Journaling Ideas for Students
What if someone told you a single activity could boost your grades, improve your memory, elevate your mood, help you organize, teach you to prioritize and more? If you haven’t already guessed it, we’re talking about journaling — and it can help you tackle all those things and more!
Journaling for students is becoming pretty popular because of all the benefits it imparts. If you’re interested in writing in a journal of your own, you might be confused about how to get started. Don’t worry: we’ll cover what you can expect once you turn journaling into a daily habit, and we’ve also got some great journaling exercises you can do to start seeing immediate improvement in your classes.
Why is journaling important for students?
There’s tons of reasons journaling for students is important. Here’s why writing in a journal regularly can lead to better academic and personal life outcomes:
- Better writing outcomes: Okay, this one’s a little obvious, but it’s true: the more you journal, the better you get at writing! The beauty of journaling, however, is that unlike other forms of writing, you’ll be more inspired to write passionately than when you’re penning an academic paper. In addition to making you better at writing, this will help you enjoy writing more, making your other written projects less tiresome when you work on them.
- Better memory and retention: Journaling helps you remember things! This is especially true if you write down notes and dates that are important to you. The physical act of writing down what you’ve learned helps you consolidate, retain and recall information at a later date, and it also helps you make connections between old data and new facts you’ve learned.
- Better motivation: Journaling is an awesome goal-setting practice. By tracking your goals and marking progress against them, you’ll be far more motivated to get work done than if you’re not cataloguing your achievements at all. What’s more, every time you check a box off your priority list, you can celebrate knowing you’re getting closer to crushing your goals.
- Lower stress: School is super stressful, so anything that takes some of the pressure off is worth it. Thankfully, studies have shown that writing in a journal can improve everything from your immune health to physical wellbeing. That’s great news if you’re an overworked college student in need of a break!
Journaling ideas for students
What are the best ways to use your journal? Try these journaling prompts on for size:
1. Goal-setting spread
Turn your journal into a goal-setting spread by creating categories for all your different life goals. For instance, maybe your top priorities are school, work, a relationship and family. Then track progress against how you’re moving toward each goal. Do this by breaking down each larger goal into a series of sub-lists that can be marked off as you go.
2. To-do list
We all know the value of a great to-do list. But a journaling to-do list can be so much more! Incorporate your own personal notes and ideas into your to-do list, and give yourself space to celebrate between progress markers. Consider color-coding different parts of your to-do list based on which priorities are most important to you.
3. Partner journaling
Maybe journaling by hand cramps your style (and hand…). Or maybe you’re the kind of person who loses their notebook everywhere they go. If that’s the case, why not try e-journaling? There are tons of sweet journaling apps out there for you to get your hands on. Some even allow you to journal with a partner! Together you can work on your goals, hold each other accountable and more.
4. Semester overview
What’s coming up this semester? Instead of letting due dates slip by because they’re written at the back of a boring old syllabus, why not construct your own semester overview with notes, plans and dates of your own? That way you don’t have to consult a million different emails, handouts and updates from your professors — instead, you’ll have everything in one place for easy viewing.
5. Routine tracker
Are you drinking enough water? Getting a good amount of sleep? How’s your mood each day? If you track these things in your journal (and there’s some great online trackers, too), you’ll be able to get a better picture of why you’re doing well or struggling at the moment.
For instance, maybe you’ve had a bad week in class. You check your journal and see that you haven’t exercised in two weeks. A lack of workouts has you feeling sluggish and foggy, so you decide to hit the gym again. Within days, your motivation has returned and you’ve got your energy back. Thanks, journal!
6. Weekend planner
Who says a journal has to be all about the boring stuff? You can use it to plan your weekend, too! Try making weekend plans as a way to make the most out of your upcoming free time. Plus, if you plan out blocks to study and do homework ahead of time, you’ll know exactly how much time you have to kick back and relax during the weekend.
7. Personal diary
Sometimes it helps to just reflect on your life and activities. Instead of a rigid structure, you might want to try free-form journaling. Treat your journal as a personal diary and see where it takes you. Who knows? You might uncover some fascinating things about yourself!
No matter how you decide to use your journal, we’re confident you’ll find a use for it. If you want more rock star journaling tips like these, check out our blog. There you’ll find resources, information and some really awesome advice (or, at least, we think it’s awesome).
We are a coaching company with expertise in lots of different areas like mental wellness, career, relationships, parenting and a whole lot more. While coaching in The Journal That Talks Back™ can help you to take a deeper look at the above topics, we recognize that there are times when other resources, like therapy and/or counselling, may make more sense. As such, we have begun to develop a Mental Health Directory with well over 800 resources and we are investing time and effort into really growing it. It is also developed in a super user friendly way (we hope) so that it's easier to navigate than say another government website. Click the button below to check out our Mental Health Directory.