To The New Girl In My Old Jersey

To The New Girl In My Old Jersey

(Odyssey Article 29)

Make it legendary.

This time of year brings the start of the season for collegiate softball. It’s time to lace up the new cleats, grab the old glove, and run out onto every ball girl’s favorite diamond.

Even though a year passed since graduation, I don’t miss the game any less, and my passion for it hasn’t extinguished. By the end of my senior year, many people were ready to hang up their cleats, but I’ll always keep mine in the back of my car just in case. I know five, ten, even twenty years from now, softball will still be something near and dear to my heart.

So, as the season begins, I can’t help but reminisce, and there are a few things I want the new girl to know.

First and foremost, congratulations. You made it to the college level, and that’s an accomplishment in itself. I know how hard it is balancing school and a job, so adding a sport (and everything coming with it) on top of those is something worthy of praise.

Anyhow, as you put on y(our) jersey for this season, you’ll see a few obvious things… The number, most importantly, maybe a leftover stain or two (for which I apologize), and the school name and colors now making up a large part of your identity.

However, what you don’t see are the minutes spent soaking in fresh, spring air, warm sunshine, and the smell of mowed grass.

You don’t see the dried tears wiped away on disappointed car rides home.

You don’t see the smiles in the stands from parents and in the dugout from teammates after a big play.

You don’t see the friendships on and off the field.

You don’t see the flashes of doubt in worth and confidence.

You don’t see the hours spent icing stiff knees and elbows.

You don’t see the post-season wins, the seventh inning losses, or the firsts frozen in history.

You don’t see the moments worth a lifetime of backyard catch, early practices, late games, and unconditional love from a career now passed…

Yes, it still makes me emotional knowing my time is over, but all good things must come to an end. Yet, I am hopeful because I know you now continue the legacy.

So, like a torch, I pass this jersey on to you. It is your’s to make your own moments and your own memories to look back on for a lifetime to come. As I’m sure you already know, it is nothing to take lightly, so I know you’ll handle this responsibility with great care.

Whether you wear this jersey for one season or your entire college career, know it is not just a piece of clothing. It is a temporary burden, a beautiful blessing, and an inseparable bond… Because in your moments of doubt, you can look down at your jersey and know you’re not alone.

I wish you the best of luck in all you do, and may you hit the ball as deep as your love for the game. The moment is your’s now… Make it legendary.

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The 7 Stages of Writer’s Block

The 7 Stages of Writer’s Block

(Odyssey Article 28)

“Maybe next week.”

Whether you write for pleasure, publication, or education, we all run into the dreaded writer’s block from time to time, and when it rears its ugly head, we have no choice but to push through the wall and hope for the best.

Though writer’s block is inevitable, there’s always a light at the end of the literary tunnel.

1. Shock or Disbelief

“My deadline is in 30 minutes… This isn’t happening.”

2. Denial

“I’m perfectly fine. I will finish. I got this!”

3. Anger


4. Bargaining

“God, if you let me finish this, I will never curse again.”

5. Guilt

“Why did I wait so long to start this…”

6. Depression

“I’m worthless… Why did they even choose me for this?”

7. Acceptance and Hope

“Well, I’m definitely not meeting deadline… Maybe next week.”

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10 Signs You Conquered The Snap Game

10 Signs You Conquered The Snap Game

(Odyssey Article 27)

And you ALWAYS keep your streaks.

As millennials, we went through the run of social media platforms. From Myspace and AIM to Facebook and Twitter, we saw it all. However, the newest craze of networking allows us to show off our lives more than ever, and the best part… your messages and pictures disappear.

Snapchat not only gives others a way to view your world from a whole new perspective… It helps you slay the selfie game, as well.

Without further ado, here are ten signs you finally conquered all Snapchat has to offer.

1. Your selfies are straight fire.

“Snap saw it first.”

2. Your stories are hilarious.

Whether it’s just you re-watching yourself all over again (and cackling), or other people sending you laughing face emojis in response, you know you’re hysterical.

3. Filters are a MUST.

From flower crowns to dog ears, you use them all with no shame.

4. You mastered the “creeper pic”.

No doubt your bestie will know EXACTLY what the hot guy at the grocery store looks like.

5. You take the best snaps while driving.

Although it’s definitely not safe, you just make it look so easy.

6. You have perfect timing.

You have a sixth sense for when something is about to go down, so you always capture the best moments.

7. You use angles to your advantage.

Even when you accidently flip on your front facing camera, you still look flawless.

8. Your captions make your snaps even better.

*insert pun here*

9. You draw better on your snaps than you do in real life.

Just call you Picasso!

