The Value of Journaling

I began regularly journaling the summer entering high school after some desperately needed soul searching and self-reflection. After noticing and accepting my life was a mess because I had allowed it to be, I decided to change it by journaling my life every day.

Related: How to Have a Journal and Actually Keep Up with It

At first, journaling meant “planning out” my day, week and overall month. Not only did this help me keep track of everything and give me ease of having something to always look back to, but it also allowed me to be fully invested in the things I did because I dedicated time to it. I felt myself becoming more productive in my passions and finally feeling content in relaxing because I had earned that free time for myself. For some time I felt like all the stars were finally starting to align as I started to develop into my teenage years. I thought: “Wow, I have everything together, don’t people always say that this takes years to figure out?” But, after a while, the high of planning did wear off. Suddenly, it became a chore to schedule myself out as I noticed that I began to over-book myself. Because of this, I once again was the mess I was before I adopted planning. Essentially, I had let planning over-stress me back into the cluttered lifestyle I had before. It was then when I realized the difference between journaling and planning. Journaling, rather, is simply writing in a journal daily about anything.

By now, I was a junior in high school (AKA the most chaotic time known to man) and I really was struggling in —it seemed like— all aspects of life. It seemed like all the things in my life were going a mile a minute and I couldn't catch up no matter what I did. After being very frustrated with myself for allowing this to happen again, I decided to give journaling, actual journaling, a try. I bought a journal, the cheapest I could find and made it a daily task to write at least once in it. Anything that came to mind, I told myself to jot down and see what comes. For the first couple of weeks, I could only write a few sweet nothings about my day, but one day I had the realization that: Who am I writing for?

Related: The Benefits of Journaling

Now, I knew the true essence of what journaling was about. All that time, I was trying to fix my mess by others’ methods when what I really needed to do was focus on who I am actually living for. Every afternoon, usually before sunset, I make sure to sit down and write an entry of how I’m feeling, how the day went, what bothered me, what I can better on, my dreams, my struggles, etc. That's the beauty of journaling, there are no limits to what you can write about. Nothing is too little or too big, but real.

It has become easier now because I know there’s no pressure in journaling. My journal is my safe place where I can truly express how I feel and what I’m going through and truly, it helps me heal and go on. Journaling has not only allowed me to mature as a woman, but it has taught me what I am capable of, even when I thought I lost it all.

Give journaling a try, collegiettes. You never know how it may make you feel.