This article is for my fellow Roberts Odyssey writers, editors, and readers. Thank you for your support and commitment. You have made Roberts Odyssey what it is.
The end of April is the end of an era. As of April 30th, my experience with Odyssey will come to an end. My last article will be published, a look ahead to May—a month where I will find myself in Brazil—and after that I won’t write another article for Odyssey ever again. The thought is at once relieving and disappointing. Odyssey has been a fantastic part of my early college career. It has allowed me to keep my creative juices flowing during the academic year and express my thoughts in a variety of different ways. At the same time, it has sometimes been a stressful endeavor to keep up with what Odyssey—and my team of writers—demands and deserves.
For close to two years now I have spent first my Friday evenings, and then eventually my Wednesday evenings, uploading articles for Odyssey. What started as a simple hobby soon became an intense passion, and before I knew it I was taking on editing responsibilities and shortly thereafter became the Editor-in-Chief for my institution's brand new chapter of Odyssey. What started as a small team of just eight writers in June of 2016 quickly grew to be a team of over 20 by the time the following June rolled around, and since then our team has consistently maintained a size in the mid-teens producing upwards of 40 articles every month.
As an Editor-in-Chief, nothing has made me more proud than watching my team of writers find success in the crazy world of digital publishing. All of the students who have written for Roberts Wesleyan Odyssey in the past two years have contributed amazing stories to the Odyssey community in the form of blogs, journals, listicles, poems, and photography. It hasn’t always been easy making sure everyone stays on schedule, but in the long run it has definitely been worthwhile. I am so thankful to all of the writers who have chosen to use Roberts Wesleyan Odyssey as a platform to share their voices with the world. They have shown just how important it is to make your voice heard in a time when it feels so easy to just blend into the trends and follow everyone else.
Having steadfast contributing editors to help edit content and manage the Roberts Wesleyan Odyssey team has also been fantastic. Roberts Odyssey has the best contributing editors to ever exist (possibly a slight exaggeration, but I believe it’s true). Bekah, Dorothy, Nat, and Colleen, you four have been so incredibly instrumental in helping Odyssey grow into the productive and creative community that it is. Working with you and reading your writing has been a joy. I’ve learned a lot from you, and I hope that you can say the same of me. I know you’ll go on to do amazing things in life and I’m thrilled to be able to watch that happen.
Finally, my readers, the people who consistently click on my articles and read them, regardless of what they’re about: thank you for supporting me. Often, it feels like Odyssey writers can lose themselves in the thrill of writing articles that will make good clickbait and forget the real reason they actually write for Odyssey. I have tried really hard not to do that and to stay true to my original intent to share my true, honest voice on Odyssey, regardless of whether it got page views or not. That hasn’t always been easy, because page views are really nice and very tempting, but looking back on my Odyssey portfolio I can say that I am proud of the content that I have created and that it reflects my values and beliefs. I hope that you’ve enjoyed every article I wrote, because—let’s face it—I wrote them for you to read.
I can’t say what the future holds for me writing wise, but I am so glad that I was able to contribute to Odyssey for the past two-ish years. Working with a variety of students has been an amazing experience, teaching people how to edit has been a learning process that I am glad to benefit from, and writing an article a week has taught me a lot of things that I wasn’t anticipating learning from a simple online writing community. I hope that Roberts Wesleyan Odyssey will continue to have an impact on the digital and on-campus community, even if it ends up dissolving someday in the distant future.