10. You don’t know how you ever survived before Snapchat…

Because Snap is life.

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10 Realistic Tips for College Students Wanting to Live a Healthier Lifestyle

10 Realistic Tips for College Students Wanting to Live a Healthier Lifestyle

(Odyssey Article 27)

Because who ACTUALLY drinks a gallon of water a day??

Whether you’re fresh into college or fresh out of college, the “Freshman Fifteen” is a real thing. However, it isn’t the end of the world. To get back in shape and love your body again (or just rediscover a healthy balance), here are ten realistic tips for college students looking to get back on track!

1. Drink half a glass of water every hour.

I know from experience it is quite difficult to drink eight glasses of water a day (especially when you don’t drink eight glasses of anything in a day), but if you cut the water consumption into intervals, it makes it much easier to get through. Even if you’re only awake for twelve hours, that’s still six glasses of water, and I’m sure that’s more than what you usually drink, anyway.

(Also, always order water when you go out to eat. It will save you calories and money!)

2. Swap chips for popcorn.

My whole world changed when I discovered Angie’s BOOMCHICKAPOP. Not only are her Sea Salt Popcorn and Lightly Sweet Popcorn healthier alternatives for fried potato chips and other sweets at 35 calories per cup, but when you need a fix, she also offers eleven additional flavors guaranteed to blow your mind and your taste buds.

(You can find BOOMCHICKAPOP small bags at Walmart and Target, sometimes on sale at Crest, or you can order bigger bags via Amazon.)

3. Wear fun socks when you work out.

I’m a former college athlete, and one of my favorite parts of game day was wearing my fun socks under my pants. We also had crazy sock contests at morning workouts to lighten the mood. Socks are cheap, and they become a motivator to go to the gym, so you can show them off. (You could even have a weekly contest with your workout partner to see who buys lunch!)

4. Have a vegetable with every meal at lunch and dinner.

As much as I wish otherwise, french fries aren’t a vegetable. However, that doesn’t mean you should eat a burger or chicken nuggets by themselves. Buy some frozen veggies, keep them in the freezer, and then make a batch for the week to go with your meals. You could also buy some fresh and dip them in hummus or light ranch as a snack.

5. Invest in a baby crockpot.

A one and a half to two-quart crockpot costs around $20, and it makes just the perfect amount of food for you (with leftovers) or you plus one. A crockpot is ideal for college students on the go because you throw the ingredients in, turn the dial, and you don’t have to do anything else until it’s time to eat!

6. Work out when and how it is convenient for you.

I use workouts in the morning as a way to wake up, and I like to get them out of the way first thing. However, if you dread when your alarm goes off, don’t workout in the morning. When you’re up at midnight binge watching Netflix, you could use that time to hit the gym instead.

As well, don’t feel like you need to be at the gym for hours on end (unless that’s what you enjoy). You can get just as much done in a concentrated 30-45 minutes as you can stretching out your workouts.

7. Swap out regular pasta and bread for whole grain.

Bread and pasta aren’t great for you anyway, but whole grain is definitely better for you than white. It’s less processed, and it provides more nutrients than regular bread/pasta. Throw in a can of tuna, and you have a quick, easy, and tasty pasta salad with good carbs, protein, and fats (or you can add a boiled egg and some light mayo to the tuna for the same effect on a sandwich!).

8. Get your sleep.

I know this is easier said than done, but I also know you can find ways to get more sleep. Whether it’s a fifteen-minute nap in between classes or going to bed an hour earlier, sleep is essential for your physical and mental health and productivity.

9. Have two cheat days.

To be completely honest, it just isn’t realistic for me to go six days straight with no mishaps (and I know I’m not alone!). Contrary to popular belief, it is okay to have two days a week to treat yourself. It’s so much easier to go two or three days with a break, and this personally helped me stay consistent instead of having a cravings meltdown on healthy day four or five.

10. Moderate your alcohol intake.

I won’t even lie to you… I love wine. However, I can’t drink a bottle by myself every night and expect nothing to happen. You can go out with your friends on the weekends, or have a drink at home after a rough day of class, but be mindful of how much you put in your body. You can overdrink your calories just as much as you can overeat them.

So college friends, take care of yourselves. Find your balance and get back on track to a healthier you. You can do it!

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10 Questions I Have For Norman, Oklahoma

10 Questions I Have For Norman, Oklahoma

(Odyssey Article 26)

“5. Will someone bring me a Swirl?”

