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My Journey From Being an Anti-Journaler to a Journaling Enthusiast

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

I used to hate journaling… now I can’t stop doing it

I used to hate journaling. You might think it was because I didn’t see the results I wanted, or maybe it took up too much of my time. Nope. The truth is, I hadn’t even tried it. I hated journaling solely because it was seemingly advertised as a miracle cure for all of my problems, and I was skeptical. After landing on the “It-Girl” side of TikTok, journaling appeared in almost every video I watched. While the content in the “Day in My Life” Tik Toks varied, they always ended with a journaling session. Surely this was just another aesthetic appeal, right? What could possibly be so beneficial about writing down words on a piece of paper? Well, I figured that there was only one way to find out: to try it for myself.

Six months ago I decided to take the plunge and get a journal, expecting that I would write a couple of pages and then it would sit on my shelf until I found another purpose for it. But I was determined to keep an open mind. The night that I got the journal, I sat down at my desk and prepared to write. But soon enough, I was flooded with questions on where to even begin. How should I start? A classic “Dear Diary,” or maybe a simple “Hello”? Was I supposed to add the date and time to the top of the page? What writing instrument was I supposed to use? A pen? A pencil? After all the TikToks that I had watched, I had built up journaling to be this big aesthetic event. In fact, that’s what I wrote my first journal entry about. Although my first entry wasn’t as “perfect” as I had imagined it would be, after writing a page or two, I began to understand the hype around journaling. I started writing about how I didn’t know what to write, or how to even journal. As I continued writing, I began to work through that insecurity that I had; realizing that journaling was solely for myself, and that it didn’t have to be “perfect” to anyone else. Writing myself through problems would become a common theme in all my later entries. 

Before I began to journal, I would often have thoughts or problems that would occur but that I would later dismiss into the abyss of my brain. Writing allowed me to revisit those thoughts and work through them, almost acting as a self-therapist. After discovering this outlet, I noticed myself becoming less stressed and more at peace. I think it was because instead of ignoring my emotions, I actually began to listen and validate them.

Journaling doesn’t always have to be an every day (or even every week) activity like you often see in many “It-Girl” TikToks. It could just be an outlet you turn to when you’re feeling like you need a little extra support that day. I can say that journaling certainly isn’t for everyone, but it was for me. I just had to let my skepticism go and give it a try. Coming from a self-proclaimed anti-journaler who only believed in the aesthetics of the activity, journaling has won me over.