Thomas Rhett is the perfect country artist to have on repeat this summer! His songs make his audience swoon with his catchy lyrics and melody. But going beyond that, some of them make the perfect summer Instagram captions!
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How I figured out what I want to do with my life.
Yes, that's me in the photo above. I was around 10 years old in that photo and was obsessed with that pink and purple sweater. I wore it on a daily basis.
I asked my discord server what my first post should be about. The majority picked a story from my life. Now I didn't expect this one to win over the options but my only idea was to write about how I truly found what my dreams and goals were. I feel like a lot of people struggle with this, so hearing about my journey might help some people.
Being my mother must have been difficult because as a kid I almost never had a time when I just sat there and enjoyed being a kid. I always thought and spoke about the future and what I wanted to do/be. My mom always stated that I was years beyond my age. When hearing this as a kid I didn't believe her and didn't start to believe her until I started forming friendships and having conversations with people my age instead of older than me. I quickly came to realize I was the only one thinking these things and I soon started to feel a wall within most of my friendships. As a kid, all I thought about was becoming good at something and doing it for a career. I had huge goals and dreams that honestly even now I look at them and think "Oh what was I thinking"
At the end of this "story," I wrote a list of all of the things I wanted to pursue (I can't fit them all in one story, trust me so I will only be telling you the stories about the most important dreams)
Now let's start from the beginning.
My first dream was to actually be a doctor. That dream quickly dissolved when I found out that sometimes you can't save everyone. From this point I knew I wanted to help people in some way but not one that had to deal with death. I then started to realize my love for animals and how I wanted to help them. Again that dream fizzled out when I realized that I would deal with animals who were hurt. As you can see my heart wasn't the strongest when it came to hard subjects like these. A couple of years later I also found out I am extremely squeamish when It comes to organs and blood.
The next big dream I remember having was becoming an astronomer. I absolutely love space and was always wondering what is out there. I still have that love. I remember that dream also coming from a place of fear. That fear drove me to want to know everything about it. But as we know space is endless and I couldn't get the answers to something we didn't have the answers for. I'm not sure when this dream dissolved because I still do really love space, for example, a little off topic but my dream date is in the back of a truck watching the sunset to then stargaze. It's oddly specific, but I'd also take a day at the planetarium if they didn't want to go above and beyond.
Back to the "story" since this isn't the definition of a typical story. When I was 6 years old I joined my first and last girl scout troop (I left around the age of 16 almost 17). In this troop, I met my first childhood best friend. She was the one who introduced me to the singing and acting world. When we were around 7 years old, we auditioned and got into the musical Annie. (Yes I was a musical theater kid). I wasn't the best or worse. I was mediocre, my love at the time was acting over singing. I got to essentially pretend to be someone else. For some reason that got me excited. I did musical theatre till I was around 15, I was there for around 8 years. After I got older the theatre companies got very cliquey and I chose to leave since I felt not only myself was left out but others were too.
Once I left the musical theatre world that's when I really took a pause and was like "Hold up what in the world do I want to do if I don't want to be an actress" (Remember I worked really hard at that for around 8 years) I had my main focus on acting for 8 years, I did other things on the side, but after removing that one huge thing I proceeded to think "Was all that for nothing since I wasn't going to pursue it?" I then thought "Well I have always loved writing stories what if I became an author?" I wrote a lot of stories and loved it. Which is why that's still one of the things I want to become. (Yes, I have a list, you can laugh) After theatre not only is when I started writing more but also when I took gymnastics more seriously. I had been doing it since I was around 9 I think, don't quote me on that. I did more classes learning as much as I could. Although I pulled away from gymnastics when I started to get injured. After I injured my neck my passion for it evaporated. This is when I started to really focus on school and nothing else. The one thing I knew, is that I had a born talent of studying. Not the best thing to be good at don't you think? That's what I thought at the time. But recently I realized that studying is the best talent to have, I can learn anything essentially, and at a rapid speed.
Then covid hit around when I was 15 turning 16. This threw me into being alone without seeing my friends and at 15 my friends were my life. I fell into having to actually face my deep inner thoughts and demons which I had been cleverly avoiding by staying distracted and always on the move. To put you into perspective I had around 3 different classes daily. This is when my depression truly started to express itself. Covid was probably the worse and best thing that happened to me. It forced me to face my inner demons and all the things I hated about myself. Covid also pushed me into being online a lot more, which sprouted my body dysmorphia, this was because I was on social media looking at all these other people and how different they were compared to me. How their bodies were shaped in ways mine wasn't.
