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One of my favorite artists, Maude Latour, said that she feels she’s in “some grand relationship with writing things down,” and I couldn’t agree more. I’ve always loved to write: I kept a blog when I was younger, I currently write for Her Campus at Conn and Nationals, and I genuinely enjoy writing essays for class. I’m also someone who acts impulsively, and then fixates on my choices after the fact. 

What’s helped me most with this is journaling. This summer, I started to fill a composition notebook with my thoughts. When I first started journaling, I would write typical diary entries chronicling my days and my feelings. I gradually also started to respond to prompts I would find online or come up with myself, trying to really understand the “why” behind my actions and feelings. 

In doing these ‘get to know you’ style prompts with myself, I reflected deeply on who I am on a daily basis. Coupled with the diary entries, it became easier for me to piece together the ‘why’, ‘what’, and ‘how’ of my life. Understanding these aspects of my life has helped me make more conscious choices. 

I think the timing of my journal entries also plays a role in its impact in my life. I like to do a reflective prompt in my mornings as I drink my coffee, which helps me get out all of my worries and thoughts before starting the day. Going into the rest of the day with a clear mindset has been invaluable in focusing on other parts of my life; if I don’t journal I often find myself lost in my thoughts during class. In the evenings before I go to sleep, I write a diary entry about the day. Reflecting on the day is also helpful for clearing my mind, so I’m not laying in bed fixating on what I did well or poorly that day. 

If you’re looking to get into journaling, here are my tips! 

  1. Set aside time to write 

To make journaling a regular habit, I find it helpful to set a time to write and make it part of my routine. I personally write in the morning while I drink my coffee and in the evening after I’ve done my skincare.

  1. Pick a prompt beforehand 

I like to search online for journal prompts once a week and screenshot a bunch so I always have something to write about! Having prompts to look forward to also gets me excited to journal. 

  1. Write as if you’re talking to a friend 

Writing doesn’t have to be well thought out! I try to write like I’m having a conversation with a close friend about my day. This style of writing feels most genuine to me, especially when I go back and read my old entries. 

  1. Avoid the bells and whistles

I’m not going to deny it, it is fun to use all the colors of pens and create fancy headings! But for journaling, I find that it distracts me from the actual writing if I have other things to focus on. I like to stick with a plain composition notebook and black pen for my journal entries. 

Kendall Foley

Conn Coll '24

Kendall Foley is a sophomore at Connecticut College majoring in Philosophy and pursuing a Pathway in Data, Information, and Society. At Conn, Kendall plays for the women's water polo team and is an intern in the Office of Student Accessibility Services. In her free time, you can find Kendall open-water swimming, baking, or spending time with her family.
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