Norman, Oklahoma isn’t just a college town; it’s a community. It’s a place people might call home for a semester or (like me) their whole lives. However, regardless of your time spent in this lovely city, we all have some questions running through our heads as we travel in, around, and through this town from day to day.

From food to fandom, here are the top ten questions I have for Norman, Oklahoma.

1. What’s with all the construction?

2. Will I ever find a parking spot on campus?

3. Can I move in with Bob?

4. Who wants a turkey leg?

5. Will someone bring me a Swirl?

6. Tigers or Timberwolves?

7. What are seasons?

8. Do you like green eggs and ham (and beer)?

9. How do you actually pronounce gyro?

10. Is it football season yet?

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Why We Need to Talk More About Consent in Relationships

Why We Need to Talk More About Consent in Relationships

(Odyssey Article 25)

A label is not a green light.

All over social media, we’re bombarded with statuses, tweets, articles, videos, etc. about consent (or lack thereof), and yes, it is super important.

Yet, the type of consent addressed most often directs more towards the single people in our “hook-up” culture. We rarely ever hear or read about consent in regards to relationships.

It’s obvious to me the same rules would (and should) apply to a single man or woman that apply to a married man or woman, as well as every other man or woman in between.

Yes, relationships and marriages require compromise; however, everyone has limits, so why do we pretend like sexual assault and sexual abuse don’t exist between couples?

A label is not a green light.

A ring is not a green light.

A marriage license is not a green light.

You don’t get to have a handsy free-for-all as soon as you put a rock on her finger. Just because someone commits him/herself to you doesn’t mean you’re granted permission to disrespect that person’s body.

Your girlfriend’s curves might be “your’s”, but if she doesn’t want you touching her, leave her alone.

You might appreciate your man’s body, but that doesn’t give you permission to grab him whenever you feel like it.

You might think it’s funny to push, poke, or hit your partner playfully, but it doesn’t excuse you from respecting his/her boundaries.

Consent comes from one thing and one thing only… A non-hesitant, non-provoked, non-persuaded, enthusiastic YES!

If you guilt your spouse into having sex with you when he/she isn’t in the mood, THAT IS NOT CONSENT. (I’m not saying you rape your significant other, but if the other person isn’t 100% willing, it still isn’t consent.)

Consent is a situation where variables don’t apply. Unlike many things falling into the gray, consent is black and white. Stop means stop, and no means no, regardless of the person’s relationship status, gender, sexual orientation, etc.

The things happening behind closed doors and “Welcome Home” mats still happen. We shouldn’t just sweep them under the rug after the wedding or after it becomes FBO. They are real, and we need to talk about them. Just open your ears and listen.

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New Year, Same S***

New Year, Same S***

(Odyssey Article 24)

Because who needs resolutions anyway?

Let’s be honest…

New Year’s resolutions, for most of us, are just empty promises and broken dreams waiting to happen. We say we’ll change… We say we’ll be better… But really, who wants to run and eat salad every day? That’s right… NOBODY.

(And don’t lie and say you do because that’s not real life.)

So let’s stop kidding ourselves and just quit while we’re already… behind.

Don’t get me wrong… Anyone who really feels like they need changes and/or improvements in their lives and take the necessary steps to success, you go, Glen Coco! I have the utmost respect for you!

However, I’m a realist, and I know, for about 99.99999% of us, ain’t nothing gonna change because we like our Chick-fil-A and sweet tea, our Netflix binges, our drinking habits, and our lack of self-control in all things (including our sanities).

We don’t mind if our clothes fit a little tighter than they used to (everyone wears sweats this time of year, anyway), and a few cuss words never hurt anybody. (Except in church. Don’t do that.)

All and all, take this new year to find the new you or stick with the same you. It doesn’t matter.

Do what makes you happy, and the rest will fall into place. As long as you love yourself, and you love others, what else really matters in the world?

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10 People You Don’t Want at Your New Year’s Eve Party

10 People You Don’t Want At Your NYE Party

(Odyssey Article 23)

New Year, Same Party People

Christmas is over, and we’re about to ring in the New Year. This year went by faster than expected, but your NYE party will be legendary (as always). However, a few things could put a real damper on the ball drop. Here are ten people you definitely want to leave off the guest list.

1. The guy who’s blacked out-passed out by 10:30 PM.

Black Out Drunk

2. The couple who thinks the ball drops every 30 seconds.

Supernatural Funny Kiss Gif

3. The mortified mom-friend who’s out at her first post-21 New Year’s Eve party and keeps telling everyone to drink water.

