The Last Article

The Last Article

34,021 words later
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This week, I made one of the hardest decisions I have had to make since coming to college. As I waited around for a sign, it finally came.

It is with regret that I must admit that this is my last Odyssey article.

I have been struggling with whether to stay or go for some time now. However, with the events that have happened in my personal life in the past few weeks, it was clear that I needed to give something up. I needed to actually be selfish and establish some self care in my routine. At the end of the day, coming to the realization that Odyssey was the thing that needed to go was rough. Unfortunately, though, it needed to happen.

To be honest, I had thought about leaving for awhile. My life is busy, as is the case with most college students. However, I have had personal issues arise in the past month that took me away from writing. I think that it is only fair that I give my position up to make way for a new era of the Odyssey at Southern Miss. I know what this community is capable of, and this position needs time that I do not have to give to it.

A few days ago, after I made the decision to leave, I started to think about why I joined Odyssey in the first place. When I joined in the Fall of 2016, I was excited to be a part of a community that held the same values that I did. I was so proud to say that I wrote for Odyssey, and I gained some of my best friends from it. Our community was exactly that: ours. While we may have lost a few writers along the way, I still hold the people that I met through Odyssey dear to my heart. For the first time, I felt like I had a community on my campus. That was especially valuable when i was a lost sophomore looking for my place not only on campus, but in life. At the end of the day, I have Odyssey to thank for helping me find my place, and I do not think it gets better than that.

Odyssey has given me a platform for my activism. It has given me the confidence that I needed to actually start to see how powerful I can be with words. Odyssey has also allowed me to appreciate other opinions that come along with speaking out. While I may only be one person, I know that my impact on society is best expressed with written words. I have learned so much from this experience, but it seems that the most valuable lesson was with words.

After the 2016 election, Odyssey showed me that I was not alone and that my feelings were valid. I found other articles that showed as much emotion as I did, and people that felt the same way. Hillary Clinton's loss was heartbreaking, but I had an army of supporters who were willing to help me while I was scared for the future.

It is going to be weird when I think about my life without weekly check ins and deadlines. I am sure, however, that my major will keep me busy in that aspect. I will miss so much, but it will be especially hard when I imagine my life without the communities that I have come to be a part of. It is one of the things that makes leaving this amazing job so difficult in the first place.

Thank you. Thank you to my readers who have been there from the beginning. Thank you to my amazing support system who helped me make this difficult decision. Thank you to my friends who have read and shared every article. I do not think that there could ever be enough words to say just how much I appreciate the support. I consider myself to be a lucky unicorn, but it's only because I have surrounded myself with the amazing people I have.

34,021 words later, and it all comes down to one final word: goodbye.

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What Rescuing a Dog Taught Me About My Future

She was a real pain to begin with, but I wouldn't give her up for the world now.

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My first dog came from a breeder to us when he was just a puppy. I was in third grade so we were both young together. I remember stepping off of the bus and seeing him curled up in my mom's arms. His breed, a Cavalier King Charles, is a highly sought after dog for their small size and beautiful markings. However, dog breeding can lead to medical complications down the line. Heart murmurs are very frequent as cavaliers get older. When he turned 9 years old, they were already detecting the beginning of a heart murmur in him. But my second dog didn't come to us in quite the same way.

Willow was about a year old. She was rescued from an abusive home where she had to fight for her food from many other dogs. This made her guard resources and distrustful of us. My mom and I begged the rest of our family for the ability to adopt her, and they finally agreed. Being not potty trained, we had to teach her with a lot of positive encouragement when she went pee in the right place (not our carpet). It took her a while to realize that we weren't going to take her food away and she gradually became less resource guarding. She started to trust my other dog more and play with him. A lot of the time, they even snuggle together now.

At the time, I was in my junior year of high school and still thinking about the idea of becoming a veterinarian. She helped me decide to go for it, and now I'm in college and getting ready to apply for veterinary school. Willow has become part of our family, and her funny and unique personality fit right in with us.

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