Writing it down

Sophomore reflects on year of journaling

Story by Colton Johnson, staff writer

Dear friend,

Thumb through the pages. They are blank and they are waiting for the life you will breathe into them. They are waiting for the masterpiece the galaxy of your mind will create.

This masterpiece will hold the ugly and the beautiful, because that’s what life is. It is ugly, and you need to remember that, because nostalgia can be a dangerous thing. It makes you believe that things were better than they were.

You also need to remember that your life is enriched with good people and experiences, and that’s important. It’s important to remember. So write. Write your life into existence even if it isn’t meant for the world to see. You need to see it. Fill the pages.

-Your fellow writer and friend


The thought of making permanent the thoughts that go beyond the standards of a casual conversation has almost become something comical in our society. It is labeled with the phrase of “writing in a diary” which usually immediately dismisses the seriousness of a journal in many people’s minds.

I started a journal at the beginning of January, and made a promise to myself that I would continue to write in it throughout the year. It didn’t matter as much to me as to what I wrote in these pages, I just wanted to be able to see that I had started in a certain place and had grown from that.

Now that 2015 has come to an end, I have been thumbing through the pages that are littered with neat and thought-out writing as well as sloppy rants with smeared ink. There are small drawings of stars and planets and messy sketches done with pen. There are long, random lists compiled of thoughts that make no sense and short poems accompanied by small flowers.

On the side of the book, it says “There are no rules in here,” and there’s not. A journal has no boundaries. It will hold whatever you allow it to which is more than what most people are capable of.

Sure maybe there’s not a lot of time in the day to sit down and just write, but if you love it, time will show itself to you, whether that’s at two in the morning or at six in the evening. A short 10 minutes of randomness will mean more to you in 12 months or three years or 50 years because looking back at the thoughts that you put in a journal will be almost the same at looking back at old pictures.

Your past self is the best person you will ever be able to learn from, so use that person to your advantage. Make the most of the pages you are given because someday, every single one of them will matter.

Pain will be felt in your life. Write it down and learn from it.

Love will be felt in your life. Write it down and appreciate it.

Happiness will be felt in your life. Write it down and remember it.