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

Journaling for me started when I kept a diary complete with lock and key where I described  every little detail about my third grade experience. Times have changed since then, swapping out a purple fuzzy diary from Justice for a sleek Moleskin, and I’m more deliberate with what I choose to recount. 

One thing is the same; I love getting to read what I once wrote and see how I’ve changed and how my world has too. It’s something I thank my past self for, even if my current self is ornery when it comes to keeping things consistent.

Turning to write down your thoughts to move them outside yourself is common advice you’ll hear when times get tough in your life. Yet, this doesn’t have to be the only time that you journal. Writing down simple things that happen is just as important. Our minds get clogged up with all kinds of thoughts, so releasing them onto paper can immensely help with resting your mind.

When reflecting on my day through journaling, I find more small things to be grateful for, like my breakfast avocado toast or connecting with my friends across the country over a FaceTime call. 

With the pandemic taking so many people, experiences, and things away from us, it can be hard to remain grateful for the little things we do have. Remaining grateful is important since many of the little things we took for granted pre-pandemic are the things we wish we had now. There are still plenty of things to be grateful for, and I believe journaling helps bring them to the forefront. 

If you’re looking to begin journaling, now is a great time to start. I’m a fairly sentimental person, so I think about how I’ll enjoy getting to provide my kids and grandkids with a first hand account of what living through a pandemic was like. 

Maybe that isn’t your first thought, and that’s totally okay, but future you will most likely enjoy reflecting on how you carried yourself during the pandemic and how you occupied your time. It may be hard to believe we stayed inside for this long, or it may not. Regardless, keeping a journal will allow you to ponder over what times were once these unprecedented times are over.

The pandemic has brought a lot of newfound stress and anxiety into many of our lives and being able to put these thoughts on paper can help with realizing what you can and can’t control. Writing is not the only way to do this, but it can be a good start if talking to others about your feelings is difficult. Knowing you can always turn to your journal and write is a source of comfort for many.

Writing is not the only way to journal either. Bullet journaling is a great way to have art tell your story. The same goes for a daily doodle, practicing collage, or another daily form of creation to debrief about your day. 

Journaling can also be something you do weekly if daily feels overwhelming. Journaling should be accustomed to what works for you, so it doesn’t feel like a chore or burden. It should be something exciting you look forward to doing.

Remember that some days you may not feel like doing it, and that’s okay. For new and seasoned journal keepers, it’s important to remember that this is your journal and you get to make the decisions of how to write when it’s right.

I highly encourage anyone considering journaling to try it. The ability to make it completely your own in regard to content and frequency can help you stick with it compared to other hobbies. Remembering small occurrences from each day helps to make every day feel significant although they can blur together. We only get to live each day once, why not remember and take more from it?

Jade Bolton is a first-generation transfer student in her second semester at USC as a Communication major. She splits her time between Los Angeles and Orange County. A self-described 'curious creative,' she explores the world through her hobbies of writing, photography, and paper collage. Her other interests include drinking hot chocolate, watching Wheel of Fortune, and exploring her two hometowns. Contact Jade through her email: jpbolton@usc.edu
Katie Muschalik is a film student at the University of Southern California. Everything she ever needed to know she learned from a Judy Blume book.