What Journaling Every Day For A Month Taught Me

What Journaling Every Day For A Month Taught Me

A journey in self-discovery and ink stains.
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At first, the thought of keeping all of your innermost thoughts and feelings in one place can seem daunting. Especially when you consider tying to do it for AN ENTIRE MONTH. It sure did to me, but once I moved past my initial trepidation of somebody accidentally happening across those thoughts and feelings, the idea of journaling became something that I could look forward to. I found it to be a great method of capturing a moment in time, akin to taking a photograph. And one of the most important things I learned was that sometimes the quickest way to learn something new about yourself is to just write it down.

For starters, I learned a little something about where I like to write things down. What I found to be the best kind of journal to work with is one with thick pages (so the ink doesn’t bleed as readily) and pockets. That way anything I wanted to save for later to add to the journal wouldn’t run the risk of getting lost. One of my favorites, which is rather affordable, is Markings® by C.R. Gibson.

My favorite things to document are experiences and feelings that I might want to access later. That being said, I figured out that I also liked to preserve things like ticket stubs, pressed leaves, sketches, or pictures alongside the written words to visually enhance the pages.

Other fun additions included a variety of paints, self-made envelopes, and stickers. Having extra embellishments like those helped me to recall experiences more vividly as well as make the process of journaling more fun. I learned about what I considered to be the most significant events in my life as they were happening.

Mostly, I enjoyed journaling because it showed me different ways to spend my time, and besides having a therapeutic quality, writing in a journal functions as a nice alternative to being on my phone in public. Instead of allowing myself to be consumed by stress or sadness, I learned that it feels good to articulate how you feel, even if it is just on paper.

In turn, it pushed me to start sharing how I feel more readily because I had a concrete grasp of my exact emotions instead of just a vague notion of them. From there I realized it’s not just the sad things that are worth documenting, and I found a greater appreciation for what makes me happy after seeking out the best moments of each day to commemorate.

Overall, keeping a daily journal changed me for the better because it let me prove to myself that I could make a moderately time-consuming commitment (some days I would write for at least an hour!) and stick through it. I grew to become more comfortable with filling empty spaces, which is mostly a convenient skill to have as an English major who must frequently start essays from scratch. And most importantly, I had a stronger sense of self after I had finished.

As some parting words of wisdom, when I was stuck for ideas on what to write about, I found that good places to find ideas to get the creative juices flowing include (but are not limited to) Pinterest, a Daily Writing Prompt website, or this PDF that has a prompt for each day of the year. Any of these are great starting points to go off of. That or redoing prompts that I’d already responded to as time goes on. This reveals how your opinions on things can change over time, which is the best aspect of journaling in my opinion: being able to keep track of what makes you, you.

Cover Image Credit: Pixabay

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10 Abnormally Normal Things About College

Some stuff just doesn't fly in the real world.
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College is a weird, weird place. For whatever reason, the young adults who are supposed to be cultivating their minds with all of the worldly knowledge available to them, seem to get away with quite a bit using the justification "it's college." Even the best students live abnormally while on the alien planet that is a university. So, while to us college students it may just seem like another day, here are ten things that are only normal in college.

1. Straight up theft.

In the future, if I walk into my forty-something-year-old neighbor's home and see a collection of stolen signs, stuff from the local restaurant, and property from the construction site down the road, I would definitely be concerned about the character of my neighbor. However, in college, people proudly display campus signs, traffic cones, or dining hall napkin dispensers that they have impressively commandeered - it's a cheap decoration and a great conversation starter.

2. All-nighters.

Maybe with the exception of parents of little babies, very few people willingly stay up for close to 24 hours on end. In the real world, if a friend came to you and said that they literally did not sleep the previous night, it's completely logical to be worried. On the other hand, when a friend in college says that he was up all night you laugh a little, give him an understanding pat on the back, and walk with him to the coffee line.

3. Atrocious eating habits.

Sometimes you don't have time to eat. Sometimes you order pizza at 2 in the morning. Sometimes you eat three dinners. Sometimes you diet. All I can say, is thank goodness that our metabolisms are decently high at this age.

4. Breaking and entering.

In high school, you hopefully knew everyone who entered your home. After college, hopefully, that's still the case. However, when you live in the middle of thousands of bored college students, people knock at your door, walk into parties, cut through your yard, and stop by without invitation or hesitation. It keeps life fun, but still not normal.