I feel like most people will think I'm talking about having boobs (I'm going to talk about body parts get over it), but I was actually wishing I didn't have boobs. Most people wouldn't know because of my online presence I never really showed my body and honestly tried to hide as much as possible. But growing up I developed very fast and very big. Around 9 is when puberty hit me and they still have not stopped growing and it's been 10 years.
But anyways, the point was these girls on social media were wearing cute clothes that I loved and would only fit their small chests and small bone structure (I have a more built muscular build) and didn't look good on me and never would because my body was just genetically different. I was insecure about my body so much that it threw me into a place where I couldn't bare to look at myself without having an episode. My mom saw this as a big problem and guided me towards her colleagues to help me out (my mother was a counsellor, she still kind of is but she does a lot more). I actually got over it, it took a lot of work but I did do it, which is when I started to have a love for social media and wanted to do it as my career.
I had always loved gaming ever since I was younger and I have my brothers to thank for that. So after a while of posting random videos on YouTube, I then started to post YouTube videos about gaming, specifically playing Minecraft. I then decided I wanted to join an SMP (survival multiplayer) with other people who wanted to be YouTubers as well. I fell in love with the community of it which is around when I started streaming on Twitch.
I am a talker. I love to talk, which Is why streaming came easily to me. I would sit there and talk even when no one was listening. After being around people who had the goal of being a YouTuber link me I started to really desire my own community. So I did what anyone would do and turned to short-form content, also known as TikTok. I studied the algorithms of TikTok for around 3 weeks. I then brainstormed how I could apply what I knew to my content for around a week. Honestly, I also posted on TikTok for fun at first as I was learning the algorithm, let's just say I have since deleted those videos. But after I studied and knew everything I could about how TikTok worked, that's when I started to see results. I remember coming home from work and seeing someone had commented on my video, at this point, I didn't focus on responding to comments. I focused on getting content out. When I finally decided to pull the one notification up (I later found out it had glitched to show just one), I was baffled to see my video had hit 12k views in under 24 hours. After that, my content grew at a speed I could barely keep up with. I grew from 1 follower all the way up to 100k within two months.
You may think "HOLY SH*T THATS AMAZING TEACH ME". That's what I thought for a while, but after those two months of posting every day, I started to get overwhelmed and burnt out. It was a lot of work on top of streaming and posting videos. I spent 3 hours minimum on one video for TikTok. Don't forget I still had homework and work I did every day. I went to work with usually 3-4 hours of sleep.
A lot of people know the beginning to now. But a brief summary is I grew from 1-100k on TikTok, I then gained up to 3k on Twitch and made around $1500 in total on Twitch, Im guessing honestly, I haven't checked in a while. I gained a lot of experience doing this. But around last year In August is when I started my current job. Which is when I dropped from TikTok to just stream. I streamed for a while after that but it was off and on. My mental health was extremely bad at this point, I could barely get up in the morning. I had also not seen my therapist in months since I was doing fine until then. I then decided to take a break from streaming. I took about a month off, and after that, my mental health got better but then dropped to even worse. I didn't know how I was going to keep going and in fact, I didn't know how I was supposed to keep living. I felt like I didn't have a purpose. That's around when I met someone that fully changed my life. I was feeling bad things, which were caused by some incidents from my past that involved some people. But they showed me that not everyone is like that. They told me I would be the best streamer in the world and to not give up. I found my motivation again and started streaming again and even posting on TikTok again. A little while after knowing them for a while, something happened. In short, they weren't here with me anymore. Which screeched my streaming to a stop again.
