When my college's chapter of Odyssey contacted me over the summer, I displayed a great amount of interest, but couldn't allow myself to ultimately follow through at first. I figured it would take up a large amount of my time and that I'd eventually run out of things to write about. A bunch of "what ifs" flew through my mind, so I came to the decision that it wasn't something I wanted to follow through with.
A couple of months passed and I'd constantly see Odyssey articles fill up my Facebook timeline. I loved reading them and would imagine the types of articles I'd write. After contacting the Stony Brook Odyssey President, I chose to give it a chance and figured I could always resign if I felt I wasn't meant for the job.
After spending a couple months as part of Odyssey and publishing a few articles, I can't believe I ever had any doubts. I'm so grateful that I began writing for Odyssey and I have a multitude of reasons as to why I think other college students should also become creators.
1. You will meet AMAZING people
I absolutely love opening up the GroupMe app to view the discussions that my Odyssey team is having. We speak about random topics such as our favorite Netflix shows, how we feel about other people's articles, our weekend plans, and so much more. We don't speak to each other because we feel forced since we are a team, we talk because we genuinely enjoy doing so. We've all become very comfortable with one another and feel free to share all of our thoughts.
We are each other's biggest supporters when it comes to the articles we publish; when one of our articles gets posted on the Odyssey Facebook page or website homepage, we get so excited for one another.
We are also always willing to give each other a helping hand whether it's with our articles or whatever challenges life throws at us.
2. You have complete control over your articles
I feel as though there is a misconception that there are only certain topics that creators are allowed to write about, but that couldn't be more false. Odyssey writers are given the freedom to write about anything their heart desires. You can write poems, goofy articles, serious articles, or anything that comes to mind. Odyssey is a platform to let all of your thoughts come to life.
If a creator feels as though they have writer's block, their Odyssey team can give them suggestions that they can completely turn into their own. There's no limit to what you can write when it comes to Odyssey.
3. It's an easy way for your voice to be heard
I know many people that dream about starting a blog or a website so that they can share everything that they've created, but in the end, don't end up doing so because they feel like nobody will read it. When writing for Odyssey, that's really no issue. Odyssey is a very well-known publication that people enjoy exploring. Even your least read articles will reach a large number of people.
I remember being pleasantly surprised when I saw the number of views my first article had. I couldn't believe so many people were interested in reading what I had to say. Today, I know quite a few people who are my biggest fans and love to read every article I publish.
4. It could cause you to discover an interest you didn't know you had
Writing for Odyssey forced me to discover my enormous passion for writing that I didn't know existed. I never minded writing essays for school and I found free writing to be fun, but I was completely unaware that I possessed the love of writing that I do.
5. It gets you involved in school
Beginning college was really difficult for me. I knew that getting involved on campus would make my transition easier, but the multitude of clubs was overwhelming and I was unsure of which would suit me best.
When I joined Odyssey, that's when I felt like I really belonged at Stony Brook. Writing my weekly articles with a great team by my side gave me so much joy. As someone that doesn't enjoy going out and partying, I knew I needed to find something that would provide me with a fun college experience, and I found that within Odyssey.
6. Writing your articles gives you the relaxing break you need in the week
Many people believe that writing for Odyssey must be stressful because of the deadlines and the fact that it adds another task to the week, but it really isn't. Writing an article takes up a very minimal amount of one's week and if necessary, your team will usually be very lenient if you have to miss one.
I actually find writing my articles to be the most relaxing time in my week. Writing my articles gives me some me time and I can use my articles to unleash all of my inner thoughts. It forces me to forget about all of the homework or chores that I have; I'm able to dedicate that time to writing and nothing else.
7. You gain a great deal of experience
Gaining experience is so important in life for so many reasons with the two main ones being that you further your learning in certain areas of life and it can help build up your resume.
Writing for Odyssey will look great on resumes especially as a journalism or English major. It displays to possible employers that you're interested in writing and exploring an array of topics.
More importantly, you learn not only how to become a better writer, but also valuable life lessons. Writing for Odyssey teaches one time management, how to work with a group of people, how to brainstorm ideas, and so much more.
8. You get great satisfaction about publishing your articles
No matter how many articles I release, I feel such a sense of accomplishment every time one of my articles gets published and when I see the number of views they receive, I feel even prouder. Every time I write a new article, I feel like it's my favorite because they're all different in their own way. I always can't wait to post on every form of social media when I get the email that my newest article had just been published so that all of my family and friends can read it.
9. Your family and friends will LOVE reading your articles
My family and friends love to read what I write almost as much as I love writing it. So many of my friends read every article I write and can't wait until the next one comes out. I receive so many texts and Snapchats from people in my life that tell me how much they enjoyed my article and how they either agree with what I said or contradict my opinions. The best part of publishing my articles is the feedback I receive and the in-depth conversations I have with people on our viewpoints surrounding that article's topic.
10. There's literally no downside
I've been writing for Odyssey for a few months now, and I haven't found a drawback for doing so - I highly doubt I ever will. I have never even thought about turning back, in fact, I wonder why I ever had any hesitations. All are welcome to join Odyssey and should take the opportunity at hand.