how writing is therapeutic

How Writing Once a Week for Odyssey Changed My Life

I never thought I would enjoy writing this much.

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Have you ever lost something important to you? When was the best day of your life? Don't you want to tell a lot of people at once how your day went?

All of these questions can be answered through a simple, ordinary article made by YOU here at Texas Tech University!

Writing for Odyssey gives me the opportunity to have a voice and to send my thoughts out to friends and family at the same time.

Writing, in general, has made such a positive mark on my daily living too! It allows me to get inspired a lot more often and to get out of my comfort zone that is, sharing my thoughts with others.

In the past, I've never been one to express or pitch in my two cents in a group discussion. I've always been a listener even though I had just as much to say as the others did!

When I heard about the Odyssey at Texas Tech, I thought to myself that maybe this is my chance to create a voice for myself and to get out of my comfort zone once a week.

I applied, made it through and began to find myself admiring writing more and more. It holds a special place in my heart and it has turned into an outlet for me to organize my thoughts.

As a writer, I firmly believe that this art can expand your skills as an intellectual anywhere you may end up. The working world, music industries, medical fields, you name it.

Before you think to yourself that writing isn't for you, GIVE IT A CHANCE. Do NOT be afraid. I always felt self-conscious about my writing skills all throughout High School because I had a lot of competition and other people had better essays than I did.

As soon as I got to college, I decided that I didn't want to feel that way anymore so I quit trying as hard. I used to stress about every sentence that I wrote down and it began to annoy me so I avoided as many situations that involved writing as I could UNTIL my friend Alex introduced me into this wonderful organization.

My first article went up a week later and I received some of the best feedback I've ever gotten on my writing. This gave me confidence in myself to keep this up and let it take me wherever I may end up.

Ever since, I've made some amazing friends, have touched many lives outside my little circle of people, and made a grain of difference in my community.

I am honored to be apart of Odyssey's community and I hope that this encourages you to join our family of writers at Texas Tech!

If you do not attend my school or just so happen to be reading this article in support of myself, branch out! Write for YOURSELF. Whether it be through a long Facebook post or on paper, give it a go! It is honestly such a stress reliever and it is super relaxing for me so you never know what it could do for you.

If you're new to my page, thank you for reading and I wish you the best week! Stay hydrated in this heat and WRECK EM.

Cover Image Credit:

Juno Gaskins

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I'm Not A Fan Of The Body Positivity Movement

Be the change you want to see in yourself.
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What is body positivity? Body positivity focuses on empowering people to be more loving and open to their bodies instead of constantly putting themselves down. I am a prime suspect in hating my own body. Whenever I look at myself in the mirror, I point out all my flaws. My thighs, butt, rolls, and even sometimes, my face.

There are countless body positivity movements and I was on board with almost all of them. It is important to never belittle yourself. Always stay true to who you are. That's why my point of view drastically changed on body image and learning to self-love. Body positivity is about loving your body, but if you don't love your body because you're too fat, too skinny, too stout, or not pretty enough, then instead of teaching yourself not to say anything bad, why don't you change it?

Instead of ripping me to shreds, hear me out. I'm known for eating Ben and Jerry's ice cream. In fact, whenever I stroll into the gas station down the street, the clerk knows that I am going straight to the freezer for my ice cream fix. I don't eat some of it and put it back in the freezer when I get home. No, I eat it all. And I hate myself for it. But then, I see an empowering on Facebook about respecting your body. So my empowered self goes out and grabs two more pints of ice cream and I remind myself that it's my body and I can do what I want with it.

What happens now? I'm ten pounds heavier and a little bit closer to obesity or any other weight-related diseases such as diabetes. The body positivity movement is wonderful, but it's missing one thing: if you don't like those extra pounds, get rid of them. If you really don't think you're pretty enough, buy that expensive makeup. Because you can do whatever you want with your body.

Going on a diet plan/exercise plan CAN be beneficial. If you have a habit of going extreme and end up starving yourself, stop reading and please consult a doctor. I'm not promoting anorexia, bulimia, or any other eating disorder. This is not me saying to you that you need to workout twice a day and only eat lettuce for the rest of your life. I'm not telling you to do anything.

