Discovering journaling is the best thing that could have ever happened for me. It helps me gather my thoughts when there’s a state of chaos in my brain. It helps me to be organized. There are lots of misconceptions with journaling. For example, some people think that they have to keep up with it everyday or that it has to be fancy with bright colors. That’s not quite right though, journaling is what you make it. It’s your own personalized little life in a notebook. 

     If you want your journal entries to be simple, they can be simple. If you want something to be fancy, they can be fancy. I just have a moleskine journal, that I know will last me years, and a pen. I usually start off with the date and time, and then go into what I am talking about. You're not obligated to any type of time crunch, you can write however long you want and on as many pages as you want.

     Journaling is really helpful to me. I take it as a way to further analyze my day or weeks that have gone by. I’ve learned so much more about myself through journaling and I've noticed lots of patterns, both good and bad. I think a huge plus to journaling is not having to vent to others. You write what or how you’re feeling on a piece of paper and you never have to worry about feeling judged or being a burden to someone.

     For me, things start to get really hectic around spring because I play a sport. Plus, I am involved in way more than just a sport, I am also involved in clubs. Even around big deadlines or important tests, it can be hectic. Balancing school, sports, and clubs can be overwhelming at times, so having a journal can be very crucial. Journaling can be a really fun and interesting way to unwind. Sometimes I just write in it out of boredom or because I feel like I've just been scrolling on my phone for eternity and my eyes need a break. 

     Before, I was filled with a lot of anxiety, which I felt like had worsened this year because I hadn't been socializing very often. I don’t really care about talking to new people or being around big crowds, I’m very introverted. Journaling has helped me step out of my comfort zone, it’s made me feel more open to talking to new people and not keeping this blank, nervous stare on my face. Journaling hasn’t completely taken away all of the anxiety I feel on a daily basis, but it does make the world seem like a better place, at least for the moment.

     The journal method I use is free writing, where you can write about anything you want, however you want. That isn’t the only method, though. There are methods such as bullet journaling, art journaling, gratitude journaling, and many others. There are so many ways to write, you’re not just restricted to one method of writing. If you want to change it up one day, that’s definitely an option. It is what you make it.

     Once you start journaling, it just becomes a part of your routine. I always look forward to writing in my journal. Sometimes I don’t have time for it, but journaling has made me make time for activities that I really want to do. It gives me something positive to think about, be happy about, and be grateful for. It also has lots of benefits like reducing stress, which could really help me in the long run.

     Journaling is a therapeutic practice that can benefit anyone. All you need to get started is a notebook and a pen.