3 Reasons You Should Become An Odyssey Creator This Semester

3 Reasons You Should Become An Odyssey Creator This Semester

3 reasons other than the fact it's just plain awesome.
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So you see these Odyssey articles everywhere, but you’re not really sure what they’re about. Sure, you get the notifications for them all the time, but maybe you’re wondering how someone gets started as an Odyssey creator. Well, here’s why you should consider applying to be a content creator this semester:

1. It gives you the chance to meet really awesome people at your school.

When I joined Odyssey, I joined a community of around 60 other USF student from all different majors who had a new chance to connect. Communicating in our group chat allowed us not only to talk about our writing but also what we were thinking about. And when we stopped talking about writing and started talking more casually, I was able to make friends that I still hold dear to this day through Odyssey. It gives you a non-judgemental community of thinkers unlike any other.

2. You’ll become a better writer.

No matter what your major is, your future job will require you to be a good writer. No exception. Writing for Odyssey forced me to write every week, and practice like that has definitely sharpened my writing. In addition, getting feedback from the editors gives you the constructive criticism that’s sometimes needed to help you catch mistakes and habits you didn’t even know were there. Practice makes perfect, and there’s no better way to practice an essential skill than to share what’s on your mind every week.

3. You’ll gain leadership and professional skills.

Whether or not you’re on the leadership board for your community, there are always ways to express leadership qualities. Starting discussions, offering feedback to fellow writers about their content, or even just networking with other writers nationwide, opportunity is everywhere. Odyssey gives young writers the chance to explore not only what’s going on in their mind, but in the minds for those around them. Make connections! There’s no limit to the possibilities.

Check out the USF community here.

Cover Image Credit: Blog Spot

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To The Girl Struggling With Her Body Image

It's not about the size of your jeans, but the size of your heart, soul, and spirit.

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To the girl struggling with her body image,

You are more than the number on the scale. You are more than the number on your jeans and dresses. You are way more than the number of pounds you've gained or lost in whatever amount of time.

Weight is defined as the quantity of matter contained by a body or object. Weight does not define your self-worth, ambition or potential.

So many girls strive for validation through the various numbers associated with body image and it's really so sad seeing such beautiful, incredible women become discouraged over a few numbers that don't measure anything of true significance.

Yes, it is important to live a healthy lifestyle. Yes, it is important to take care of yourself. However, taking care of yourself includes your mental health as well. Neglecting either your mental or physical health will inflict problems on the other. It's very easy to get caught up in the idea that you're too heavy or too thin, which results in you possibly mistreating your body in some way.

Your body is your special, beautiful temple. It harbors all of your thoughts, feelings, characteristics, and ideas. Without it, you wouldn't be you. If you so wish to change it in a healthy way, then, by all means, go ahead. With that being said, don't make changes to impress or please someone else. You are the only person who is in charge of your body. No one else has the right to tell you whether or not your body is good enough. If you don't satisfy their standards, then you don't need that sort of negative influence in your life. That sort of manipulation and control is extremely unhealthy in its own regard.

Do not hold back on things you love or want to do because of how you interpret your body. You are enough. You are more than enough. You are more than your exterior. You are your inner being, your spirit. A smile and confidence are the most beautiful things you can wear.

It's not about the size of your jeans. It's about the size of your mind and heart. Embrace your body, observe and adore every curve, bone and stretch mark. Wear what makes you feel happy and comfortable in your own skin. Do your hair and makeup (or don't do either) to your heart's desire. Wear the crop top you've been eyeing up in that store window. Want a bikini body? Put a bikini on your body, simple.

So, as hard as it may seem sometimes, understand that the number on the scale doesn't measure the amount or significance of your contributions to this world. Just because that dress doesn't fit you like you had hoped doesn't mean that you're any less of a person.

Love your body, and your body will love you right back.

Cover Image Credit: Lauren Margliotti

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Millennials LOVED Vine, There's No Reason For Them To Be Skeptical Of Tik Tok

Recently, the video-sharing app Tik Tok has been gaining popularity among Gen Z kids. Why are Millennials wary towards this app, which produces content similar to that of the beloved late Vine?

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Millennials, people born approximately between the years of 1981 and 1996, grew up in an era of rapidly evolving technology. Many millennials feel as if they were literally raised on the internet. Millennials who grew up in the United States share common memories of Youtube before ads, Instagram's first (and uglier) icon, and a time when taxi cabs outnumbered Uber drivers.

Vine was one of the most popular apps during the late childhood and adolescence of Millennials. The app was originally intended to be used for artistic purposes, but comedy ultimately overcame this original use. Vine, released in 2013, grew quickly, reaching its peak between the years 2014 and 2015. This success was short-lived, as we all know, and Vine was taken down in 2016 due to financial issues. The famous viners were scattered to the wind, many of them creating Youtube channels in order to hold viewership.

While Vine was dying, an app called Musical.ly was on the rise. Many Millennials had become invested in the lives of their Vine-turned-Youtuber personalities or were too busy with school or work to be interested in this new app. Gen Z, people born in the early 2000s, gained interest in this new app, in which users lip-sync to downloaded songs. Like Vine, Musical.ly gave birth to a new generation of influencers, like Jacob Sartorius and Loren Gray.

It's no lie that many people looked down on Musical.ly. Not only did the app produce a lot of cringe-worthy content, Millennials simply didn't understand the point of the app, as users weren't able to create original content. While Gen Z kids pounced on this new app, millennials wept over compilations of archived vines with titles like, "Vines That Keep Me From Ending It All," and "Rare Vines to Show Your Crush." Rumors of a "Vine 2" were spread across the internet, but there's been no progress made on the second coming of the video-making app.

On November 9th, 2017, Chinese internet technology company Bytedance bought Musical.ly for $1 billion dollars and merged the app with Tik Tok, an almost identical platform that had shown success in the Chinese market. Tik Tok began to gain popularity with Americans, particularly among teens and young adults interested in cosplay.

The app's users recently have been producing content similar to vines. The users have been breaking away from the typical lip-synch platform, and begun to produce short, funny, and unexplainable videos that emulate "vine energy."

So, will Tik Tok become Gen Z's vine? This has been disputed. Many TikTok-ers have amassed large followings and fanbases, similar to that of popular viners back in the day. The app itself is easier to navigate than Vine, as you can view the content of a user in a grid, similar to Instagram. But many millennials feel as though nothing can ever replace Vine, especially not this weird Musical.ly replacement.

For now, Tik Tok is viewed in a mainly negative light by most millennials, which is understandable. Tik Tok gained fame when multiple youtube commentators like Cody Ko and Kurtis Conner critiqued the cringe-y content posted on the app. Tik Tok "cringe compilations" also go viral on the regular.

Over time, the older generation will probably come around to the app. Some Tik Toks that have gone viral have been held in favor by the masses and compared to vines. With the financial backing that Tik Tok has from tech giant Bytedance, it is certain to say that this short-video app will definitely last longer than Vine's 3-year life span.

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