Losing someone you truly care about is bad, but when they care about you just as much as you did them is something I would wish on no one not even someone I didn't like. I pushed myself to start making gym content since that is the only thing I could get myself to do. Gaming started to cause me more issues than help me relax, which is why I shy away from it. I then started college because I had decided I want to focus on fitness and health. I chose a bachelor's degree in exercise science. The first required class was yoga, and let me just say, this is the class that truly helped me decide what I wanted to do with my life. (I know, weird that a yoga class is what helped me, I even have a tattoo of a yoga symbol now). In this class, I learned about connecting the mind to the body, and how to decrease stress. I have chronic stress disorder, which a short description from Yale Medicine states chronic stress to be. "A consistent sense of feeling pressured and overwhelmed over a long period of time" If you are interested in learning more about it, I have the link at the end of this article. Yoga brought me to be able to think without the stress. I fell in love with it and enjoyed that class more than any other class I have ever taken. I started to think yoga helped me drastically and I want to help others like this. I love fitness and specifically lifting. So I decided my goal was to open the world's best gym. A gym that not only helps your physical body become stronger but also your mental strength and a place to help your health as well.
So in conclusion I was a jack of all trades and still am. I loved trying things, and if I hadn't tried all of the things that I did, then I wouldn't have been able to cross the things I had tried off the list of things I wanted to become. The more things you try, the more you'll know what you don't want to pursue. My mom has always said that the people around 17-22 who have no idea what they want to do with their lives are in a way better place than someone who is set on one thing. I was confused as to why my Mom stated this, and she said "Abii, the people who are set on one thing will most likely change their minds down the road because they didn't explore all of their options for what they wanted to be".
My entire life I have known I've wanted to help people but I wasn't sure how I wanted to do that until I met my yoga instructor. Now as promised there's a list of all the things I tried when I was younger below.
This is Abii signing out-
List of all the things I thought I might want to pursue:
Horseback riding, gymnastics, cooking school, drawing, painting, photography, writing, acting, singing, dancing, astrology, gaming, social media, Nature science, graphic design, videography, screenwriting, editing videos, editing photos, business owner. ( I can't think of any more right now but there are more xD)
Here's the link to the article about chronic stress: https://www.yalemedicine.org/conditions/stress-disorder#:~:text=%E2%80%A2A%20consistent%20sense%20of,changes%2C%20medications%2C%20setting%20realistic%20goals
- Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs: Proposed by Abraham Maslow, this theory suggests that people are motivated by a hierarchy of needs. The needs are arranged in a pyramid, with basic physiological needs (such as food, water, and shelter) at the bottom, followed by safety, love and belongingness, esteem, and self-actualization needs at the top. According to this theory, individuals strive to fulfill lower-level needs before progressing to higher-level needs.
- Herzberg's Two-Factor Theory: Frederick Herzberg proposed this theory, also known as the Motivation-Hygiene Theory or the Dual Factor Theory. It suggests that there are two sets of factors influencing motivation and job satisfaction: hygiene factors and motivators. Hygiene factors, such as salary, job security, and work conditions, are essential for preventing dissatisfaction but do not directly lead to motivation. Motivators, such as recognition, achievement, and personal growth, contribute to job satisfaction and motivation.
- Expectancy Theory: Developed by Victor Vroom, the Expectancy Theory focuses on the cognitive processes underlying motivation. It suggests that people's motivation depends on their beliefs about the relationship between effort, performance, and outcomes. According to this theory, individuals are motivated when they believe that their efforts will result in successful performance and desirable outcomes.
- Goal-Setting Theory: Proposed by Edwin Locke, the Goal-Setting Theory emphasizes the importance of setting specific, challenging goals to enhance motivation. According to this theory, individuals are motivated when they have clear goals and receive feedback on their progress. Setting challenging goals that are specific and achievable can increase motivation and performance.
- Self-Determination Theory (SDT): Developed by Edward Deci and Richard Ryan, SDT suggests that people are motivated by their innate psychological needs for autonomy, competence, and relatedness. Autonomy refers to the need for self-direction and control, competence refers to the need to feel capable and effective, and relatedness refers to the need for social connections and positive relationships. When these needs are satisfied, individuals experience intrinsic motivation and engage in behavior for its own sake.
- Equity Theory: Introduced by J. Stacy Adams, the Equity Theory focuses on the concept of fairness in motivation. According to this theory, individuals are motivated when they perceive that they are being treated fairly in comparison to others. People compare their inputs (e.g
Get to know Miami University alumni and top creator Emily Templeton!
The talented team of response writers make our world at Odyssey go round! Using our response button feature, they carry out our mission of sparking positive, productive conversations in a polarized world.