5. Calling mom when stuff goes down.

I really doubt a time will ever come that I don't need to call my mom for guidance on how to do something. But, hopefully the frequency of those calls with go down a little bit post-graduation. Maybe after four years of doing it on my own, I'll know how to fill out government forms, cook real dinners, and get stains out. But for now, I'm going to keep calling while I still can without seeming totally pathetic.

6. Being intoxicated at weird times.

Drunk at noon on a Friday is the quintessence of an alcoholic at any time - unless it's college. Not that this is necessarily a good thing, and it certainly doesn't apply to everyone, but there aren't many other places where people would instantly assume someone is intoxicated if they're acting even a little weird. I've even seen people drink in the library....

7. The messed up dating scene.



There are people who meet the love of their life at college and live happily ever after. They are people who meet the supposed love of their life at college and never talk to them again after Sunday. There are people who use Tinder. Hormones are high, freedom is bountiful, and football players are cute - what else needs to be said?

8. A warped sense of time.

The career I'm pursuing will require me to be at work by 7 am, five days a week. I am fully aware of this. Now, will I enroll in an 8 am next semester? Absolutely not - I'm not a demon. In college, nights often start at 10 p.m., dinners are eaten at 4, and mornings can begin anywhere from 8 to 2. We don't get that whole 9-5 idea.

9. Costumes... for no apparent reason.

High schoolers have a dress code. Adults have dignity. College students have fun. Here, people will wear a corn costume to get on ESPN, a fanny pack to get into a fraternity, or a tutu to match a theme party. Is it actually a weird thing, though? No one even blinks an eye.

10. Insanely close friends.

Name another point in your life when you live with your friends, study with your friends, drive with your friends, eat with your friends, go out with your friends, and even grocery shop with your friends. I'll wait. At college, it's easy for friends to seem like family because you're with them constantly. Love it or hate it, it's weird about college.

So, enjoy this weirdness while you can - it won't last forever!


ALSO SEE:

Uncensored Roommate Confessions!

Cover Image Credit: Matthew Kupfer

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If I Could Dream A Perfect Day, This Is What I'd Do

An inside look at what my dream day would be like.

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Have you ever just had such a crappy day that you find yourself lying in bed daydreaming about what your perfect day would be like? No limitations, no pain, no frustrations. Just whatever you want.

Well, I have. Here is a look at what my perfect day would contain.

1. Teleportation

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I know, I know. The first thing on my list is something that could absolutely never happen, at least in my lifetime. But hear me out.

I want to travel, but any form of transportation makes me sick. Cars, boats, planes, trains, you name it I end getting sick. So if I could teleport than I wouldn't have to deal with it. Plus I wouldn't have to pay for gas or airfare. It's a win-win.

2. My Mom

Kayla Resler

It wouldn't be a perfect day if my mom wasn't along for the ride. Who else would I have fun with and then rub it in my brothers face later?

Just kidding, he would come too.

3. Food

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It would not be a prefect day if it didn't involve food. And if it was free it would be even better.

4. London

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I have been dying to go back to London, and if it was my perfect day I would definitely take a trip over the pond!

5. Meet the Stars

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If it was going to be my perfect day, I would meet some celebrities. Let me scream, and jump, and totally fangirl in front of Emma Watson, Tom Hiddleston, Chris Hemsworth, Zac Efron, and Robert Downey Jr. just to name a few.

6. Meet Fictional Characters

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Earlier I said no limitations, so that means I get to meet fictional characters such as the Mikaelson family, the Golden Trio, Sirius Black, the Avengers, the Joker (he wouldn't kill me), and Hannibal Lecter (he also wouldn't kill me) to name a few.

7. Disney World

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Bring on the magic! I want to go to Disney World and not have to wait in any lines. That would be a perfect day.

8. Learn a New Language

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If I could learn how to speak French or German in a day that would be amazing.

9. Queen Concert

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If I could close out the day by traveling back in time to see a Queen concert with Freddie Mercury back on stage that would be the perfect end to the perfect day.

10. Happiness

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If everyone that I love was completely happy, with no stresses holding them down, for just one day that would definitely be a part of my perfect day.

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