An Urgent Open Letter From An EIC Of Odyssey

An Urgent Open Letter From An EIC Of Odyssey

To those who misunderstand the platform.

This last weekend, there was a march. More specifically, there were several marches, each of which was overflowing with marchers of different races, colors, religions, genders, sexual identities; it was like the Hilltop Coke commercial from the '70s only without any commercialization to screw it up. It was an entirely peaceful effort to call attention to women's rights.

Now, naturally, in the days since the march, there has been somewhat of a backlash. Spearheaded by women who feel invalidated by millions of marchers around the globe (allegedly) telling them that the choices they've made in life are wrong, the march has come under attack by scores of women. Some of these women have taken to the vast void of the internet to air their grievances. Some of these women are a part of Odyssey.

The articles featured on Odyssey are not in direct response to the march, yet they are recent enough to circulate around the internet in the days after the march and carry that same defensive (self-aggrandizing) tone that is dismissive of feminism. These articles demonstrate a glaring misunderstanding of the fundamental foundation of feminism (the first and only rule, if I'm not wrong) which is that you do not talk about feminism feminism is nothing more than a belief in and support of the equality of the sexes. If you don't subscribe to this particular school of thought, you're perfectly entitled to your system of beliefs. I'm not here to address the ethics of modern ideology.

I'm writing this to those who are slandering Odyssey:

In the last few days, I have encountered social media post after social media post attempting to shine a negative light on Odyssey as a whole, as opposed to the individual authors of the individual articles. And while I am an avid fan of public humiliation and mob mentality, as the Editor In Chief of the Allegheny community of Odyssey, the attention that these misinformed authors are garnering for all the wrong reasons is becoming a thorn in my side. Not for making the already imbecilic public even stupider, but for lowering the collateral of the articles I have listed on my résumé and taking away the modicum of dignity this position granted me, damn it.

Odyssey is a platform, not a publication. It was created to house many perspectives, perhaps perspectives that I and thousands of others don't agree with. Some people naturally seek out other points of view, but not everyone does. It's frustrating to read some of these posts, but it also starts an important conversation.

My name is Andrew Hopf. I'm a senior in college, and I don't have a lot of talents. I love to read, and I love to write, and all I can picture in my future is doing those two things until God takes what mental acuity and precious little eyesight I have left. How am I ever going to get a leg up in the current job market if you people keep trying to call attention to the seemingly deliberate spread of untruths?

Journalistic integrity is one of those tricky gray areas in life that no one can seem to come to a conclusive definition of; Barbara Walters probably never even picked each year's ten most interesting people herself. And so, if you see someone trying to completely refute feminism and set the clock back to 1960, when women couldn't have credit cards or apply for loans without a man's signature, just close the tab and smile with the knowledge that they'll be the ones picking up the shards from the glass ceilings you shatter.

For my sake and the sake of my future bank account.


- Andrew Hopf

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I'm The Girl Without A 'Friend Group'

And here's why I'm OK with it


Little things remind me all the time.

For example, I'll be sitting in the lounge with the people on my floor, just talking about how everyone's days went. Someone will turn to someone else and ask something along the lines of, "When are we going to so-and-so's place tonight?" Sometimes it'll even be, "Are you ready to go to so-and-so's place now? Okay, we'll see you later, Taylor!"

It's little things like that, little things that remind me I don't have a "friend group." And it's been like that forever. I don't have the same people to keep me company 24 hours of the day, the same people to do absolutely everything with, and the same people to cling to like glue. I don't have a whole cast of characters to entertain me and care for me and support me. Sometimes, especially when it feels obvious to me, not having a "friend group" makes me feel like a waste of space. If I don't have more friends than I can count, what's the point in trying to make friends at all?

I can tell you that there is a point. As a matter of fact, just because I don't have a close-knit clique doesn't mean I don't have any friends. The friends I have come from all different walks of life, some are from my town back home and some are from across the country. I've known some of my friends for years, and others I've only known for a few months. It doesn't really matter where they come from, though. What matters is that the friends I have all entertain me, care for me, and support me. Just because I'm not in that "friend group" with all of them together doesn't mean that we can't be friends to each other.

Still, I hate avoiding sticking myself in a box, and I'm not afraid to seek out friendships. I've noticed that a lot of the people I see who consider themselves to be in a "friend group" don't really venture outside the pack very often. I've never had a pack to venture outside of, so I don't mind reaching out to new people whenever.

I'm not going to lie, when I hear people talking about all the fun they're going to have with their "friend group" over the weekend, part of me wishes I could be included in something like that. I do sometimes want to have the personality type that allows me to mesh perfectly into a clique. I couldn't tell you what it is about me, but there is some part of me that just happens to function better one-on-one with people.

I hated it all my life up until very recently, and that's because I've finally learned that not having a "friend group" is never going to be the same as not having friends.

SEE ALSO: To The Girls Who Float Between Friend Groups

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Writing Saved My Sanity

Write it all down when you can't talk to anyone.


I love writing.

I have since elementary school, and I've dreamed of becoming a published author. I started off writing stupid plays in elementary school, then it grew it almost writing a full-blown novel in middle school. I have no idea where that thing went to. It was all notebook paper and bad writing. In high school, my writing was kinda pushed to the side so I could focus on school. When I entered college, I started writing small poems about my now ex-boyfriend.

I was scared to express myself to him sometimes, the intensity of my feelings for him scared me. So instead of telling him, I wrote them down. When I tried to share them with him, he hated it. He thought writing down feelings was weird and creepy. So I didn't share anything else with him. When we finally broke up for good, everything just poured out of me. What I couldn't express verbally, I wrote or typed out.

I always have ideas flowing through my head. They never cease and I wouldn't want them to. Writing gives me an escape, from stress, work, school, or fights. It gives me a place to vent and to be open with everything. This is a reason I love writing for Odyssey, not only has this place brought me amazing friends but revived my love for writing. I'm never without my notebook anymore, I'd get distracted in class by an idea and have to write I think then and there.

I love sharing my more personal writing with close friends, especially my poems as of late. I found that I have a voice for young women who find themselves in a toxic relationship much like mine was. I want to speak out and show them that you can grow from the bullshit. It may take some time, but you will be better.

Writing saved my sanity. It allows me to express myself without having to use my actual voice. Anyone who knows me, knows I hate public speaking. I tend to psych myself out leading up to it. My current projects include writing for Odyssey every week, I'm in the process of trying to continue my short stories, and I'm excited to announce that I'm currently working on my very first poetry book!

Writing has given me so much, and I'm so looking forward to making a career out of something I love so much.

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