Have you ever thought about how random Odyssey is? I mean, scroll through its main page, or the Odyssey at Emory page. It's a bunch of random college students writing about a bunch of random topics. And apparently, a bunch of random readers. So who are you, and why do you read my articles? And why do I even bother to write them in the first place?
I have been having a really busy semester, and handing in many articles for Odyssey long after they are due. Usually, I end up writing late at night (as I am currently doing) when I really should be sleeping or doing schoolwork. So why do I keep writing? Why don't I give up on this extracurricular activity that doesn't really add that much to my CV, due to me wanting to pursue a career in psychology?
I think it goes back to why I was attracted to Odyssey in the first place – its paradoxical freedom. The two things I most appreciate about the Odyssey is the fact that it makes me write 500 words every two weeks (although I love writing I have no self-discipline), and that I get to choose what I write about. The Odyssey keeps my ideas alive by making me think about things that aren't school in the way that I find to be most productive – through writing.
That covers me, but what about you, reader? I honestly thought no one read Odyssey, but I have access to how many page views my articles have and they are higher than I expected. I think I have two or three friends who read some of my articles, and my mum logs in once in a while, but that doesn't account for all the readers. I imagine some of you are fellow Odyssey writers who, like me, once you hand in a piece you scroll down and see what else is on this platform. And what a random journey it is, to scroll through the Odyssey. You encounter everything, from opinions on current events to pieces that are way too personal to be on the internet (but I admire the brave souls who publish them anyway). Personally, as a student of psychology I am interested in the way people think, so I find it productive to waste my time following the trains of thought of random college students.
But what about you? What do you get from looking at some pieces of my mind? Am I a name you recognize in class and the gossiper in you decided to look at what I think about gun control, or why I keep a diary? Did my article's title grab your attention? Or are you just really bored?
And why are you in Odyssey's website in the first place?
I might question why we are doing what we are doing – me writing and you reading – but I don't question Odyssey as a platform. What an endearing thing, to provide students with the space to write about things that don't really matter but we want to write about anyway. To create a space where I can open up without knowing to whom I am really opening up to, which somehow makes opening up so much easier. So please, reader, let's not stop.