Studies show that journaling is good for your mental health — reducing stress and relieving anxiety by providing a healthy outlet to express yourself. Sara, our Canadian and IT Sligo Ambassador has kept a personal journal during her time in Ireland so far, and in this blog, she shares why she thinks you should too…

Moving to a new country by yourself can cause a lot of stress, so journaling is a great way to deal with that. It’s also great for improving your writing skills, which is helpful while attaining higher education. I’ve found keeping a personal journal during my time in Ireland has been really beneficial so here are my reasons as to why you should pick up a notebook and pen…

A gift to your future self

When you get back from your year in Ireland, everyone is going to ask how it was, and what you did. I know that right now it seems like you will remember everything, but the truth is that the days seem to merge together, and you’ll quickly forget small details. Writing about your day is a great day to keep track of everything you’ve seen and done during your time abroad. One day years from now, you will look back on this time as some of the best days of your life. You’ve definitely heard this from your parents, aunts and uncles and teachers. You may forget some of your classmates’ names, and lose track of the details of your days. Having a journal to look back on will be great when you’re feeling nostalgic, and want to relive your college days.

Improve your writing skills

I recognise that my own weakness in writing is spelling. With spell check on Word, and my iPhone, I’m not learning to spell any of the words I struggle with so physically writing them down has forced me to recognise which words I have trouble with, and how to spell them properly. I’ve also encountered challenges with my writing skills when physically writing. When you’re writing out an essay on a computer, it’s easy to go back and add things, or change something. In our essay style exams, making these easy changes is not an option because you’re writing in pen and you are under a time constraint. Writing about anything you want will help you improve your writing skills required to excel in an exam situation, and to cultivate a love for writing, which will make your continuous assessment projects a little bit more enjoyable.

Create a plan

According to a study done at Dominican University in California, you’re 42% more likely to actually achieve your goals if you are writing them down on a regular basis. Keeping track of your goals can allow you to match your actions and habits every day to achieving your ultimate goal. Is your objective this semester to get a first class honours? Great! You can keep track of exactly what you are doing each day to work towards that goal. Whether its summarising articles, or re-typing your notes, writing about your goals keeps them top of mind, and helps you select your daily activities based on what you’d ultimately like to achieve.