Why I Chose Old Dominion

Why I Chose Old Dominion

I Do The Ice Cream and Cake and I'm Proud
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There are a lot of reasons why people choose their college: scholarships, location, programs, money, extracurriculars, etc. As a lot of you know, I am from New York. That always begs the question, "Why did you come to ODU?" There are a lot of factors as to why I chose Old Dominion. Personally, I believe I made the best decision in coming here.

As a sports management major, this was the best program for me. My mother is an expert in the educational field, having been a teacher for over 30 years. She knows what's up when it comes to educational programs. This has been a challenging curriculum that includes an internship requirement. An internship always looks good when you're job-hunting after graduation. Also, they gave me scholarship money so that's kind of a big deal when you're paying out of state tuition.

I love the weather.... about 80 percent of the time. It is MUCH warmer than New York. We get less snow down here and spring rolls around a little sooner. However, it does rain and flood at a higher rate, but that doesn't discourage me. I love walking around in shorts in the month of March. When I go home for spring break it's just called, "Break" because spring hasn't come yet...I'm never anyone's weather gauge because I'm used to the cold so whenever Virginia natives ask how cold it is outside, it is never the answer they are looking for.

The campus is very diverse, but we still have a long way to go. Do we have a good mix of ethnicities, religions, backgrounds, etc? Yes! Is everyone good about sharing the same space and respecting everyone? Not so much. There's still a lot of brokenness on campus and I feel called to help bring that unity. These changes won't happen overnight, but I can do as much as I can while I am still here. ODU is primarily a commuter school. Seventy-six percent of our student body is actually commuter students so it can be tough to have unity when people are constantly coming and going. This leaves the other twenty-four percent who either live on campus or very close to campus to try and hold down the fort.

So, who makes up the other twenty-four percent? The answer to that is that it is mostly people from the Richmond area or Northern Virginia (NoVa). And then there's a small percentage of those from the Blacksburg area or Fredricksburg, and then a random amount who are from out of state and international students.

There's definitely a good mix of people and I like that. The campus is nice, but not overdone. You know those campuses that are just over-zealous (Cough Cough JMU Cough Cough)? We have our own little community and then downtown Norfolk is just a quick drive as well as the beach. I do enjoy the beach, but I burn so easily that it's not even worth it sometimes.

I've met so many great people here at ODU and have been abundantly blessed. All I want to do is make sure I give back to the community that gave me the opportunity to express myself and be the person I've always wanted to be. ODU has allowed me to do that and I will forever be a Monarch!

Cover Image Credit: College Ministries of Virginia

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I'm The Girl Without A 'Friend Group'

And here's why I'm OK with it

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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

Cover Image Credit: wordpress.com

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Writing Saved My Sanity

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

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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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