My Year With Odyssey: A Thank You

My Year With Odyssey: A Thank You

Our very own editor-in-chief, intern and friend shares her story.
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This post was created by Lily Moe on October 31, 2016. It originally appeared on Odyssey's Grand Canyon University community page.

A year ago, on November 2, 2015, my first article was published on Odyssey. I distinctly remember being nervously excited, wanting to write a piece that would change the world. After the notification that my article was needed in 3 hours, I whipped out "You Know You're A Camp Counselor When..." and called it a day. That groundbreaking article may have been put on hold, but nonetheless, I was thrilled to be writing for something other than a dinky Google blog. As the Grand Canyon University Odyssey community "went live" that day, I felt like I was doing something real, something important -- little did I know how big of an impact Odyssey would have on the following year of my life.

Soon -- as in, the second day of my Odyssey career -- writing my weekly article become the highest priority on my to-do list. I couldn't wait to receive the email that read: "Congratulations! Your article is live on Odyssey's platform." I had full creative liberties. I could write whatever I wanted to. I was on cloud nine.

In January, I was offered an interview for an editor-in-chief position for the Grand Canyon Odyssey team. I knew I loved to write, and I knew I loved what I was doing, but editor? That was a large step up in responsibilities. As I went through the screening process, the idea excited me. I had the ability to take an opportunity and run with it -- not just for myself, but for the entire GCU community. As a school that does not have a student publication, Odyssey could become the media for Canyon...and how rad would that be?! After being offered the role, I gladly accepted, thrilled with the road ahead.

With this opportunity came a lot of hard work -- after the holiday season, our team had dwindled to 3 people, myself included. The next 4 weeks were soon filled with writing samples and interviews.

By the end of January, we had a team of 19 strong, driven individuals, all having joined Odyssey because they cared about community, their futures, and the ability to stir the pot -- isn't that what media is for anyway? I was jazzed, and could not have been more proud of the people on my staff.

Come February, our numbers were better than ever, with a continuous list of applicants ready to interview for their chance to join our team. This month held another interesting component: the chance to apply to be an intern in Odyssey's headquarters in New York City. I went back and forth with this application, knowing that I "probably wouldn't stand a chance." But with a little encouragement from my manager, I submitted my application, and soon found myself dreaming of 5th Avenue.

March brought even higher numbers for our community, in both members and pageviews. We were rocking and rolling. I was loving life -- even more so when, after the third round of the interview process, I was notified that I was one of 15 interns for Odyssey's summer program.

The months leading up to that summer in New York all blend together; our team was getting bigger, stronger, and more excited to change the world. Sure, we were a bunch of 20-somethings looking for our big break -- and yes, we still are -- but we were loving every second. Our team was becoming a family, and departing from school for the summer was bittersweet.

My summer as an Odyssey intern cannot be explained in a paragraph. Call me, and we'll chat all day. I'll let you in on Justin's love for Nick Jonas, Emi's fabulous style, and Emily's dreamy semester abroad in France. Brittany will forever be the wildcard, but don't underestimate her ability to have a deep conversation. I'll share how Christian is really a big teddy bear, and EA is someone you want in your corner. Hollan and Katie will soon become some of your favorite people, and Meredith will inspire you to be better, stronger, and more confident. Sam will keep you laughing, while Serg remains calm in all situations. Brittan is the coolest chick you've ever met. Whit has a heart of gold. Oh, and you'll want to be roomies with Julia, because she clearly belongs in the city. And a little shout out to ZShal, because who can forget the little brother of the group?

These incredible people, as well as our amazing managers, mentors, and friends that call that office in Midtown home, made life as an Odyssey intern better than I could've ever imagined. They pushed me, encouraged me, and our GroupMe is still exploding on any given night. There will always be space in my heart reserved just for them.

Coming back to school, off the internship of a lifetime, I was beyond pumped to bring what I had learned in New York to the desert of Phoenix. Our GCU team was continuing to grow, kick butt, and inspire the community around us. I'm so glad to say that we're stronger than we've ever been. We are currently at 41 content creators, creating both video and written pieces, having game nights, auditioning for a lip sync battle together, and always being up for what comes next. I am proud of the kindness, toughness, and passion I see from these people through every piece they write.

Hitting the year mark with Odyssey is an incredible opportunity to look back and reflect. I tear up thinking about how far the GCU team has come, and how much I have changed as a person. Every conversation I have "would make a great article," and I find myself correcting the TV subtitles at the gym. I didn't know how much of an 'editor attitude' I had until I started doing this -- doing what I love. From the content creators who want to grab coffee just because, to the interns that I know I can always call up for advice, to my manager who is to this day the coolest person I've ever met, I love my Odyssey family. It's such a blessing to be connected to a group of people who don't only dream of change, but work for it. I am so proud to be an Odyssey editor-in-chief, an Odyssey intern, and, most importantly, an Odyssey friend.

Cover Image Credit: Lily M.

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College As Told By Junie B. Jones

A tribute to the beloved author Barbara Parks.
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The Junie B. Jones series was a big part of my childhood. They were the first chapter books I ever read. On car trips, my mother would entertain my sister and me by purchasing a new Junie B. Jones book and reading it to us. My favorite part about the books then, and still, are how funny they are. Junie B. takes things very literally, and her (mis)adventures are hilarious. A lot of children's authors tend to write for children and parents in their books to keep the attention of both parties. Barbara Park, the author of the Junie B. Jones series, did just that. This is why many things Junie B. said in Kindergarten could be applied to her experiences in college, as shown here.

