Poetry On Odyssey: Your Mind

Poetry On Odyssey: Your Mind

A curious mind seeking another curious mind.

I have such a passion for writing and words. Poetry has always sparked my interest and my attention. The simplicity of poems forces the reader to form the words into a deeper meaning that inspires them.

I usually organize the words I write into songs. I have always loved music and singing, and I enjoy falling into the process of putting a melody behind the words. I have never actually written something and left it as a poem. After writing this, I read it over and over and felt as it it should be left alone. No music, just a free flowing idea.

This is not a situation I usually find myself in. I usually feel as if I need to build and expand upon words with music so that I can absorb and better understand the message.It was nice to slightly change my way of thinking and simplify things a little.

While writing this I was feeling very peaceful and inspired. It is a simple illustration of my on going curiosity that comes and goes with certain situations:

To be so unclear about you dear

that is where I find myself

to love and understand so little

that is where I find myself

to walk away and not know why

forming words that never occurred

Picking through the walls of your mind

oh how I would like to know

dancing along to the sound you sing

oh how I would like to know

An explanation that is temporary

that is where I find myself

staring a little longer until I feel okay

that is where I find myself

to pick it all up

just to scatter in the unknown

how strange and beautiful

Picking through the walls of your mind

oh how I would like to know

dancing along to the sound you sing

oh how I would like to know

Cover Image Credit: Jamie Gray

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34 Things I Should Have Brought To College At The Start Of Freshman Year, But Didn't

To the incoming freshman from the rising senior.

Coming from a rising senior at the University of Dayton who has lived in an over-sized double dorm room, to a suite-style quad dorm room, to a house with virtually no storage space sharing an octagon-shaped single room (and single closet)... These are the random little things no one thinks to bring to college or put on these lists, but they will make your life on campus a million times better. I ended up buying these items long after I started college, and they were a big help. Don't make the same mistakes I did.

1. Shoe organizer

These are great for various items such as toiletries, snacks, and, of course, shoes.

2. Under-the-bed storage bins

During college, most of my storage has been under my bed, so this is a must.

3. Photos

To remember the happy times with your friends and family. Add to your collection over your college years.

4. String lights

Just to add a little something extra to your space. The dim light is totally relaxing.

5. Makeup wipes

For when you're too tired after going out to actually wash your face.

6. Extra sheets and towels

Trust me, you're not going to want to wash your sheets and towels right away so you can use them immediately. Bring back-ups.

7. Tide pods

These are awesome. Plus they smell heavenly.

8. Drunk dorm/microwaveable snacks

For when you come back after going out and the dining hall has already closed. Ordering Domino's or Jimmy John's night after night is NOT a cost-effective option.

9. Gatorade

For when you're too dead in the morning to walk down and get one from the dining hall.

10. Keurig and coffee

Just in case the dining hall runs out of coffee during finals week. Believe me, it can happen.

11. Chip clips

You will accumulate many of these from free vendors and events on campus, but somehow, they are no where to be found when you need one.

12. Paper towels / Clorox wipes

You can never have enough.

13. Rain boots

So you'll be able to make it to class on those rainy days without having to sit in soaking wet socks and shoes for 50 minutes (yikes). And you can jump in all the puddles you wish.

14. Alarm clock

If you're like me and could sleep the whole day if you didn't have an alarm, your phone alarm just doesn't cut it sometimes.

15. Back study pillow

Even if you don't think you will use it, you will end up wanting it.

16. Command strips

These are the only things that will stick to most dorm room walls.

17. Rug

Especially if your room has a cold tile floor instead of carpet.

18. Air mattress or sleeping bag

For your friends visiting you on campus, or if you ever go on a trip.

19. Disposable dishes

At least while you live in a dorm with a community sink.

20. Red solo cups

Because you don't want your morning-after milk or apple juice to taste like last night's $8 vodka.

21. Costumes/holiday wear

This is something I totally didn't even think about when I first came to school. Now I have an entire bin JUST for costumes and holiday decor.

22. Crazy daydrink clothes

If you have a few jerseys, you're set. If not, take a trip to the local goodwill with your squad and pick up a few things. The crazier, the better.

23. Towel wrap

If you're like me and just like to chill in your towel after you shower ( and a robe is too hot for you), these are a must. And they're super cute.

24. Wristlet/clutch/small purse

You won't want to lug around a large tote while you're out with friends or doing daily activities.

25. Comfortable heels

Don't let this be you!!!! I've been there, and nothing will ruin your night of dancing at the club like shoes that give you blisters and disable your walking by the end of the night.