Each month, we'll highlight a response writer on our homepage. For May, that writer is Emily Templeton, a recent graduate of Miami University. She's been writing for Odyssey since her freshman year of college! Read on to hear her story.
Want to stay creative and earn some extra cash this summer? Become a response writer! You’ll get to choose your own topics and write one response a week to one of our top trending articles. Your work will be featured on our homepage and in our weekly Overheard on Odyssey newsletter. Plus, for your first 10 articles, you’ll be compensated by HQ at $10/response. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more.
Hi there! My name is Emily Templeton and I am a response writer for The Odyssey Online. Although I became a response writer in December of 2022, I have written for Odyssey since my freshman year at Miami University in Oxford, OH. I recently graduated from Miami with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and writing response articles has been a great creative outlet for me. I was so excited when I received an email about the response writing opportunity because I’ve always loved learning about others’ experiences and fostering dialogue in a virtual environment!
Each week I’m given three to four articles to choose from, related to different topics I’m interested in or have experience with, like studying abroad, body positivity, sustainability, traveling, and relationship building. The topics that I’m able to choose from are often things that I’m passionate about in my daily life, so writing about them allows me to express my thoughts and relate them to others. I like to read each article before writing my response to get a sense of what I can add to the conversation and examine the intent that the original author had with their idea. After I decide on what I want to write about, I usually draft my title, subtitle, and then the article itself! I find that as I write my response, the idea I have for the article changes so it’s great that Odyssey is flexible and open to creative choices. Then I save my draft to Odyssey, add any photos that I would like to include, and bam! It’s that easy.
Being able to see my responses published on Odyssey is an incredible opportunity. It allows me to witness the connections that people make with my content and be a part of a supportive and productive community of writers. Sharing my response articles on my Instagram allows me to connect with my friends and family as well as those outside of my close social network. For example, after writing a response article about the importance of supporting sexual assault survivors year-round I received a message on LinkedIn from an advocate based in Connecticut that provides technology that increases access to resources surrounding sexual harassment. They showed appreciation for my efforts in raising awareness and that interaction truly meant so much to me as I realized the importance of sharing your thoughts on an issue. My goal has always been to emphasize positivity and growth in my work so being able to see that my work is making a positive difference in different communities has been a great joy.
Being paid for my responses was a great reward for taking part in one of my favorite hobbies since the beginning of my college career. I’ve always loved learning about new things and writing about topics that I’m interested in so receiving compensation for something I’m passionate about has been a great opportunity! The flexibility and support that Odyssey offers throughout the writing process are unparalleled and I have had so much fun growing in this role throughout the past six months. I’m so grateful to have response writing as a hobby going into post-grad life and look forward to writing about a variety of topics in the future!
Do you know what's trending this week?
Happy Memorial Day from Odyssey! We're excited to welcome in the summer season with our creator community. Each week, more writers are joining Odyssey while school's on break- and you could, too! Check out the bottom of the article to learn how.
Here are the top three response articles of last week:
How changing our consumption practices can help combat climate change.
This is a response to 3 Ways You Can Help the Planet, One Day at a Time.
“I think music in itself is healing. It’s an explosive expression of humanity. It’s something we are all touched by. No matter what culture we’re from, everyone loves music.” — Billy Joel
This is a response to 25 Songs To Make The Perfect Playlist For Your Anxiety.
I dress how I like.
This is a response to Dressing For Yourself and Not Others, With Confidence and Comfort.
Congratulations to all the writers! We'll continue to spotlight top response articles every week on our homepage and in our Overheard on Odyssey newsletter. Click here to subscribe!
Want a fun way to stay creative and earn money this summer? Our response writer community is welcoming new members! As a response writer, your work will be shared on Odyssey's website, newsletter, and social media platforms. Plus, you'll be compensated by HQ at $10/response for your first 10 articles.
To get started, email email@example.com. We're excited to hear from you!
Our Veterans need our help
When I was a child, I used to look forward to Memorial Day Weekend from the time I returned to school after Christmas vacation. It was the yearly benchmark announcing the end of the school year and the beginning of summer vacation. It meant I was one step closer to regattas, swim meets and tennis matches.
