I have always loved writing.
Even when my English1102 professor gave me a bad grade because she felt uncomfortable with my topic revolving around mental illness, even when my 8th grade advanced comp teacher took off 9 points without correcting a single comma, and even when my extra credit assignment turned my Thursday night of studying into an evening of suffering through a 4 hour oratorical competition I would have cut off my left arm to leave.
I started a blog that I would sporadically post growth metaphors on, but it served more as personal therapy than a public profile. I used it to force myself to self reflect, but more importantly, it held me accountable to seeing the good and the growth in the experiences I resented. Writing has always been an outlet for me to organize my thoughts and ideas until I could squeeze out a happy ending or summarizing statement.
After spending months reading Odyssey articles written by girls from my high school, I could not wait to graduate and officially be considered a UGA student and write for Odyssey myself. Big shout-out to Tori Heck and Madison Morgan for showing off Odyssey and inspiring me to be a part of it. Now let's get into it.
I write on Odyssey because...
1. It's fun!
Like I previously mentioned, I love writing. Odyssey forces me to make time for what I like to do. I love being able to write about whatever I want. My facebook famous mom's friends all hype me up. It gives me a sense of accomplishment when I see people care about what I have to say and enjoy reading my thoughts and ideas.
2. It keeps me busy without being overwhelmed.
This summer I spent two weeks in Europe and 5 in Dahlonega, GA serving at a summer camp in the mountains. I worked 19 hour days, was often without wifi, and was constantly exhausted; however, writing on Odyssey has been extremely manageable. It gives me time to focus on my week and what has made an impact on my life.
This time of reflection, whether it be about what music I've been liking or the quirks of working at a summer camp, has allowed me to step away from the chaos of life and just evaluate and write about my thoughts from all sides. Being home from camp for a couple days has been the most boring week of my life.
I have watched so many episodes of Grey's Anatomy, I'm convinced I could perform surgery, and have scrolled through Instagram so much I might have carpel tunnel in my thumb, but writing on Odyssey has given me something to get up, work on, and work towards.
3. It gives me a chance to share
I am a very open person who could probably share my life story with a stranger on the street. I never stop talking- especially when highly caffeinated, but writing on Odyssey gives me the opportunity to put everything I want to say in an article each week for people to read and share and think about. Instead of incessantly never shutting up, it gives me space to take what I want to say and give it a purpose.
4. It forces me to be observant
As easy as it seems to just sit down and type at the speed of light, writer's block is a real thing. Finding ideas and inspiration is not always a quick process especially when you have to have a new idea every week. When you want to share your thoughts with the world, you have to figure out what they are. I have begun to look for inspiration in everything. I am constantly brainstorming with what I have to say that may be worth sharing. It gives your ideas importance.
5. It gave me a community
Even though I spent my senior year taking a full schedule of classes at a college, moving to a new environment and making all new friends is scary. Writing on Odyssey has introduced me to a community not only of family faces at UGA but has developed connections with other college students and friends of mine doing the same thing I am. It has helped me build relationships with other people with similar interests.
6. It brings opportunity
It still blows my mind that at 18, my writing has been published. This experience has helped my writing mature in the few short weeks I have been part of the UGA Odyssey community. I am currently double majoring in public relations and marketing and writing on Odyssey gives me a competitive edge by having experience in creating content for a public audience.
Working with deadlines, more experienced writers, and a community of creativity has provided me with an opportunity to develop myself for careers before I have even moved out of my family's house in the suburbs.
7. It gets me involved
In high school, I was everything from cheerleading captain to co-captain of the Envirothon team with every honors society and student government and community service organization in between. This year, I want to continue to be involved within my college community.
Being involved develops friendships and passions and provides an environment to explore them. I have been exposed to so many other people's ideas and beliefs all while giving me a chance to share my own. Before stepping foot on campus for class, I have been part of a growing group of people who are passionate about similar things and given me a community on campus that I can freely be part of.
If you have read my posts or anyone else's and considered writing on Odyssey either within your college or your community or wherever you find your community, I highly recommend taking the opportunity. It has been super helpful to me in my life, and I highly encourage anyone with any interest to join and being pursuing what they're passionate about and having the space to share and grow and learn and create on Odyssey.