Odyssey Is Where I Met My Online Friends

Odyssey Is Where I Met My Online Friends

I never became friends with anyone I only knew on the internet... until now, that is.

I have never been the sappy type. I've never made an "online friend" because back in the day when the internet was young and adults were paranoid as ever, it was drilled into our heads that talking to strangers on the internet equated signing up for either a traumatic life experience or a traumatic life experience followed by death. So yeah, I've never been a social media fanatic. And I've certainly never became friends with anyone I knew only online... until now, that is.

Who are these online friends of mine?

Angela Yang and Carly MalkiewiczAlpharetta Odyssey's Contributing Editor and Social Media Manager, respectively. They are both amazing Alpha leaders, writers with powerful, motivational voices and my treasured online friends.

We've never met in person and only met via Google Hangouts a couple months after I had gotten to know them. When I first joined Odyssey back in June 2016, I had thought of it as "temporary job," and time filler in which I could simply do my own thing and maintain a distant, professional relationship with the other members and my editor. That worked out for the first month, then fast forward to July, and I found myself promoted as the Editor-in-Chief. I quickly realized my whole keep-a-low-profile plan wasn't going to work out in this case, and even if it did, it wouldn't be fair to everyone else on the team. Yeah sure, no one was all that active in the chat to begin with, and I had already told myself not to get emotionally entangled, but I couldn't help feeling responsible for injecting some life into the deadened atmosphere.

And that's how I properly met Carly and Angela — experienced, more like it, because they shone brightly among the couple of indifferent, callous people I came across while reaching out to everyone. They not only responded immediately to my texts but did so positively and gave me hope that change was possible, that there were good people in the world and maybe, just maybe, not everyone online was a serial killer fronting as telletubbies268.

Angela and Carly were the most enthusiastic and our community's personal vocal cheerleaders. I know for a fact that if they hadn't supported the team the way they did, I would have lost spirit by September and quit in frustration.

As the Contributing Editor, Angela was God-sent. Her friendly professional way of interacting with her teammates was something I always admired and tried to emulate. She was always on top of her game, and after having been with us for nearly over a year, it's no surprise that several creators on our team absolutely love her and will miss her weekly comments. Because of her stellar editing skills and hawk eye for detail, Angela helped the Alpharetta team to become one of the top trending communities on the entire Odyssey platform.

Fast forward couple months down the line, and the team grew to a sizable 15 or so, which sparked the idea to offer more leadership positions. But in Carly's case, it's not so much that she was chosen to be the Social Media Manager, rather, Carly created the role, starting from scratch — a feat that still impresses me to this day. She not only sketched out a plan and drafted goals for herself and the team, but she also actively reached out to various creators one on one. Her hard work paid off in February when our community hit over 50,000 page views in less than 28 days!

Without Carly and Angela, the Alpharetta team would not be the close-knit, enthusiastic family of 29 that it is today. And I would not be the same person had I never met them online the way I did. I can say without a doubt that we are more than acquaintances, more than simply colleagues — we are what Odyssey hopes to create and nurture: we are a community.

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10 Things Every College Student Needs To Hear

Supporting us is so underrated.

1. “You Got This!”

2. “It’s okay to take a break.”

From that paper that is due in a couple days. From that paper that is due at 11:59 tonight. From those 3 chapters that need to be read by Wednesday. TAKE A BREAK.

3. “I’m here if you need me. Like, for real.”

People seem to throw this around for fun, but every college student needs at least one person to ACTUALLY mean it. Even if they don’t take you up on it, they need to hear it.

4. “That really sucks.”

Sometimes trying to make everything better, all the freaking time, is annoying. College students want people to understand that sometimes things just REALLY SUCK. And that’s okay. It won’t suck forever.

5. "We'll celebrate this weekend."

YOU DO NOT NEED A REASON TO CELEBRATE. Getting through the week and actually going to all your classes is reason alone to celebrate. Having something to look forward to can make each class go a little bit faster.


College is hard. College students try even harder. Grades don’t always reflect how hard you’re actually trying, so having someone tell you that you’re amazing anyways is great and needed.

7. “It will be there tomorrow.”

Homework will be there, whether you do it or you don’t. Looking at the same problems or sentences can be counterproductive if you do it too long. Mental health, physical health, and happiness are all MUCH more important.

8. “Are you okay?"

This is pretty self-explanatory. People don’t genuinely ask or care often enough. It never hurts to ask someone if they are alright.

9. “I love you.”

College has a habit of putting a damper on the mood. College students, and people in general, need love. Love everybody. It changes everything.

10. “You are so much more than your grades, GPA, and any other score that they give you.”

C’s get degrees. Your GPA won’t matter unless you want to go to grad school. Even if you are going to grad school, those scores won’t matter later on. What matters? Your health. Your sanity. How you lived your life.

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To The Girl Who Doesn't Have It All Figured Out

Your life should not follow someone else's timeline.

Life is tough, especially in your early to mid-20s. You feel like you are supposed to have it all figured out; who you are, your career, your life goals.

You see the girl getting married to her high school sweetheart at 20. You see the girl starting her family and having her first child at 21. Or maybe, you see the girl getting her Bachelor’s degree and beginning her Master’s at 22.

You spend hours fantasizing about a life you want, and it seems that everyone except you has it all together. You keep trying to plan ahead and set goals, but planning seems to be all you can do; you feel stuck and almost hopeless.

But that is okay. We aren’t supposed to have it all figured out. We aren’t supposed to know exactly where we will be five or ten years down the road. Take life at your own pace. Take it slow. Live in the moment now.

Work that part-time job that helps make your car payment and pay rent. Stay up late studying for those exams that seem nearly impossible. Spend Friday nights lying in bed watching Netflix eating a bowl of cereal or spend it out with your friends.

One day, you will have it figured out. You’ll have the career, the husband, the kids, the dream home. Good things take time. Growth and maturity is a process that does not happen overnight. Set your goals, follow the Lord, and do what makes yourself happy.

“Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” Matthew 6:34

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