But if you don't like it when you eat that pint of ice cream and that whole box of Oreos, be like me and start a plan where you eat half of that pint and only a couple Oreos a week.

One more important thing in the body positivity movement: self-care. Take care of your body, put the right nutrients inside. Don't go to the gym every single day killing yourself on the treadmill. If you don't feel like going to the gym, take a walk around your neighborhood or even to the mailbox. Don't load up on junk food and fast food. Eat a sandwich and opt for the side salad instead of the bag of potato chips at Panera. It's all about caring for your own body. Don't just sit there and hate on your body. It's your body and you can do what you want with it.

So get up (or not) and put down those Oreos and Diet Coke. Because you can change. Yes, you can. It's all up to you. No one else but your beautiful self.



Cover Image Credit: Christopher Campbell

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11 Things You NEVER Say To A College Girl Trying To Get Into Shape

Just never talk about a person's weight.

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When my family and friends joked that I was going to gain 15 pounds in my freshman year of college as a result of the "Freshman 15," I thought it was what it was supposed to be: a joke. However, as the year has come to an end, I realized that I actually did put on a couple of pounds, albeit it wasn't the predicted 15.

As I told those that I wanted to get into an ideal shape for my body, I was met with some insensitive and ignorant remarks. Everyone thought that I mean just losing the weight I had put on.

1. "You walk to all of your classes, why aren't you losing weight that way?"

My legs are more toned than they ever have been before. However, most of the weight I have been gaining has gone directly to my gut (annoying!) and walking does not remedy that. Unfortunately, I have to stick to ab workouts.

2. "But you look fine to me!"

I don't feel healthy to myself. I'm not trying to stay in shape for anyone else, just myself, thanks. I appreciate you trying to make me feel better about my body image but I know something has to be done.

3. "I didn't gain any weight in college."

Good for you. I did. I'm trying to do something about it.

4. "Just stop drinking."

I don't drink. Really, the only liquid I consume is water or iced tea. I don't like soda and alcohol makes me nauseous way too easily.

5. "Isn't the gym free on campus for students?"

Yes, but some people don't like working out in front of others. I am one of those people. My friend lives in an apartment complex that has their own gym and almost no one is ever there but not everyone has that luxury. Also, some are busy and do not have time for a quick jog or to stretch.

6. "You should try this diet/pills/exercise routine."

I am thankful that you are trying to help but my diet is just eating healthy and having a few cheat days in between. I know what exercises work best for me and I am just not taking pills. Bodies adjust differently.

7. "Don't starve/force yourself to throw up."

Trust me, I know. I'm trying to lose the weight healthily. If you do find yourself practicing unhealthy eating habits or realizing your body image is deteriorating, the NEDA Hotline is (800) 931-2237. Please reach out if you are going through hardships.

8. "Won't you have to buy a whole new wardrobe?"

If I drop (or even add) a size or two. We grow out and grow tired of clothes on the regular, what's the difference if you have to buy some because of a weight change? Plus, who doesn't love buying new clothes?

9. "Just eat healthier."

Didn't think of it! Options are limited at college where the dining halls don't offer all that much that is actually good for your body. Now that I'm at home, it's easier. But I'm already trying to eat healthy.

10. "You've evened out since the last time I saw you!"

This is code for you've put on some weight. I hear it mostly from older relatives because my friends will flat out tell me if I've gotten a little chunky.

11. "You're just stressed."

Personally, this one gets me livid. I do admit that when I am stressed or anxious, I do turn to food for comfort but when I am delighted and genuinely happy, will my body magically revert into a fit state?

Sadly, no.

Honestly, I am just trying to get my body back into shape. For me, that means cutting back on greasy foods and kicking a bad habit of sitting on my butt all day. For others, it could mean more or less. As long as your body is in good physical condition and you are content, the number on the scale and others' thoughts shouldn't matter. Take care of yourself.

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