Growing up, writing always came so naturally to me. It still does to this day. Yeah, I get writer's block sometimes, but I've never had to force it, I've never had to think about it, it's just something I've always loved and been good at. I remember getting writing assignments in school and everyone would moan and complain because they didn't want to do it. I wasn't one of those people, I was right in my element and knew I'd get the assignment done.

Now writing gives me other things. It gives me a way to be heard. Whether it's on my opinions, through advice or the knowledge I've gained throughout the years. I'm able to freely speak about any topic I chose to in an informal or formal way. Because of this, I have connected with so many people. I have found out over the past year writing for Odyssey that certain people read my articles and I didn't know they would care about what I have to say. It just shows that if you're vulnerable and put what you're passionate about out in the world, you may be surprised who it has an impact on.

Writing has also given me a new way to connect with my family and friends. If I would've never taken on writing and pursued this passion, they would've never seen this side of me. I've had more discussions with close people in my life based on the topics I discuss or a statement I've made in one of my articles. It's interesting to see how others perceive my work and their opinions on it.

Not only have these people had discussions with me about my work, but they are the first to criticize, correct and debate with me when it comes to my work. To me, this is the best part. I'm always open to any and all criticism and feedback because it makes me a better writer and gives me a better perspective on things. If anything it helps me grow and see all sides of a situation. I will never get mad over a comment good or bad on my work.

Not only is writing a passion and a hobby for me and maybe someday a job, but it has also helped me a lot mentally and emotionally. I am literally writing all the time. I feel like that's all I do. For school, for experience, for articles and for me. Writing has given me a place to escape. When I'm having a horrible day and my mind is on overload, I sit down with a pen and paper and write it all down. It may not make any sense and sound like word vomit, but it feels so good putting my burdens in a physical place, closing it, and walking away.

Writing has done a lot for me and I'm sure this is just the beginning. Who knows, maybe you'll be reading a book one day with my name on the cover rather than an Odyssey article.