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Journaling is Your New Best Friend, and Here’s Why

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Northeastern chapter.

The transition to college can be super hard for anyone. As I near the end of my first year, I’ve realized just how many ups and downs I’ve had over the past seven months or so. Through it all — at my highest highs and my lowest lows — journaling has been a dear friend that has never failed me. No matter what’s going on in your life, whether you’re totally settled and comfortable, having a million new experiences, or somewhere in the middle, journaling can help you navigate any situation.

Consistency with journaling can certainly be tricky as any habit can be hard to implement into your routine. However, once you really get started, the freedom to express yourself and take a moment to reflect can be super rewarding (and addicting). Firstly, I think it’s best to brainstorm what you want to get out of your journaling experience. Do you want to reminisce on old memories, braindump your random thoughts, or articulate your problems and feelings? The good news is that journaling is all you. The process is completely personal and adaptable to exactly what you need. (It can help to get a super cute journal that will inspire you to pick up the pen regularly!) 

Personally, I have found three different journaling techniques that work best for my goals and needs. Hopefully these different strategies can inspire your journaling journey!

The Classic

First is your classic journaling experience. This is probably what comes to mind when thinking about a diary or personal writing exercise. I usually resort to “the classic” when I have feelings that I just need to get out somehow. It could be a conflict with a friend, a fight with my parents, or stress and anxiety about school; no matter what, getting my emotions down on paper helps me every time. In difficult situations, writing helps me to understand how I actually feel about the problem and what the best solution is. Sometimes I read through an entry right after I write it and realize: Hey, this isn’t a big problem at all! Journaling can help me to see that I can persevere, advocate for myself and problem solve all on my own. Even if there seems to be nothing out of the ordinary going on right now, starting your journal can create a space that’s just for you. If you’re unsure of where to start, I find that looking up any kind of journaling prompts can be incredibly helpful in getting pen to paper. With anything going on in your life, the classic method is a super easy go-to for the first steps of problem solving.

The Photo Dump

Next, a personal favorite of mine is “the photo dump.” I’m a super nostalgic person, and I absolutely love to romanticize the past. Over a year ago, I found that I was constantly scrolling through my camera roll. That’s when I decided to make a private Instagram account just for me where I would post photo dumps. But, I didn’t want this to be just any photo dump or finsta account. After every post, I write a journal entry on paper discussing my feelings surrounding the time that I posted photos from. I then post a picture of the journal entry so that the feed alternates between pictures and writing. Now, this is just for me — maybe I’ll request my friends eventually — but the best part about “The Photo Dump” is that it’s completely customizable to you! If you want to write about pictures without posting, if you want to make the account public, if you want to post pictures but not the journal entries, it’s all up to you. This journaling technique is absolutely perfect for the nostalgic heart!

The Video Diary

Last but certainly not least is the video diary. If paper and pen is not your forté, a video diary is definitely the way to go. Perfect for when I have something to say that I simply can not express through written word, the Photo Booth app is my secret weapon. With my phone away and all distractions gone, I start recording a video as I blurt out my every thought. This style is super fun and breaks up the mundane nature of journaling by hand. With a video diary, you can tell funny stories, express your emotions and even cry it out to your computer. I love looking back at old videos I’ve made and seeing how much I’ve grown. “The Video Diary” is another great place to start if you’re unsure about your journaling habits. 

All in all, journaling is an amazing resource, and it comes in so many forms! No matter who you are, what your support systems are like and how your everyday habits work, journaling is truly for anyone! 

Anna Wice

Northeastern '26

Anna is a first-year Political Science major with a Spanish minor at Northeastern University. She loves reading, listening to music, and spending time with friends!