26. Business casual and business professional clothes

And make sure you know the difference and when each is appropriate.

27. Water bottle

In college, your water bottle is your best friend. You never go anywhere without it, and it actually helps you to drink the amount of water you're supposed to drink each day (maybe).

28. Blender

If you're a fan of smoothies (or frozen margaritas) and want to make them at home for less.

29. Flashcards

Flashcards are a great way to study. If they're not for you, buy them anyway just in case you want to try them out. Or if anyone on your floor is desperate for them, they will be eternally grateful.

30. Mini fridge

When you're sharing a fridge with 3+ other people, things can get pretty tight. I recommend buying this with your roommates so you can share the extra space.

31. Calculator

Just in case you change your major and have to take math again (like me).

32. Thermometer

So you can know for sure whether or not you have a fever.

33. Drying rack

Because you're actually not supposed to put everything in the dryer, who knew?

34. Rubbing alcohol

Works wonders for getting those impossible Thursday night Xs off before your Friday 9 a.m.

These things have helped me make it through three years of college, especially freshman year. Hopefully, I have helped you prepare for your college years somehow. Good luck and have fun!!!

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Cover Image Credit: oregonstateuniversity / Flickr

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The Time I Heard God Speak Directly To Me

You probably have too, but just weren't listening.


I'm a rather religious guy, I will never deny that. I go to mass at least once a week, I try to pray throughout the day and I'm as active as I can be in helping out local youth retreats. However, after almost 18 years of faith (granted, with many pits and valleys), I have never heard God speak to me. It's never bothered me really, it would be ludicrous of me to expect God to vocalize a response for every prayer I send his way, but there have certainly been times where I wish he would. Well, i'm happy to report, it finally happened.

Last week, before I started mowing my lawn, I put on Denzel Curry's new album TA13OO (TABOO). I searched up the album, clicked on it, and played it from the first track, making sure it would go in the set track order, no shuffling. This had been my 4th or 5th listen of the album all the way through, in fact, I knew the order well enough to know what song should come next after each track. So as I began to mow, I listened as tracks went by in the same order they always do. At some point as I listened, I began to just chat with God about how stressed I was.

Specifically, I was stressed about having only 2 weeks until my 18th birthday, which means only 2 weeks until I can finish the requirements to become an Eagle Scout. This had been stressing me out quite a bit as the only thing in the way had been the fact that not a single counselor would get back to me to sign off on my merit badge requirements.

Now don't get me wrong, I understand how dumb this sounds. I get it's one of the biggest first world problems somebody could have. But the fact of the matter is that if I didn't become Eagle, I would let down my troop, my family, and most of all myself, all who have invested so much time and energy in getting me to this point. So, to help calm my nerves, I prayed as I was mowing and listening to Denzel Curry's album.

Now as I tell you what happened, I need you to keep an open mind and trust that I have been and will continue to be 100% truthful in what I write.

The track playing was called SWITCH IT UP, the 6th track on the album. The song was near its end, and I remember saying in my prayer "God, I only have two weeks left to do this and honestly I'm starting to feel like I'm not going to be able to do it." The song ended, and I remember when it did I started humming the beat to the 7th track MAD I GOT IT. But, as I hummed I realized that the beat sounded different. I realized it was a completely different song, and it wasn't from the album, or from Curry at all.

The song was 65th and Ingleside by Chance the Rapper. If you haven't heard it before, the first thing you hear is is the refrain "There's a way out of no way, swear I know, everything's gonna be okay"

This comes from a simplified translation of Isaiah 43:19 in which God says "... I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert."

I jammed out to the rest of the song (which is a major bop by the way) and slowly began to realize that this was God's way of answering my prayers... through a Chance the Rapper song (always a safe bet, to be honest). It was his way to let me know that it's going to be okay and that even when it seems like something is impossible, nothing is impossible with God. There is no reason that song should have played, there is no way it could have as far as I can see it. The album played in the exact order it's listed in until it played a Chance song that had nothing to do with Denzel Curry's album, and after that song played, the album started back up on track 7 and played all the way through, in order, until the album was over and my music stopped.

To top it all off, the next day, I got a call from a counselor saying he will get me taken care off, and now I'm meeting with him tomorrow to handle the LAST thing I need in order to become Eagle.

That whole experience, as small as it may seem to everyone else, opened my eyes to just how loving God is. God, the most loving Father and most Comforting Mother, wants nothing but for us to love and be loved. It helped me to realize that God probably speaks to us all a lot, I think the real problem is that we aren't always listening.

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