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.

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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22 New Things That I Want To Try Now That I'm 22

A bucket list for my 22nd year.


"I don't know about you but I'm feelin' 22," I have waited 6 long years to sing that and actually be 22! Now 22 doesn't seem like a big deal to people because you can't do anything that you couldn't do before and you're still super young. But I'm determined to make my 22nd year a year filled with new adventures and new experiences. So here's to 22.

1. Go sky diving.

What's crazier than jumping out of a plane? (Although I'll probably try indoor skydiving first.)

2. Go cliff jumping/diving.

I must be the only Rhode Islander who hasn't gone to Jamestown and jumped off a cliff.

3. Ride in a hor air balloon.

Up, up and away.

4. Try out skiing.

Cash me in the next Olympics, how bout dat.

5. Try out snow boarding.

Shawn White, I'm coming for you.

6. Go bungee jumping.

Because at least this time I'll be attached to something.

7. Go to Portugal.

I mean I'm Portuguese so I have to go at some point, right?

8. Go to Cape Verde.

Once again, I'm Cape Verdean so I have to go.

9. Vist one of the seven wonders of the world.

I mean hey, Egypt's on, my bucket list.

10. Try out surfing.

It's only natural that somebody from the Ocean State knows how to surf.

11. Learn a new langauge.

Because my little bit of Portuguese, Spanish and Latin isn't cutting it anymore.

12. Travel to a state that I've never been to before.

Fun fact: I've only been to 17 of the 50 states.

13. Go paddle boarding.

Pretty boring but I've never done it.

14. Go scuba diving.

I'm from the Ocean State so I guess I should see the ocean up close and personal.

15. Learn how to line dance.

There's actually a barn in my state that does line dancing, so this one will definitely get crossed off.

16. Go kayaking.

All this water around me and I haven't done a lot of the water activites.

17. Stay the night in a haunted hotel room.

I bet if I got my friends to come with me, it would be like the Suite Life of Zach and Cody episode, minus the ghost coming out of the wall but you never know.

18. Get my palms read.

Because who doesn't want to know their future.

19. Go to a medium.

Like a medium that can communicate with people that have died.

20. Take a helicopter ride.

Air plane: check Helicopter:....

21. Sleep under the stars.

Because sleeping in a tent is more like glamping than camping

22. Just to try new things in my everyday life.

Whether it's trying a new restaurant, getting something different at my usual restaurants, changing my usual style, going on the scary rides at amusement parks, and bringing things I used to do back into my life now.

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Success Is Not Defined By One Factor

Success cannot be defined by only one thing; people have different definitions of success


What is success? According to Dictionary.com, the main definition of success is "the favorable or prosperous termination of attempts or endeavors; the accomplishment of one's goals." Dictionary.com also defines success as "the attainment of wealth, position, honors, or the like.

"Wealth, position, or honors." These are the key things that most people think are needed to be successful, and they are so integrated with the idea of success that they appear in many textbook definitions of "success." Many people strive for fame or fortune in pursuit of what tends to be deemed as "success." People will look at those who are rich or in a position of power and go, "Wow, they are really successful." If someone gets a high paying job a few years after college, they are successful. If someone gets promoted, they are successful. If someone gets a 4.0 and graduates with honors, they are successful. While these things are all measures of success, they aren't all the word "success" encompasses.

Success means different things to different people. Everyone has different goals and things they strive for in life. While some may go for high achievement, money, or power, others may strive towards other things they'd define as a successful life. Success can be following one's passions and working their dream job, regardless of how much their salary is. Success may be found in relationships, family, travel, or just about anything. Success does not have to be found in stereotypical ways; if you aren't rich or famous, it doesn't mean you aren't successful.

Define success on your own terms. Don't let a standard definition drive what you think you need to do to achieve success. Success cannot be defined by only one thing; everyone has different definitions of success. Don't be afraid to create your own definition, even if it breaks the mold.

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