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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at U Mass Amherst chapter.

Throughout my entire life, I have loved writing. Whether it be in school, writing fictional stories as a kid, or writing for Her Campus, writing has been an outlet for me in times of stress and worry. As I entered college in a new state, with no friends from home, and an entirely new environment, I saw myself grow more anxious by the minute. I struggled to deal with the new anxiety that had been more severe than ever, and after talking with friends and loved ones, the word that continued to come up was journaling

I had certainly attempted to be a consistent journalist throughout high school, but I had never stuck to it. I would try one day, get bored, give up, and forget about the notebook for months, assuming I was just “not the type” and needed to have another outlet. However, I was determined, this time, to make it a consistent stress reliever. 

Knowing that journaling had not gone the smoothest when using a notebook, I started a long note on my computer that was dedicated to journal entries. Every time I felt like writing, I would enter the date and write whatever came to my mind. Typically, I would reflect on the day or write about how I felt. At first, journaling felt awkward to me as I would overthink the aspect of writing to myself. However, over time, I noticed that I grew more comfortable with the idea, and began crafting long journals each day that would range from 500 to 1,000 words. As each day passed, I noticed myself writing more consistently. I looked forward to my time at night when I could sit, listen to some music, and speak my mind in my journal. 

Doing this every day has been a life changer, providing me a space to handle stress and release any anxieties I feel on a day-to-day basis. I have noticed myself tremendously less stressed compared to the first semester, and I feel as though through writing I have become more expressive and aware of how to handle the anxiety I feel. When I can sense a lot of anxiety coming in, I will take a deep breath and write, channeling my stress through writing rather than holding it in. I write about whatever I am feeling at the moment, practically writing down what I am anxious about and trying to find ways to ease this anxiety. 

Now, I am an advocate for journaling and recommend it to all of my friends when they share feelings of anxiety or are extremely overwhelmed. In college, it is so important to have multiple outlets and ways to ease stress. Having outlets that are just for yourself is key, and can help you when things become too much. This is what has helped me as I entered college and had to quickly adjust to new classes, friends, and living away from my hometown and parents. Journaling is a great option for anyone, and if you haven’t tried it, I highly recommend you give it a shot and see how it goes. You might be just like me, and quickly fall in love!

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Sara Keegan

U Mass Amherst '26

Sara is a freshman at UMass studying Political Science. Some of her passions include reading, going to concerts, and traveling.