The Benefits of Journaling


Photo by Laila LaFrombois

A few colors on a page, to organize and keep thoughts collected. Mia Ballard (12) journals to balance the life of a student athlete, journalist and journal.

Laila LaFrombois, Staffer

Maybe it’s OCD or just the pure need for organization and structure in one’s life, maybe that’s why it’s a planner in their backpack. Possibly someone who has a talent for sketching out little cartoons, or feels inspired by the atmosphere, a sketchbook in the drawer of one’s nightstand. Or pages full of collages and memories, with all sorts of colors and stickers, a visual meaning. It could be the artistry in the words of a poet, the hidden treasures within the pages, this may lay under one’s bed, sacred words. A diary? Expressing feelings of gratitude for the world, how long the day felt, venting about pain too real to verbally spill.

Journaling is an art of variety, it’s always been popular, since biblical times, people have written down aspects of life in their perspective of “the now”. Journaling is documentation, this has brought so much history to the world and allowed for people to see in the eyes of another, through words. A language of expression and experience, a way of life for some. A hobby to some, a necessity to others, an escape for many.

The use of a journal holds much diversity, a prominent characteristic of these objects. “I have a couple of journals consisting of all types of entries, a majority are just things that have happened in my life that I don’t want to forget, memories.”, Kendra Bacon (11), an artist of her expression, said. A memory, often times people’s brains retain so much information and experiences, simply just writing down something significant enough to one’s brain, can hold one of the many joys in life. Aside from reality, imagination can be beauty in the eyes of many as well. “Sometimes I’ll sketch little things or jot down the possibilities of what my future looks like, maybe things that inspire me. I use it to express myself  ‘cause I like having something that’s pen and paper, which is harder to find today, since everything is technology based.”, Bacon added about the need for more pen and paper usage in the world. “If you’ve never written in a journal, you should try it out, it’s really eye opening and a great way to express your thoughts and feelings without feeling like you don’t have room, also it’s a great way to separate yourself from your phone and be more connected with yourself,” Bacon suggested.

It’s highly recommended by psychologists and counselors to release heavy weighted things on the mind and the heart. Even if it’s just the stress of clutter and mess, a planner is a way of relief through organization. Student athlete Andrea Villegas (11) puts use into this relief, “Using a planner allows me to organize everything, whether it’s an A or B day, and even just little assignments that, as much I say I have a good memory, I always end up forgetting about.” Adding creativity and a sense of self allows for more effect for most students. “Keeping it color coordinated allows me to also add my artistic self to it,” Villegas stated.

Journaling, as intimate, organized, artistic or crazy as one can make it, is just another form of expression.