Like so many of our nation's holidays, we've lost sight of what Memorial Day is actually about. It isn't meant to be known as the unofficial start of summer. It is meant to honor our troops and the innumerable sacrifices they've made in the name of protecting and fighting for the United States of America.
Truth be told, I would settle to a return to memorializing our troops. Israel flashes the name of each fallen soldier on television during their Memorial Day celebration. I can't remember the last time I saw anyone doing anything to honor our troops on Memorial Day.
More than memorializing, however, our country needs to take a long and hard look at the way we treat our veterans. This is an issue that has been talked about for years. Every now and then there seems to be an uptick in the outrage over how our men and women in uniform are treated both while they're actively serving and after they've been discharged. It never seems to be enough for any changes to be made to the system.
Are there public programs geared solely towards assisting our men and women in uniform? Yes, there are. Do these programs make any measurable or quantifiable difference in the lives of our veterans? Yes, they do. The qualifier is that the programs help veterans who meet arbitrarily created prerequisites. For example, in order to qualify for health benefits, you need to have an address to put down on the application. This does nothing whatsoever to help the thousands of homeless veterans in our country.
Many cite pacifism as a reason to avoid getting involved in this cause. Pacifism is a noble belief and an ideal the world as a whole should strive towards. What it is not, however, is a reason to avoid supporting our veterans. If you're a pacifist you don't have to fight in our wars—a luxury that would not be afforded to you if we still lived in the era of the draft. You should be thankful that there are enough volunteers to serve in the armed forces to make the draft unnecessary. The men and women who serve are protecting each and every one of us—regardless of whether or not you agree with every military campaign the USA becomes embroiled in. It is their choice to serve, but it is not their choice to fight no. This is a critical distinction. There are very few people in the country who have a say in where the military goes (the main person, of course, being the President of the United States). You don't have to like where the military is sent or the causes they are sent to fight for (or against) but refusing to support our men and women in uniform is not going to do change anything and you're naive if you think it will.
Mental health is another big concern for our nation's veterans. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (more widely known as PTSD) is rampant among veterans. Men and women return from war zones and are unable to connect with their friends and family members. They can't find the words to articulate what they've witnessed or what they endured overseas. The military, for their part, is still old fashioned (to put it kindly) when it comes to any kind of mental illness. They see it as a personal weakness and a defect that renders the man or woman suffering from it incapable of service. If you are diagnosed with PTSD or any other form of mental illness while still on active duty, you will most likely be discharged immediately. If you're lucky it will be an honorable discharge. More often than not the signs and symptoms of PTSD are ignored. When this happens, the result is often far more catastrophic and tragic than it would have been if it was caught early on. Sufferers of PTSD often lash out, sometimes violently, when they are subjected to one of their triggers (which can be something as inoccuous as a car backfiring because it sounds like a gunshot or an explosion). If an active duty member or a veteran lashes out violently because of PTSD they are criminally punished for their actions. This is both ineffective and morally wrong when you consider it may have been avoided if the sufferer had been provided with treatment.
This issue deserves far more attention than it can be given in one article. We live in a country where serving in the military is not mandatory. I for one am increibly grateful for this because I would be hopeless fighting a war. I recognize that in myself. That doesn't mean I don't need to concern myself with how veterans are treated, however. If anything, I am MORE invested in helping our veterans procure the services they so richly deserve because I am not obligated to join the military. The men and women who serve our country do so voluntarily. They put everything on the line for our safety: yours and mine. The least they deserve when they return from active duty is help securing a job (if they choose to leave the service), healthcare and a home. These are basic necessities that we all need to survive. Our men and women in uniform are doing a job that not everyone wants to do. Remembering their service once or twice a year is not enough. We need to actively care for them each and every day.
This Memorial Day Weekend, it is my fervent hope that you and your loved ones will take a moment to not only remember our fallen heros, but to do something to help our living veterans and active duty service men and women. Contribute to the Wounded Warrior Project or volunteer your time at the local VA hospital. However you decide to do it, celebrate the contribution these men and women have made to our country. What better way to start the summer season than by commemorating the very people who are the reason we have the last Monday in May off every year
1. Brittany Morgan,National Writer's Society
2. Radhi,SUNY Stony Brook
3. Kristen Haddox, Penn State University
4. Jennifer Kustanovich, SUNY Stony Brook
5. Clare Regelbrugge, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign