Considering Journaling? Check Out The Benefits For Students
Journal writing might sometimes seem to be a lost art of the past, but there are many different benefits of journaling, especially if you are moving away from home for the first time and settling into life at your new student apartments.
Keeping a journal of any kind can have a positive impact on your mental wellbeing, your lifestyle, timekeeping and your studies, alongside many other factors in your life.
Let’s take a look at a few of the reasons why you should consider journaling as a student.
What Is A Journal?
Before we step into the benefits of journaling, we need to understand what a journal is and what forms it can take.
Put simply, a journal is a record of a person’s personal information. You might think of a journal as a diary.
The difference might be that a diary is almost universally seen as a private account of a person’s time, whereas a journal might be kept with the view of sharing it at a certain point in the future, whether for academic, artistic, or personal reasons.
Are There Different Types Of Student Journals?
There are many different types of journals that you can write as a student.
There is no right or wrong answer, and once you have seen the various forms in which a journal can take, you might want to try out a few different ways to keep a journal before settling on what works best for you.
We’ve listed below some examples of journals that students could experiment with.
A Brain Dump Journal
This is a stream-of-consciousness approach to journaling where the person has no goal in mind but uses journaling to write down anything and everything that comes into their minds as they are writing.
This is a good way to relieve stress, to help process thoughts and emotions or to retain information for academic purposes.
This is a fantastic way to organise your thoughts clearly.
This could include life activities, things that have happened to you during the day, key concepts, goals and targets that you need to remember for your study, anything really. Instead of writing complete sentences, bullet points make it quicker and easier to journal, giving you buzz words that jog your memory when you read the list back.
A Transfer Journal
A transfer journal is a method that students use to help expand on specific concepts that they have encountered in lectures and seminars.
It allows the thoughts to be written down in a way that helps you to think about how you can apply those concepts in future to aid you in specific circumstances.
A Double-entry Journal
There are some people who struggle to connect with their thoughts and feelings in a productive way.
If you struggle with this, double-entry journaling provides you with a safe space to do so.
On the left hand side of the page write down a problem you are having, a concern or a concept, and on the right hand side of the page write down your thoughts and feelings about it.
A Gratitude Journal
If you are looking to start journaling to help your mental health a gratitude journal might appeal to you.
Every day, write down what you are most thankful for, and try to think of different things every single day.
This could be big things like you’re thankful for your family, or small things like the delivery person was friendly and made you smile, or you’re having a good hair day.
The Classic Reflective Journal
A journal where you write down things about your life in order to reflect.
Reflective journaling is used as a therapeutic tool for many people, helping them to get to know who they are and to figure out what they want to do with their life.
A Reading Journal
This type of journal is more of a functional one, where students can keep notes on books and journals that they have been reading for their university course.
It is a fantastic tool that helps facts and figures, emotions and reasons to stick in your mind.
This can be difficult when you are studying at university with loads of different texts to read.
The Benefits Of Journaling
Now that you understand that there are a few different types of journaling that you can experiment with whilst at university, let’s move on to talk about the benefits of journaling.
The biggest of which is that it doesn’t even have to take long to write in your journal, it only takes a few minutes at the end of your day.
1. Stress Relief Tool
University is a very stressful time, though it is rewarding too.
There is a big jump in what is expected of you academically from school to university and this can be a shock to a student.
When you throw in the changes in life, moving away from home, living independently and on a budget, you can see how stressful it can be.
A journal as a stress relief tool can help you to identify negative thoughts and problems, to work through them practically and in a way that suits you.
As you take control over your thoughts your stress levels will reduce.
2. Keep Your Mind Sharp
Your studies are important, and it is likely that you are working and studying long hours every single day to stay on top of and keep ahead of your academic life.
Writing in your journal can help to keep your mind sharp and focussed but as a break from academics.
Writing on a physical piece of paper helps to prompt better brain activity and memory recall.
This act might seem a simple thing to do but it can be an effective way to sharpen your mind and make it more effective when going back to university work.
3. Improve Your Communication
Improving your communication skills is important no matter what type of career you go into after university, and for life in general.
One of the biggest benefits of journaling is that it helps improve your written and verbal communication as you are learning how to organise your thoughts better.
4. Boost Your Physical Health
Although you might think that journaling only helps your mental health, it can also help you to reduce your blood pressure, due to the stress relief factor.
Stress can have a huge negative impact upon your physical health, so to reduce this can help you to stay healthy in body as well as in mind.
5. Discover Who You Are
Whilst at university you discover a lot about who you are as a person.
Your emotional intelligence will expand in this time and keeping a journal is a great way to unlock this.
There are many different things that could be causing you concern, such as learning to live and work with people you don’t necessarily get along with, struggles academically, with your mental health, and making choices that will impact your future career.
6. Stay On Track To Meet Your Goals
A journal is an effective outlet to write down your personal goals, to make to-do lists, and to encourage work with words of personal encouragement left for you to read out loud to yourself.
This makes it much easier to methodically work through tasks and projects and to meet short-term and long-term goals.
7. Improve Memory & Academic Results
Writing down important events, thoughts and concepts in a journal will help you to retain facts and figures, to improve your memory skills.
As memory is such an important part of learning and academic life it is no surprise that journaling will help you to improve your academic results through an improvement of oral and written communication skills.
8. Become More Creative
If you are looking for ways to boost your creative thinking and to express the creative side of your mind a stream-of-consciousness journal could be the perfect tool.
A journal that works in this way is the best way to work through any difficult emotions you may be feeling, and to learn how to express them in a creative way that lets you work through things methodically.
A journal gives you complete creative and artistic freedom to write whatever you want, free from the constraints of academic writing styles and formats.
As you can see, there are a range of benefits of journaling that you can experience as a student.
Whether you use a journal to dump all your thoughts onto paper to just get them out of your mind, you keep a straightforward diary type journal, keep a reading journal, or a journal designed to help you come to terms with academic questions and struggles you have met with, there are benefits to be had.
Have you ever kept a journal? What form did it take, and did you experience the benefits of journaling as a student? Give us a shout and let us know your thoughts.