Thank You, Odyssey, For Being An Eye-Opening Community

Thank You, Odyssey, For Being An Eye-Opening Community

You've shown me a new perspective.

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I first discovered Odyssey a number of years back, shortly after entering the English program at West Chester University. Another English major posted an article on Facebook. I don't remember the story, but I do remember thinking, "Wow, I'm in a good program. This writing is awesome." After scrolling through a few more stories on the website, another thought rolled through my brain: "I love writing, but I don't know if I'll ever be good enough for this..."

Sadly, I didn't apply to be an Odyssey writer. Instead, I focused on my studies for a couple of years.

Until one of my sorority Sisters joined Odyssey as a brand new English major... Her success and her stories inspired me to apply...finally.

And guess who became a Creator!

In the past year and a half or so that I've been writing with this crew I've learned more than I could imagine about my peers. Millennials might have a bad reputation, but we're some pretty motivated and stubborn people! We have a lot going on in our lives... pressure from society, studies, family issues, future careers, mental health, and general happiness with our lives. That s**t takes a lot of work! So come on Baby Boomers, give us some credit. We're doing the best we can!

But anyway, the West Chester University Community of Odyssey has given me a new perspective on the people in this world. I might not agree with all of you, but you've made me realize how the opposing team feels. I thank you for all the encouragement you've given me as well as the forgiveness for those times when my articles were a little late.

With that being said, I must bid farewell. I am launching my own freelance editing business this year and I need to put 1,000% focus on it. As much as I love Odyssey, I must part ways and dedicate that time to my editing. I have all the confidence in the world that the WCU community will thrive and grow to new heights. You are a group of beautiful writers and I wish you the best.

Farewell and good luck!

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The Coach That Killed My Passion

An open letter to the coach that made me hate a sport I once loved.
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I fell in love with the game in second grade. I lived for every practice and every game. I lived for the countless hours in the gym or my driveway perfecting every shot, every pass and every move I could think of. Every night after dinner, I would go shoot and would not allow myself to go inside until I hit a hundred shots. I had a desire to play, to get better and to be the best basketball player I could possibly be.

I had many coaches between church leagues, rec leagues, personal coaches, basketball camps, middle school and high school. Most of the coaches I had the opportunity to play for had a passion for the game like I did. They inspired me to never stop working. They would tell me I had a natural ability. I took pride in knowing that I worked hard and I took pride in the compliments that I got from my coaches and other parents. I always looked forward to the drills and, believe it or not, I even looked forward to the running. These coaches had a desire to teach, and I had a desire to learn through every good and bad thing that happened during many seasons. Thank you to the coaches that coached and supported me through the years.

SEE ALSO: My Regrets From My Time As A College Softball Player

Along with the good coaches, are a few bad coaches. These are the coaches that focused on favorites instead of the good of the entire team. I had coaches that no matter how hard I worked, it would never be good enough for them. I had coaches that would take insults too far on the court and in the classroom.

I had coaches that killed my passion and love for the game of basketball.

When a passion dies, it is quite possibly the most heartbreaking thing ever. A desire you once had to play every second of the day is gone; it turns into dreading every practice and game. It turns into leaving every game with earphones in so other parents don't talk to you about it. It meant dreading school the next day due to everyone talking about the previous game. My passion was destroyed when a coach looked at me in the eyes and said, "You could go to any other school and start varsity, but you just can't play for me."

SEE ALSO: Should College Athletes Be Limited To One Sport?

Looking back now at the amount of tears shed after practices and games, I just want to say to this coach: Making me feel bad about myself doesn't make me want to play and work hard for you, whether in the classroom or on the court. Telling me that, "Hard work always pays off" and not keeping that word doesn't make me want to work hard either. I spent every minute of the day focusing on making sure you didn't see the pain that I felt, and all of my energy was put towards that fake smile when I said I was OK with how you treated me. There are not words for the feeling I got when parents of teammates asked why I didn't play more or why I got pulled after one mistake; I simply didn't have an answer. The way you made me feel about myself and my ability to play ball made me hate myself; not only did you make me doubt my ability to play, you turned my teammates against me to where they didn't trust my abilities. I would not wish the pain you caused me on my greatest enemy. I pray that one day, eventually, when all of your players quit coming back that you realize that it isn't all about winning records. It’s about the players. You can have winning records without a good coach if you have a good team, but you won’t have a team if you can't treat players with the respect they deserve.

SEE ALSO: To The Little Girl Picking Up A Basketball For The First Time


Cover Image Credit: Equality Charter School

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Poetry On Odyssey: Hyperbolized Emotions

A poem written to describe the way my fellow writers feel emotions, and how hard it is to feel them so deeply.

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The trope that I feel more, harder, crosses my mind often.

It's been said I feel too much. Maybe that I don't know how to stop.

But is it because of who I am, or is it because of what I do?


It's always been easy for me to put it into words.

My pain floods the inside of my mind and holds my soul captive.

My love for you runs through my veins, coarse and thick.

I could go on, but you get the picture.


People ask me, how do you feel so much?

I wonder, how can they feel so little?

Is it not normal to feel the way I feel?


It's been said we exaggerate the emotions we want to focus on.

We place them under a microscope and watch them enlarge before our eyes.

"I feel happy today"—no, the light shines through the rose colored windows,

brightening up what was dark yesterday, erasing the sadness. That's it.


It's not hard to feel the way I feel. At least not to me.

But I often ask myself, would I feel this way, this much,

if I didn't try to write it all down?


I can't answer, because the truth is, maybe I don't want to know.

The way I feel—more, harder—is instinctive.

Why would I want to trade the depth of my emotions

for something shallow and simplistic?


But I guess feeling less might be useful sometimes.

The times where all I can think is my heart is a bruise,

getting poked at constantly, exasperating the pain.


Instead, I would say, "my heart hurts."

It's not poetic. It's not romantic. It's not really anything.

Still, it would be the truth.

And maybe the truth is all I need to say.


The thought of you fills my every moment,

the way the stars fill up the night sky—little by little, one by one.

Doesn't that just sound better than saying, "I miss you"?

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