An End, But My Future Is Just Beginning

My Journey With Odyssey Has Come To An End, But My Future Is Just Beginning

Odyssey was the first place in my college career where someone took a chance on me, where someone saw something in me that I didn't even see in myself at the time.

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I knew this day would come eventually, but I never anticipated how I would feel when it finally happened.

After nearly three years with Odyssey, spending time as a Creator, Contributing Editor, Editor-in-Chief, President and Intern launching and working with somewhere close to 60-70 communities, this chapter in my life has come to a close.

And I'd be lying if I said I wasn't sad about it.

But I'd also be lying if I said I wasn't excited about how I can use everything Odyssey taught me in my next chapter working in ministry.

See, three years ago my dream was to become a Content Strategist at Odyssey HQ. It was my dream, and I was determined to do anything in order to get there.

Then, another door opened that I never anticipated. To work in ministry, introducing people of all ages to Jesus for a living at one of the biggest churches in the country. I felt uncomfortable at first, and I kept telling God that I was supposed to be a Content Strategist--that was my dream.

But I had this undeniable feeling that ministry was where I was supposed to be, so that's where I'm going.

It makes me sad to let go of something that has been a part of my life for so long, something that has told me I belong when the rest of the world hasn't.

Something that gave me friends and a second family all over the country.

Something that gave me a platform to tell me my voice was important and that I mattered.

A place where creativity and open-minds were not only welcomed but encouraged.

A place where the employees are some of the most incredible people I have ever met.

Odyssey was the first place in my college career where someone took a chance on me, where someone saw something in me that I didn't even see in myself at the time.

Odyssey is the reason I was able to walk into multiple interviews for a ministry job and feel confident in myself that I could do this, even though my background is solely in media.

This platform is so much more than people give it credit for. It's not just about the girl writing an open letter to her ex-boyfriend.

It's about people sharing their voice, gaining confidence that it matters. Gaining confidence that they matter.

Now, this wouldn't be a proper farewell, though, without breaking the golden rule of writing articles: keep them specific enough that they replicate your experience, but broad enough for others to relate. (Sorry, Byron, I'm breaking the rules on this one.)

To my very first Managing Editor, Shelby, I can't thank you enough for placing confidence in me to launch Aspiring Journalism Professionals (AJP) two years ago. You had more faith in me than I did at that point in time, and I cannot express how much your confidence in me meant then and now.

To Justina, thank you for inspiring me both professionally and personally. When I felt inadequate as a leader, you helped build me up, and I am so grateful for that.

To Kellie, thank you for believing in me to be Odyssey's remote intern long-term for the past 14 months. I know there were tons of other people who also deserved this opportunity, and you helped me get started in this role.

To Emma, thank you for being the best manager ever and laughing at my crazy stories on our calls. Thanks for helping me when I needed guidance on how to keep my communities moving forward and for always being there for me.

To Hollan, you boosted my confidence as a leader so much in the last six months. When I doubted my leadership, you were right there to build me up, and when I wasn't where I wanted to be with my community, you reminded me how much progress had already been made.

To Byron, you're the MVP because you've put up with my constant questions for longer than anyone else, so MAJOR props to you for that. Second, thanks for always being willing to spend time with me helping me improve as an editor. Thanks to you, I can come up with some pretty good headlines pretty quickly, and before, well, my headlines were just flat. You've improved my editing skills so much, I'll always love editing thanks to you.

To Mike and TyLy, thanks for helping me learn how to create amazing and intriguing news pieces Odyssey-style. My portfolio has you two to thank for that!

To literally everyone at HQ: thank you for always making me feel included as an Intern. I know we all have good and bad days, but you even made my bad days, good ones.

To all of my EICs: You all know I'm always a text away. Even though I no longer manage you guys, I am very proud of everything you've accomplished and your persistence. (Remember, success doesn't come overnight, but with hard work, you'll hit those goals!)

Finally, to AJP: I don't know what I would have done these past two years without you guys. We've come so far as a team, and I couldn't be more proud of everything we have done as a non-traditional community. From not even existing two years ago to becoming a top 25 community, it's so unreal to me. Incredible doesn't even begin to describe you guys.

And, to make an already long article longer, thank you, Odyssey.

Thank you, thank you, thank you.

From the bottom of my heart, I am so beyond grateful for this company and everything you have all invested in me. I'm the luckiest girl in the world to have such an incredible team of people standing behind me.

So while I can't predict where we will all be 10 years from now, I can predict that wherever you all are, it's going to be incredible.

See, this isn't the end...it's the beginning.

It's the beginning of Odyssey helping me launch a career that is so much bigger than I ever could have imagined.

Next time I'm in New York, you better bet I'll be paying a visit to the company that built me.

Farewell, for now, Odyssey. Thanks for everything.

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14 Fraternity Guy Gifts Ideas, Since He Already Has Enough Beer

Frat boys are a species of their own and here are some exciting gifts they will be ecstatic to receive!

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What more do frat boys love than alcohol, partying, and just acting stupid? Here are some gifts that help fulfill all of those needs for the frat boy in your life!

1. Beer holster belt

Whats better than one beer? Six beers! This fashionable camouflage accessory can be used for tailgates, beach days, formals and everything in between.

