Looking Back On A Year Writing For Odyssey

Looking Back On A Year Writing For Odyssey

One year down, here's to another year of writing!
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As the summer began, I realized that I was approaching my one year Odyssey anniversary. I originally decided to begin writing as a way to get connected with a community at Emory before stepping foot on campus as a student. I also just wanted a platform to share thoughts and anecdotes with friends, family, and frankly anyone else who bothered to read what I was writing.

After a year of school, my biweekly posts have become so much more. I have always loved writing, especially in high school. I was regularly writing in my English class, writing poems in my free time, and creating the school literary magazine. Once I got to college, I had exempted out of the freshman writing course and jumped straight into my core classes for my major. Unfortunately due to my packed schedule this meant no English or writing classes. My entire first year of college I wrote a total of three papers. I have no idea how but that was just the way the cookie crumbled.

The way I was prepared in high school made me feel like I should be writing a paper a night. That is how everyone made college look like. My Odyssey articles became not only an outlet but also like stretching. It seems like a strange way to think of it, but I really can't imagine going a year without writing to express my thoughts. When you are stretching you are flushing out the stress of that day, allowing your body to process the tension and tightness that has been built up. While it is doing that it is also remembering the work done before and adding flexibility to what it already knows.

Writing Odyssey articles also helped expand my writing to journalling and just writing down different thoughts. While some of these things were never published, scribbling down 250 words just to clear my head is always helpfully and is something I will make sure I continue doing.

Continuing to write has also helped improve my communication skills. I have always been better at articulating ideas on paper better than in words. I have found though, with the increase in my writing, expressing my ideas verbally has become more fluid. I have no idea why, but the connection that I have made is with the deadlines for my writing I usually sit down and knock out an article in one sitting and then edit later. This parallels to verbal communication because when speaking don't get to backspace and start over a few times. The words you chose are spoken and then you don't get to take them back.

I am so thankful for the opportunity to write my articles. Here is to (at least) another year of article writing, thought processing, and fun college anecdotes!

Cover Image Credit: Photo by David Iskander on Unsplash

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To The Girl Who Isn't Graduating On Time, It Won't Feel Any Less Amazing When You Do

Graduating is something to be proud of no matter how long it takes you.

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To the girl who isn't graduating college "on time,"

I promise, you will get there eventually, and you will walk across that graduation stage with the biggest smile on your face.

You may have a different journey than the people you grew up with, and that is OKAY. You may have some twists and turns along the way, a few too many major changes, a life change, you may have taken most of a semester off to try to figure your life out, and you're doing the best you can.

Your family and your friends don't think less of you or your accomplishments, they are proud of your determination to get your degree.

They are proud of the woman you are becoming. They don't think of you as a failure or as someone any less awesome than you are. You're getting your degree, you're making moves towards your dreams and the life that you have always wanted, so please stop beating yourself up while you see people graduating college on time and getting a job or buying a car.

Your time will come, you just keep doing what you need to do in order to get on that graduation stage.

Your path is set out for you, and you will get there with time but also with patience. The place you're at right now is where you are supposed to be. You are going to thrive and you are going to be the best version of you when you graduate and start looking for a company that you will be proud to work for. Don't look on social media and feel less than, because at least you're still working towards your degree that you are finally passionate about. You will be prepared. You will be ready once the time comes and you cross the stage, move away, and start your journey in whatever field you're going into.

Don't question yourself, and be confident in your abilities.

With love,

A girl who isn't graduating on time

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I'm Not The Person I Was In High School And I'm Not Sorry I Changed

I'm sorry, the old me can't come to the phone right now.

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If those who knew me in high school hung out with me now, they probably wouldn't recognize me. If my friends from college hung out with me around two years ago, they probably wouldn't recognize me. It's safe to say I've changed... a lot. I definitely find the change to be for the better and I couldn't be happier with the person I've become.

In high school, I would sit at home every night anxiously waiting to leave and go out. Now, honestly, going out is the last thing I want to do any night of the week. While everyone in college is at a fraternity party or at the bars, I prefer to sit at home on the couch, watching Netflix with my boyfriend. That's an ideal night for me and it is exactly the opposite of what I wanted to do a couple of years ago. There's nothing wrong with going out and partying, it's just not what I want to do anymore.

I craved attention in high school. I went to the parties and outings so I could be in Snapchats and photos, just so people would know I was there. I hung out with certain groups of people just so I could say I was "friends" with so-and-so who was so very popular. I wanted to be known and I wanted to be cool.

Now, I couldn't care less. I go to the bars or the parties if I really feel like it or if my friends make me feel bad enough for never going anywhere that I finally decide to show up. It's just not my scene anymore and I no longer worry about missing out.

If you could look back at me during my junior year of high school, you probably would've found me searching for the best-ranked party schools and colleges with the best nearby clubs or bars. Now, you can find me eating snacks on the couch on a Friday night watching the parties through other peoples' Snapchats.

Some may say that I'm boring now, and while I agree that my life is a little less adventurous now than it was in high school, I don't regret the lifestyle changes I've made. I feel happier, I feel like a better person, I feel much more complete. I'm not sorry that I've changed since high school and I'm not sorry that I'm not living the typical "college lifestyle." I don't see anything wrong with that life, it's just not what makes me happy and it's not what I want to do anymore.

I've become a different person since high school and I couldn't be happier about it. I have a lot that's contributed to the change, but my boyfriend definitely was the main factor as he showed me that staying in can be a million times better than a night out. My interests and my social cravings have completely transitioned into that of an 80-year-old grandma, but I don't regret it.

Change doesn't have to be a bad thing. In fact, it can bring a lot more happiness and comfort. The transition from high school to college is drastic, but you can also use it as an opportunity to transition from one lifestyle to another. I don't regret the lifestyle flip I made and I couldn't be less apologetic about it.

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