Odyssey Online

I Joined Odyssey And It Reminded Me Of Who I Am

Joining this team of amazing coworkers and creators has been the best experience ever.

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I have always loved to write — short stories, poems, I even tried my hand at a news article one time. If there is one thing I love more then my family, it is putting pencil to paper. Nowadays, it's a keyboard you'll catch me typing away on, but I still love a good, old-fashioned notebook and pencil.

I write fewer stories these days and focus more on content other people can relate to. Some of my most recent pieces consist of cats, music, grief, and even family. Despite the world of ideas out there the platform you write for matters as well. I am fortunate enough to write for Odyssey.

Odyssey found me at a time when I really needed something.

My dad had just passed away, and I found myself in a deep hole. Writing for Odyssey has allowed me to express every little thing I am feeling no matter how small or big. I have been able to connect with other writers from Ohio University who share the same passion as I do. We all may have different experiences but we all know how to let those emotions out.

The best thing that has ever happened to me has happened because of Odyssey. I had been a creator for the Ohio University community for a couple of months when the position of Editor in Chief opened up. I applied, I don't know why I did, but I have not regretted it yet. I was appointed the job, and man it is a lot more then I thought it would be. I am in charge of our entire team, whether that be Athens campus or all five branches. If they write for our team their content comes to me. I have learned so much!

This has been such a blessing for my leadership skills, my editorial skills, my motivational skills, and even my communication skills.

I'm not just part of Ohio's team though. When I took the position as EIC I was also appointed to a leadership team, and my world has not been the same since.

On our leadership team, we have two bosses from headquarters, and these ladies are fantastic. They guide me, teach me, and put me in line whenever needed. I could not get through this position without their constant encouragement, emails, and video conferences to make sure I am doing okay. They are not the only people on our team though, we are a team for a reason. Our teams consist of 23 communities, all of which have an EIC (like me) and a President. The President is in charge of finding new creators and making sure we all are doing what we're supposed to.

The leadership team is single handily the best part about being an EIC with Odyssey. We all encourage each other, brainstorm with one another, maybe even complain a little.

But one thing I have learned the most is, I am not alone.

Someone out there in this big ol' world knows exactly how I am feeling because they feel it too. I could not have asked for a better team.

They found me when I didn't know who I was anymore.

They showed me that there is so much more to this thing called life than wasting away. We all still have our days, and every EIC becomes agitated, but our team, our FAMILY, always reminds us who we are, and why we do this. So thank you, for reminding me of who I am, and what I love to do.

Lil&Berk;'s Squad, I love you.

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Please Spare Me From The Three Months Of Summer Break When People Revert Back To High Schoolers

They look forward to swapping stories with their friends at the local diner, walking around their old high school with a weird sense of superiority, and reminiscing their pre-college lives.

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I know a surprising amount of people who actually couldn't wait to go home for the summer. They look forward to swapping stories with their friends at the local diner, walking around their old high school with a weird sense of superiority, and reminiscing their pre-college lives.

Me? Not so much. I don't mean to sound bitter. It's probably really comforting to return to a town where everyone knows your name, where your younger friends want you around to do their prom makeup, and where you can walk through Target without hiding in the deodorant aisle. But because I did this really annoying thing where my personality didn't really develop and my social anxiety didn't really loosen its grip on me until college, I have a very limited number of people to return to.

If you asked someone from my high school about Julia Bond, they would probably describe her as shy, studious, and uptight. I distinctly remember being afraid of people who JUULed (did you get high from it? was it illegal? could I secondhand smoke it and get lung cancer?) and crying over Algebra 1 in study hall (because nothing says fun and friendly like mascara steaks and furious scribbling in the back corner while everyone else throws paper airplanes and plays PubG Mobile).

I like to tell my college friends that if I met High School Julia, I would beat her up. I would like to think I could, even though I go to the gym now a third of the time I did then. It's not that it was High School Julia's fault that she closed herself off to everyone. She had a crippling fear of getting a B and an even worse fear of other people. But because she was so introverted and scared, College Julia has nothing to do but re-watch "The Office" for the 23rd time when she comes back.

Part of me is jealous of the people who came into their own before college. I see pictures of the same big friend groups I envied from a distance in high school, all their smiling faces at each other's college football games and pool parties and beach trips, and it makes me sad that I missed out on so many friendships because I was too scared to put myself out there. That part of me really, really wishes I had done things differently.

But a bigger, more confident part of me is really glad I had that experience. Foremost, everything I've gone through has shaped me. I mean, I hid in the freaking bathroom during lunch for the first two weeks of my freshman year of high school. I never got up to sharpen my pencil because I was scared people would talk about me. I couldn't even eat in front of people because I was so overwhelmingly self-conscious. I remember getting so sick at cross country practice because I ran four or five miles on an empty stomach.

Now, I look back and cringe at the ridiculousness because I've grown so much since then. Sure, I still have my quirks and I'm sure a year from now I'll write an article about what a weirdo Freshman Julia was. But I can tell who had the same experience as me. I can tell who was lonely in high school because they talk to the kids on my floor that study by themselves. I can tell who was afraid of speaking up because they listen so well. I can tell who was without a friend group because they stand by me when others don't. I can tell who hated high school, because it's obvious that they've never been as happy as they are now.

