Like most other high school students, I recently got through first semester finals. And believe me, I am ecstatic that they are finally over. The stress of finals is nearly inevitable, and I am definitely still recovering from all of that studying. Luckily, the library at my school was equipped with coloring books and relative quiet in order to stave off student anxiety, but even that wasn’t enough for me. I have never felt so scrambled, unsure, frazzled, and nervous than I was during the last couple of months of first semester of senior year. For quite some time, I went through the school day with a persistent knot in my stomach and a lump in my throat. I couldn’t imagine how I could get through so many assignments, violin practices, club meetings, and family events every day.
Fortunately, during one of my many fits of procrastination spent on Pinterest, I stumbled across a simple picture of a bullet journal. Something a little like this:
(Credits to prettyprintsandpaper.com for the awesome journal ideas!)
And something about it struck my fancy. I have always been a fervent list-maker and lover of stationary. What could be better than combining both lists and stationary in a way that could actually help me keep track of everything going on in my life? It almost sounded too good to be true. So, I dug around in my mess of a room for a fancy notebook my boss had given me and set myself up to begin journaling. With a wide variety of pens and my browser opened to my Pinterest page, I started by making an index, a key of symbols, and a year-long calendar. It was oddly therapeutic to give everything I would be putting in the journal a symbol, and was even more calming to resign myself to the task of designing my calendar.
It was then that I began creating monthly logs, a series of pages in my journal dedicated to laying out all the things I had to do each month. Everything that seemed to be piling up on me was a lot less threatening when it was laid out in a linear fashion.
From there, I broke down the events of my life even further into segments of daily logs. I began to record everything I did during the day. Not only did this get me to reflect on how I had spent my time, but it also showed me that I was actually getting stuff done, even if it felt like I wasn’t.
Of course, I also added in some fun pages, like my Senior Year Bucket List and a list of self-care ideas. And the journal keeps growing.
I’ll admit, I’m not the most artistic person in the world, so my journal is more simplistic than most. I do not spend a lot of time on cute doodles or particularly intricate lay-outs, though I would like to change that. I generally use it to plan, relax, and muse on different ideas. Bullet journaling has become like a form of therapy for me and, as nerdy as it sounds, making all of those lists is kind of fun! The tasks set before me immediately become much less daunting after I file them away in one of my lists, and nothing feels better than checking an item off once it has been completed. In a time filled with college applications, scholarship applications, homework assignments, orchestral pursuits, and maintaining some degree of a social life, my bullet journal has become a necessity. I would recommend bullet journaling for anyone who needs some clarity in a hectic lifestyle, especially students!
If you have a bullet journal, I would love to hear some of the ways that you use it. If not, try it! You will not regret it.