Why I Am Leaving Odyssey

Why I'm Leaving Odyssey

Ultimately, it's just time I move on.

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I remember emailing the present EIC of Rider University's Odyssey saying that I would be VERY interested in writing for the platform. She asked me some questions, as expected, and ultimately said I was good to go when I started the semester. It was such an awesome day - I was involved in my first ever college extracurricular!

I remember my first article, I was so hyped to wrote about it. If you'd like to read it, you may click on the picture below.

My first articleJamie Silfen

I remember the feeling of satisfaction I had when I saw it was first published. I remember posting EVERYWHERE for people to check out my new, amazing article. I'm talking Snapchat, Facebook, Instagram - you name it.

I remember the day I got too busy to hype up my other articles because of other obligations taking up my time.

I remember the feedback I would receive from friends, family, and even high school teachers who I've always looked up to, saying this was awesome and that I should never stop.

Sorry to disappoint, but ultimately, it's time I move on.

I thought about this for a while, and I realized that next semester I'll be taking my first 300 level psych course. I'll be continuing my role as president for two clubs, and hopefully, I will embark on other journeys that will further me on the Psych/ Social Work path. And unfortunately, that doesn't include writing for Odyssey.

As I've written about in past articles, I've taken on a lot this past semester. Meeting weekly deadlines, making a point to edit, re-edit, and publish articles, as well as starting over from scratch when I forget to save a whole article just don't fit into my college life anymore.

Like usual, I never take things like this lightly. I thoroughly enjoyed the year (and a few months) that I've been a part of the Odyssey team here at Rider. I've gotten to meet some cool people and write about whatever topic I wanted. It's been quite the ride as a writer, but, as cliche as this sounds, I've reached my destination.

I've learned a lot as a writer. I've learned to take criticism with a grain of salt, I've learned to open my horizons and not only write about things that specific appeal to me, and I've learned that it's okay to let go of somethings in order to grow in other aspects.

So with that, I am retiring in my spot on the team. I'd like to thank everyone for their support throughout the months. I will never forget my time here.

Goodbye friends, thanks for reading!

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The Coach That Killed My Passion

An open letter to the coach that made me hate a sport I once loved.
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I fell in love with the game in second grade.

I lived for every practice and every game. I lived for the countless hours in the gym or my driveway perfecting every shot, every pass, and every move I could think of. Every night after dinner, I would go shoot and would not allow myself to go inside until I hit a hundred shots. I had a desire to play, to get better and to be the best basketball player I could possibly be.

I had many coaches between church leagues, rec leagues, personal coaches, basketball camps, middle school, and high school. Most of the coaches I had the opportunity to play for had a passion for the game like I did. They inspired me to never stop working. They would tell me I had a natural ability. I took pride in knowing that I worked hard and I took pride in the compliments that I got from my coaches and other parents. I always looked forward to the drills and, believe it or not, I even looked forward to the running. These coaches had a desire to teach, and I had a desire to learn through every good and bad thing that happened during many seasons. Thank you to the coaches that coached and supported me through the years.

SEE ALSO: My Regrets From My Time As A College Softball Player

Along with the good coaches, are a few bad coaches. These are the coaches that focused on favorites instead of the good of the entire team. I had coaches that no matter how hard I worked, it would never be good enough for them. I had coaches that would take insults too far on the court and in the classroom.

I had coaches that killed my passion and love for the game of basketball.

When a passion dies, it is quite possibly the most heartbreaking thing ever. A desire you once had to play every second of the day is gone, it turns into dreading every practice and game. It turns into leaving every game with earphones in so other parents don't talk to you about it. It meant dreading school the next day due to everyone talking about the previous game. My passion was destroyed when a coach looked at me in the eyes and said, "You could go to any other school and start varsity, but you just can't play for me."

SEE ALSO: Should College Athletes Be Limited To One Sport?

Looking back now at the amount of tears shed after practices and games, I just want to say to this coach:

Making me feel bad about myself doesn't make me want to play and work hard for you, whether in the classroom or on the court. Telling me that, "Hard work always pays off," and not keeping that word doesn't make me want to work hard either. I spent every minute of the day focusing on making sure you didn't see the pain that I felt, and all of my energy was put towards that fake smile when I said I was OK with how you treated me. There are not words for the feeling I got when parents of teammates asked why I didn't play more or why I got pulled after one mistake, I simply didn't have an answer. The way you made me feel about myself and my ability to play ball made me hate myself, not only did you make me doubt my ability to play, but you also turned my teammates against me to where they didn't trust my abilities. I would not wish the pain you caused me on my greatest enemy. I pray that one day, eventually, when all of your players quit coming back that you realize that it isn't all about winning records. It's about the players.

You can have winning records without a good coach if you have a good team, but you won't have a team if you can't treat players with the respect they deserve.

SEE ALSO: To The Little Girl Picking Up A Basketball For The First Time


Cover Image Credit: Equality Charter School

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