When Junie B. introduces herself hundreds of times during orientation week:

“My name is Junie B. Jones. The B stands for Beatrice. Except I don't like Beatrice. I just like B and that's all." (Junie B. Jones and the Stupid Smelly Bus, p. 1)

When she goes to her first college career fair:

"Yeah, only guess what? I never even heard of that dumb word careers before. And so I won't know what the heck we're talking about." (Junie B. Jones and her Big Fat Mouth, p. 2)

When she thinks people in class are gossiping about her:

“They whispered to each other for a real long time. Also, they kept looking at me. And they wouldn't even stop." (Junie B., First Grader Boss of Lunch, p. 66)

When someone asks her about the library:

“It's where the books are. And guess what? Books are my very favorite things in the whole world!" (Junie B. Jones and the Stupid Smelly Bus, p. 27)

When she doesn't know what she's eating at the caf:

“I peeked inside the bread. I stared and stared for a real long time. 'Cause I didn't actually recognize the meat, that's why. Finally, I ate it anyway. It was tasty...whatever it was." (Junie B., First Grader Boss of Lunch, p. 66)

When she gets bored during class:

“I drew a sausage patty on my arm. Only that wasn't even an assignment." (Junie B. Jones Loves Handsome Warren, p. 18)

When she considers dropping out:

“Maybe someday I will just be the Boss of Cookies instead!" (Junie B., First Grader Boss of Lunch, p. 76)

When her friends invite her to the lake for Labor Day:

“GOOD NEWS! I CAN COME TO THE LAKE WITH YOU, I BELIEVE!" (Junie B. Jones Smells Something Fishy, p. 17)

When her professor never enters grades on time:

“I rolled my eyes way up to the sky." (Junie B., First Grader Boss of Lunch, p. 38)

When her friends won't stop poking her on Facebook:


“Do not poke me one more time, and I mean it." (Junie B. Jones Smells Something Fishy, p. 7)

When she finds out she got a bad test grade:

“Then my eyes got a little bit wet. I wasn't crying, though." (Junie B. Jones and the Stupid Smelly Bus, p. 17)

When she isn't allowed to have a pet on campus but really wants one:

“FISH STICK! I NAMED HIM FISH STICK BECAUSE HE'S A FISH STICK, OF COURSE!" (Junie B. Jones Smells Something Fishy, p. 59)

When she has to walk across campus in the dark:

“There's no such thing as monsters. There's no such thing as monsters." (Junie B. Jones Has a Monster Under Her Bed, p. 12)

When her boyfriend breaks her heart:

“I am a bachelorette. A bachelorette is when your boyfriend named Ricardo dumps you at recess. Only I wasn't actually expecting that terrible trouble." (Junie B. Jones Is (almost) a Flower Girl, p. 1)

When she paints her first canvas:


"And painting is the funnest thing I love!" (Junie B. Jones and her Big Fat Mouth, p. 61)

When her sorority takes stacked pictures:

“The biggie kids stand in the back. And the shortie kids stand in the front. I am a shortie kid. Only that is nothing to be ashamed of." (Junie B. Jones Has a Monster Under Her Bed, p. 7)

When she's had enough of the caf's food:

“Want to bake a lemon pie? A lemon pie would be fun, don't you think?" (Junie B. Jones Has a Monster Under Her Bed p. 34)

When she forgets about an exam:

“Speechless is when your mouth can't speech." (Junie B. Jones Loves Handsome Warren, p. 54)

When she finds out she has enough credits to graduate:

“A DIPLOMA! A DIPLOMA! I WILL LOVE A DIPLOMA!" (Junie B. Jones is a Graduation Girl p. 6)

When she gets home from college:

"IT'S ME! IT'S JUNIE B. JONES! I'M HOME FROM MY SCHOOL!" (Junie B. Jones and some Sneaky Peaky Spying p. 20)

Cover Image Credit: OrderOfBooks

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Not Having The 'Picture Perfect' Body Shape Doesn't Mean You Can't Wear A Bikini

All shapes and size are acceptable and beautiful.

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Summer has finally come again and it's now the time where everyone regrets not working out to get their "perfect" summer body. I'm here to say that these summer bodies everyone has been talking about are an unhealthy way to look at yourself and can hurt one's body image. If you're a size zero, that's great for you. If you're not a size zero, that is still great for you. There is no defined size that is required to wear a bikini during the summer, and there shouldn't be these unrealistic society norms on who can and can't wear them.

My entire life I was never worried about my size or how I look in a clothing item such as a bathing suit during the summer. I had always maintained a small figure from being active in grade school all the way through high school. Now that I am in college with no daily or weekly (and sometimes even monthly) exercise routine, I have gained weight and started to feel self conscious in what I look like in certain items that show my stomach. I don't look like the swimsuit models that are posted all over Instagram and started to feel that when summer came along I shouldn't be caught dead in a bathing suit or a shirt that showed any part of my stomach. I was beginning to feel bad about my body image because I didn't have the body shape or size that is considered to be a "society norm" and let it get to me. This is when I knew I needed to change my mindset, and not my physical appearance.

Just because someone isn't a certain size doesn't mean they should be shame into not wearing something they like or makes them feel good about themselves. Summertime is all about being in the sun at the beach or at the pool and getting a tan and getting in the water. This things require a swimsuit of some sort. The size and shape of someone's body shouldn't put a restriction on what type of bathing suit they choose to wear, and no one should comment on how they look in it in a negative manner. For some people, it's hard to lose weight just as it is hard for some people to gain weight. Society is always making remarks about girls being "too small" or "too big" or comments that are similar to those and it's putting a negative effect on how women view themselves which makes it harder for them to have a sense of self love.

Let a woman feel good about herself in what she's wearing no matter her size and leave the rude comments to yourself. Whether she is a size 0 or greater, she is still adding beauty into the world. If you want to wear a bikini, then do it. Don't let the negative people in society harshen your summertime fun.

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