My dislike for high school, while inconvenient for this summer, might be one of the best things to happen to me. I learned how to overcome my fears, how to be independent, and how to make myself happy. I never belonged in high school, and that's why I will never take for granted where I belong here at Rutgers.

So maybe I don't have any prom pictures with a bunch of colorful dresses in a row, and maybe I didn't go to as many football games as I should have. Maybe I would've liked pep rallies, and maybe I missed out on senior week at the beach. But if I had experienced high school differently, I wouldn't be who I am today.

I wouldn't pinch myself daily because I still can't believe how lucky I am to have the friends that I do.

I wouldn't smile so hard every time I come back from class and hear my floormates calling me from the lounge.

I wouldn't well up when my roommate leaves Famous Amos cookies on my desk before a midterm, or know how to help the girl having a panic attack next to me before a final, or hear my mom tell my dad she's never seen me this happy before.

If I had loved high school, I wouldn't realize how amazing I have it in college. So amazing, in fact, that I never want to go home.

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8 Things To Keep In Mind As You Navigate Your First Job Offer

While it can be tempting to scream "Yes!" at the first employer to offer you a job, there are a few things to consider.

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Let's face it, society has big expectations for you when you graduate from college. Namely, those around you expect you to go off and get a job and embark on a fruitful career until it's time to retire. As such, you may feel as though you have no leverage when it comes to your job hunt and you might think you have to take the first offer you receive. But, that's not true at all.

There are a few things you should know as you navigate the job world right out of school. With the right knowledge and strategies in mind, you'll figure out the best course for you, even if it's not the first offer you get.

1. Figure out what you want before you go in.

You can't say "yes" or "no" to a job offer unless you're steadfast in what you expect from your first employer. Everyone's list of must-haves will be different, of course, though many first-timers seek similar things.

For instance, a new employee might want to ensure they have a varied list of responsibilities, the opportunity to learn new skills or programs and the chance to grow and move up within the company.

On top of that, you should always delineate your ideal salary, benefits and job location, no matter if you're a first-time worker or a seasoned industry veteran, these factors will have an impact on your quality of life, so they're just as important as the job itself.

2. Gauge your initial intrigue on all of your offers.

When you read a job's description, you typically get a list of tasks for which you'll be responsible, as well as a summary of the company's mission and ideals. As you skim, you'll feel whether your interest is piqued or not and it's important to have that feeling of intrigue as you take on your first job.

Yes, it's true that you probably won't land your dream role right out of the gate, but you also shouldn't force yourself into a role that doesn't suit you just to have a job. If you're already disinterested, imagine how you'll feel a year from now.

3. Factor in financial benefits on top of everything else.

We already touched on the importance of a job's salary in your decision-making process but your bottom line might include more than just your biweekly paycheck.

Plenty of companies offer bonuses like 401K savings plans and stock options to help build your savings over time. In terms of the latter, the possibility of investing in your employer is mutually beneficial. You diversify your portfolio and potentially earn dividends, while the company receives the financing it needs to grow and expand. This type of program is a factor that could sway you to take a job with a salary that, at first, seems standard.

4. Learn about training opportunities.

Professional development is huge for employees, especially those in the early stages of their careers. As such, you should figure out what, if any, training opportunities a company provides.

Sometimes, they'll pay for continuing education, which is ideal if you want to pursue a masters or another degree. Others organize on-the-job training, such as seminars and conferences, which will also help you grow and improve in your career.

5. Get to know your potential boss.

Your future boss will make or break your first job. The right person will guide you through the early stages of your career and help you improve your skills and standing for future promotions, raises and career changes. So, ask questions during or after your interview to find out their management style, how they give feedback and what they expect of their team members.

If you have the opportunity, ask their current team members, too, to ensure you know what you're signing up for before accepting the offer.

6. Make sure you align with the company's mission.

For millennials, a job is more than just a chance to earn money, it's about serving a purpose and chasing a company's mission. As such, you need to find out your potential employer's values and figure out if they align with yours.

Even if a business works for a profit, they should explain how their work serves the greater good. If you care about what they do, you'll be more engaged as an employee, which will make your first job experience a much more pleasant and rewarding one.

7. Make sure you'll be comfortable in the work environment.

Is the office dead silent throughout the day? Do people work in cubicles or at obstruction-free tables? How often does the team go to Happy Hour?

As a young professional, such questions will be important to you in your decision-making process — you want to make sure you'll be comfortable in your new workspace. If you can, take a tour of the office before committing to an offer so you can get a taste of the environment.

8. Think about how your future and the company's future align.

Finally, you should consider the longevity of the job offer. Will you work for a business that has the potential for future growth or is it a shrinking industry? Obviously, you can't ask the hiring manager this, you'll need to do some industry research to see if your first job will have legs or not.

Even if you're going to work for a company that might not last forever, you can still derive transferable skills from a job with them. Avoid picking something too specialized that could leave you in the lurch if there isn't much of a future in the overarching industry.

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