Price: $8.49 (one pack), $14.99 (two pack)

2. Phone juul holder 

You know those cardholders everyone sticks on the back of their phones? Well, now a Juul holder for your phone is on the market! This will save your favorite frat boy from ever again losing his Juul!

Price: $10.98

3. Animal house poster 

This Animal House poster is a classic staple for any frat boy. This poster will compliment any frat house decor or lack thereof.

Price: $1.95

4. The American Fraternity book

Does the frat boy in your life need a good read for Thanksgiving or winter break? Look no farther, this will certainly keep his attention and give him a history lesson on American fraternity heritage and tradition.

Price: $28.46

5. Beer pong socks 

These snazzy socks featuring beer pong will be loved by any frat boy. As for the way to any frat boy's heart may, in fact, be beer pong.

Price: $12.00

6. Condom case

This condom carrying case will not only protect condoms from damage but also make frat boys more inclined to practice safe sex, which is a win-win situation!

Price: $9.99

7. Frat house candle

Ahhh yes, who does not like the smell of stale beer in a dark, musty frat house basement? Frat boys can make their apartment or bedroom back home smell like their favorite place with the help of this candle.

Price: $16.99

8. "Frat" sticker

Frat boys always need to make sure everyone around them knows just how "fratty" they are. This versatile stick can go on a laptop, car, water bottle, or practically anywhere their little hearts desire.

Price: $6.50

9. Natty Light t-shirt 

Even I will admit that this shirt is pretty cool. The frat boy in your life will wear this shirt at every possible moment, it is just that cool!

Price: $38.76-$41.11

10. Natty light fanny pack 

This fanny pack can absolutely be rocked by any frat boy. The built-in koozie adds a nice touch.

Price: $21.85

11. Bud Light Neon Beer Sign 

A neon beer sign will be the perfect addition to any frat boys bedroom.

Price: $79.99

12. Beer Opener

Although most frat boys' go to beers come in cans, this bottle opener will be useful for those special occasions when they buy nicer bottled beers.

Price: $7.99

13. Frat House Dr. Sign

Price: $13.99

Forget stealing random street signs, with this gift frat boys no longer have to do so.

14. Beer Lights 

Lights are an essential for any party and these will surely light up even the lamest parties.

Price: $17.19

Please note that prices are accurate and items in stock as of the time of publication. As an Amazon Associate, Odyssey may earn a portion of qualifying sales.

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18 Truths About Life 2018 Taught Me

"Sometimes life can be hard and frustrating...but there is something to be thankful for no matter the circumstances."

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I know it's cliche, but it feels like just yesterday was January 1, 2018. It does not seem real that this year is about to come to a close.

It's been quite a year, but I'm thankful for all the challenges, good times, growth, hardships, and life lessons this year gave me.

1. Finding balance is extremely important

Yes, it's important to study hard and be involved on campus and have a social life, but there has to be a good balance of it all.

2. It's okay to say no

Sometimes you have to say no to find that balance

3. Sometimes friendships will fade...

People grow, things change.

4. ...but new friendships can be such a blessing

New friends bring a breath of fresh air (and lots of fun).

5. It's the little things that truly matter

Sending an old friend a random text can make their day. Spending time with friends with no technology or homework can be good for the soul. Showing up to your friend's house with Sonic drinks and ice cream makes for a nice surprise. Being there for your friends during rough times can mean the world to them.

6. Holding grudges doesn't hurt anyone but yourself

You can be bitter about something that someone did or said to you all you want, but you are only hurting yourself by doing so. Just let it go and move on: you'll be much happier that way.

7. Nights are much better spent in

As much as I love the occasional formal on a Friday night or girls night out for dinner and ice cream on a Saturday night, I'd much rather spend a night in with friends wearing pajamas and watching Netflix while eating popcorn.

8. Time away from technology is important

With how attached to our phones we are now, the best memories are made when you are with people who make you forget to even check your phone.

9. School and GPA are important but so are sleep and health

Academic goals are great to have, but they can't be achieved if you are not taking care of yourself.

10. It's okay to be hard on yourself...

It's a part of holding yourself accountable for the goals you have set for yourself.

11. ...but not too hard

Hold yourself accountable, but be nice to yourself too.

12. Parents are the best 'best friends'

I mean it...They're irreplaceable.

13. Your happiness is up to no one but you

YOU control your own happiness.

14. Stay true to yourself

There will always be someone that doesn't like you, so just be you and enjoy life.

15. Sometimes life can be hard and frustrating...

Either you are in a trial now, you've just come out of one, or you are about to go in one: life can be tough.

16. ...but there is something to be thankful for no matter the circumstances

But there are ALWAYS things to be thankful for in each and every day: God's provision, family, friends, a roof over your head, God's beautiful creations in nature, the food you eat daily.

17. Your worth is found in Christ. 

Your worth is found in Christ and NOT in your accomplishments or mistakes.

18. God's timing and His plan are MUCH GREATER than ours 

We may not understand God's plan for our lives, but I know His plan is far greater than mine and he has me where I am in life right now for a reason.


Thank you 2018 for a year full of teaching me life lessons and allowing me to grow and learn more about myself.

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