The Learning Curve – Dear Journal

Writing in a paper journal throughout your university years can quickly become a hobby. It has many benefits, but It’s often difficult to keep a journal because many AU students don’t have the time write in one on a regular basis.

The lack of time might be caused by heavy course loads or many family obligations, but this can be rectified if you work journaling into your schedule. Doing so takes just as much determination as it does to complete an AU course within six months.

I remember the first course package I received from AU. The study schedule they included to help me budget my time wisely (wisely enough so I could complete the course within a six-month period) frightened me. At first, I worried this goal would be too difficult to accomplish. Eventually, I ignored this emotion and used the schedule regularly and completed the course on time.

This is how you should approach journaling. First, think about a time of day you’d like to spend writing then stick to it. The time could be an hour each evening or it could be an hour for two evenings a week; just make sure that you won’t be interrupted.

If you need to, unplug the phone because its ringing will make you lose your concentration. Once this concentration is lost you will feel journaling is a chore and that may cause you to lose interest.

If you do so, you’ll miss out on the three benefits of journaling. The first benefit is the freedom you have to write about whatever you desire. Perhaps you want to write about a recent breakup with your boyfriend or about a bad grade you received on a research paper because you failed to understand the material. There are so many writing possibilities.

The second benefit is that when you write, you never need to worry about being too emotional (or about spelling errors) because you are the only one who will read the journal.

The third benefit is that the time you spend writing in your journal will allow you to discover different sides of yourself. Perhaps when you write about a certain story from your life, you’ll discover you are outgoing and adventurous and it’ll make you want to try rock climbing, something you said you’d never do because it looked unsafe.

The cover of a journal is also important because it will inspire you to write in it more frequently. I usually look for warm-coloured journal covers such as blue, pink, or green. Sometimes, I’ll pay the extra money for a leather journal because I love the look and the smell of it (I’ve always preferred black leather over brown).

If you buy a paper journal that has a cover you really like, and if you follow my suggestions on how to keep a journal, maybe one day you won’t need to plan a time to write in it. You’ll just open it and the first words you write, ?Dear Journal,? will encourage you to write long and often.

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