I'm Such a Good Friend

4. The guy who just broke up with his long-time girlfriend (who treated him like crap anyway).

Sad Lieutenant Dan Gif

5. The girl who’s already talking about her New Year’s resolutions.

Mean Girls 3 Pounds Gif

6. The guy who keeps shooshing everyone as he waits for the ball drop.

Shhh Gif

7. The girl who’s everyone’s ex.

Golden Girls On Who

8. The guy who tries to hook up with every girl.

Can I Have Your Number?

9. The Woo Girl.

New Girl Woo Girl

10. The couple who gets into a fight and leaves within 30 minutes of arrival.

New Girl Jess and Nick Fighting

Have fun, be safe, and Happy New Year!

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10 Festive Cocktails Guaranteed to Make Your Christmas Merry and Bright

10 Festive Cocktails Guaranteed to Make Your Christmas Merry and Bright

(Odyssey Article 22)

‘Twas the night before Christmas, and all through the house, everything was lit, from the tree to your spouse.

Ah, Christmas…

Except for the cold, it is my favorite time of year. During the holidays, so many cool events take place, people have lifted spirits, and the air just seems a little lighter.

But do you know what else lifts spirits and makes the air lighter? Alcohol!

Check out these ten fabulous cocktails assured to knock your stockings off! (See what I did there?)

1. Apple Cinnamon Cranberry Mimosas

Apple Cinnamon Cranberry Mimosas

Mimosas aren’t just for brunch, y’all.

2. Apple Cider Moscow Mules

Apple Cider Moscow Mules

Time to break out the copper mugs!

3. Cranberry Orange Margaritas

Cranberry Orange Margaritas

Feliz Navidad!

4. Cranberry & Rosemary White Christmas Sangria

Cranberry & Rosemary White Christmas Sangria

We tried this recipe last year. It was delicious!

5. Rudolph’s Tipsy Spritzer

Rudolph's Tipsy Spritzer

No reindeer games with this one.

6. Salted Caramel White Russian

Salted Caramel White Russian

As sweet and salty as retail workers on Christmas Eve.

7. RumChata Egg Nog Cocktail

RumChata Egg Nog Cocktail

As surprisingly tasty as your head sewn to the carpet.

8. Red Wine Hot Chocolate

Red Wine Hot Chocolate

I love wine. Wine is my favorite.

9. Poinsettia Punch

Poinsettia Spritz Punch

As boozy as it is beautiful.

10. Silent Night Martini

Silent Night Martini

Even Santa can’t keep quiet after a few of these!

Merry Christmas, and Happy Holidays! Enjoy!

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50 Things I Enjoy More Than Cold Weather

50 Things I Enjoy More Than Cold Weather

(Odyssey Article 21)

*crying frozen tears*

This arctic air is definitely a sign winter is right around the corner, and as I much as I love this time of year and the holidays, one thing about late fall and winter I despise more than anything else… the cold.

Just so you guys really understand where I’m coming from, here are 50 (unpleasant) things I enjoy more than cold weather.

  1. Losing all my money at the casino
  2. Brain freeze
  3. Stubbing my toe
  4. Burning my hand on my straightener
  5. Traffic
  6. Slow walkers
  7. Hitting every red light
  8. Black coffee
  9. My phone dying at 12:00 PM
  10. Swimsuit shopping
  11. Blisters
  12. Bugs
  13. Boob sweat
  14. Rude people
  15. Being late
  16. Chanel West Coast’s laugh
  17. Crusty feet
  18. Porto-potties
  19. Getting a text back hours later
  20. Burnett’s vodka
  21. Hang nails
  22. Dieting
  23. Children shrieking
  24. Stepping in dog poop
  25. Rain with no umbrella
  26. Donald Trump’s hair
  27. Breaking my last ponytail holder
  28. A 10-hour loop of Hotline Bling
  29. Being sick
  30. Cereal with orange juice
  31. Commercials
  32. Slow wifi
  33. A shower with no water pressure
  34. Mixed match clothing
  35. Smacking
  36. Washing dishes
  37. Drunk crying
  38. Unscratchable itches
  39. Losing my train of thought
  40. Waiting 15 minutes in line at the drive-thru
  41. Speeding tickets
  42. PMS
  43. Wet socks
  44. Bad grammar
  45. Small talk
  46. Paper gowns
  47. Getting hit in the heels with a shopping cart
  48. Cardio
  49. Burned popcorn
  50. Cleaning the shower drain

Put me in the Sahara Desert with no shoes, and I’m happier than I am right now in this soon to be snowglobe. I know the weather change is inevitable, but I will never be ready!

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