With too many assignments due, project deadlines coming up, and exams rolling around every week, college students tend to be busy people, and sometimes, the stresses of daily life can get overbearing. We all have our own ways of coping with these issues and writing in a journal has been my way of dealing.

Why Journal?

cake, coffee, beer, tea
McKenna Franklin

Most of the time I'll just talk about what happened during my day. Usually it's just me complaining about too much work or talking about what I did in the chemical engineering lab. Of course, there are other times when I receive a low score on an exam or when I just feel particularly lonely that I'll write more seriously. There's a variety of writing in my journal, and that's what keeps it interesting.

Although I'm not studying anything at all related to writing in college (I'm a Computer Engineering major), I love to journal, mainly because of its therapeutic benefits. When I'm writing down what's happened or my current frustrations, I feel as if these feelings leave my pen as well, and they become more real once they're out there. 

Learning From Experience

beer, grass
Wendy Sun

Here's a sample of what I wrote one productive day: "I took a run in the morning, down Main Street finally, and then got through question eight on Mastering Physics homework. At 11, I met up with a friend from Wellesley at Starbucks, catching up on each other's lives. I finished up the rest of my code for Project 1, FaceTimed my parents, took a shower, went to dinner, and did more Mastering Physics. I think I'm starting to enjoy physics now; it's like problem solving using formulas, so it's not actually that difficult."

Reading this excerpt two months later, I remember exactly how happy I was about finishing all of that work. Every weekend I try to aim to be as productive as that day, and I'll read past experiences in my journal to help become motivated to work as hard as I did before.

I can take these emotions that I've written down and go through them again when I read through the entry at a later date. It's like living through the past again and learning from what I've experienced. 

The Benefits

It's relieving that I don't have to hold anything in. Writing it down and then reading what I've written helps me reflect on what happened and live through it all again. I love reading about my fun study days and the movies I've watched with friends; it's a good stress reliever from whatever the real life situations bring.

I'm not the only one who thinks that journaling is an awesome stress therapy. Studies have indicated that journaling helps people cope with anxiety and if incorporated, can help to cultivate a healthy lifestyle.  

Personally, I think everyone should try to journal. Maybe not every day, but there's no harm in starting small. Try once a month or once a week. Then see how you feel about it. I'm almost certain you'll feel much better emotionally, and before you know it, you'll be doing it every day, like me.