I started writing for Odyssey in late January. That’s when our community started at Stritch. I was excited. I wanted to write and see where it went. I was not only a content creator, but a Contributing Editor as well.

Then, in the middle of May, I became Editor-in-Chief and I literally had no idea what I was doing. I felt like a chicken running around with my head cut off. Granted, I feel that way quite often, but I was absolutely terrified. There were a thousand thoughts running through my head, but the biggest one was, “How in the h*ll am I going to do this when I have no clue what I am supposed to do?”

But you see, I got lucky. I’m lucky because I have the best Managing Editor any Editor-in-Chief could ask for: Amanda Pena. Amanda works tirelessly trying to make all her EICs succeed and get page views and get shares on their creators’ articles and she always sees the potential in all of us, and supports us in everything, whether it’s Odyssey related or something going on in our personal lives. Amanda cares about not only our success, but us as well. I’m not sure how many people can say that their boss stays up until the late hours of the night trying to figure out to make sure you succeed, but I can. Like I said, I got lucky.

I also lucked out by being part of such an amazing group of EICs. The day after I became EIC, Amanda put me in a group chat with all the other EICs she manages. I was a little timid at first. I was thinking, “These people all know what they are doing. I’m just starting out.” I didn’t know the first thing about being EIC, so I was definitely thinking about just reading messages to try and learn tips on how to run my team and maybe asking questions every once in a while. To be entirely honest, I was intimidated by the fact that they all seemed to know what they were doing.

I shouldn’t have been though because the group of EICs I am part of are some of the nicest and most hardworking people I have ever met. The first day I joined the group chat, we hardly even talked about Odyssey. Instead, we sent pictures of our dogs for about two hours and we all just started talking and I realized that everyone was pretty cool and that I was part of a pretty awesome group.

I can honestly say that not only have I become part of an awesome team, but I have found a lot of incredible friends, even though we are scattered all the way across the country and haven’t actually met in person. We talk everyday because without a doubt, every morning at about 6 a.m. (I’m three hours behind Amanda. Time zones suck), I can count on my phone vibrating with messages from Amanda and everyone else. Some days we don’t talk as much as others, but there’s always a little bit of conversation.

We talk about literally anything, but we also just give each other advice about relationships or problems we are having. We’ve even had a conversation about how tall we are. I actually started that one by accident. We talked about other stuff so much that Amanda made a Facebook group with us and posts all the important stuff in there that way we actually see it, because it used to get a little lost in the midst of all the unrelated conversations.

We also have been part of some pretty interesting things like Taylor saving puppies from a guy selling them in a van in a parking lot, or hearing about people “borrowing” a Jacuzzi from a vineyard.

Then there are the funny things that happened. Like when Rob left the group chat. He said it was an accident, but we were pretty offended and are still waiting on the Justin Bieber tickets we were promised. There was also Morgan’s music video that was hilarious but awesome at the same time. And then last week, we had a social media training session on video chat and Amanda left us twice. We all know it was because she couldn’t handle how awesome we are even though she claims it was her “connection.” There’s also the endless supply of GIFs and memes.

I’m incredibly thankful to Amanda and everyone else because if it weren’t for them, I would still feel like I was running around like a chicken with its head cut off. I haven’t only found a team, but friends as well.

So thank you to Adrienne, Anna, Bria, Catie, Garrett, Hannah B., Hannah K., Kelly, Lizzy, Lucia, Micah, Morgan, Rob, Sam, Taylor, Valeria, Whitney and Amanda for making being an EIC so much more than just a job. I couldn’t ask for better people to be part of my Odyssey family.

There’s no doubt that we are some of the best EICs and have strong teams and a lot of our success stems from our interaction with each other and having the best ME anyone could ask for.