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(Not) My Journal

I'm going to preface this by saying college is supposed to be a place and a time where you go through rapid stages of growth and maturity. Namely, you begin to understand that you are developing into the person who you are supposed to become. This is not meant to be an easy process. There will be various trials and tribulations, highs and lows, etc., but all of these experiences contribute to your growth as a person. I think I'm just now beginning to truly understand that. This past week has been a busy, rough, and chaotic week. However, there are ways to navigate through these times. It's all a part of the growth and maturity. As long as you see it through that lens, it won't bog you down.

Now, this past week (week 4) has been something of a humdinger for winter term. With multiple midterms, homeworks, projects, and papers due, it's been nothing short of eventful to say the least. In addition to the academic chaos, your personal and family issues never leave you either. It's a lot to try and juggle as you have all of these scenarios buzzing around in your mind about how you are going to cope with it all or what you could have done differently given an unfortunate past event. Now, I know these experiences will differ from person to person, but there have been some ways I've been able to organize my thoughts and calm myself down through one of these weeks.

Journaling is something truly special to me. It's actually a new hobby of mine, but ever since I've started writing my thoughts and concerns onto paper, it's really helped me keep track of my mental health. When you encounter a busy week like this in college (because you will), it's important to have a plan for addressing the crazy times. Writing down your thoughts, how you feel, and what you need to accomplish acts to verbalize what you need to say, allows you to jot it down and open that book (literally) when you need to. For instance, I was rather nervous about my math midterm this week. Instead of allowing those anxious thoughts to take over my mind and impede other things I needed to accomplish, I acknowledged them, wrote them in my journal, and took a realistic perspective on things. Something along the lines of, "Gavin, you put in the appropriate amount of work, you studied the hardest you could for this exam, and you will do your best on it. Given any outcome, you will be okay."

This is a minor example that doesn't even touch on dealing with personal issues, but I think you get the idea. It's easy to get lost in the academic and social life of college and never keep your mental health in check. Journaling is an effective way to remedy this. Give it a shot!

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