For eight months, I have been publishing weekly content through a journalism internship with The Odyssey Online. Whether this is the first article of mine you have read or you are a dedicated reader, I'd like to say thank you for taking the time to hear my thoughts, passions, and opinions.
For someone going to school in the biological and psychological science fields, my love for writing was never really in the picture. However, when I came across the opportunity to have a platform where my words could be shared, I quickly applied for the content creator position. The application process happened so quickly that, before I knew it, I was hired. I never really had a chance to think about what it would take for me to publish my writing for literally anyone to read.
I have to give my fellow Odyssey staff much credit for possessing both the courage and vulnerability to write out their thoughts just for it to get devoured by readers. Starting out this internship, I definitely lacked both of those qualities. I probably looked over, revised and rewrote my first several articles 100 times before clicking the "Submit" button. Every word had to be perfectly phrased, and every sentence had to be something everyone could approve of. And, when my article was finally edited and subsequently published, I would sit in anticipation and fear of what people truly thought of my writing.
The whole anticipation and fear thing has kind of been a theme throughout my life. Everything I did was to gain approval, whether it be my school work, social media outlets, the clothes I wore--to the point where every action I made came with the fear of how others might view me and with the intention of each action and choice not aiding my personal growth but my own likability. This attitude restrained my entire range of motion because every move I made involved me analyzing how it may be perceived by my peers.
Going to college, I have really learned to live my life unapologetically and have met inspiring people who do just that. Because my Odyssey internship required weekly content, and everything else in my life ramped up, I no longer had time to meticulously phrase and perfectly sculpt my writing. I simply had to type out my opinions and submit the article, immediately beginning the next one for the following week. The more I wrote, and the more positive feedback I received, I began to feel less anxious and less pressured with each post. Because finally, for the first time in my life, I wasn't writing for approval: I was writing about what I loved, with the intention of sharing my passions with others.
I didn't realize how badly I needed this internship until I look back retrospectively as it comes to an end. I am no longer afraid to speak my mind or let my thoughts be heard. I am no longer limiting myself to fit a mold for others to approve of. I am no longer terrified of who is watching or reading. I finally realize my worth and capabilities without others having to assure me and I can finally move around freely as I strive to gain no one's approval but my own.
So, thank you, Odyssey, for allowing me to open up, and thank you, readers, for reading.