Keeping a First-Year Diary

by Annie

The phrase “Dear Diary” has always intimidated me. It reminds me of flipping through an old pink notebook, cringing at my fourth grade handwriting and excessive use of the words “BFFs” and “4ever.”

I picked up journaling again in my first year, and I’ve been thanking my past-self ever since for writing down moments I’ll never want to forget – details I can go over again with friends who were there with me, or stories I’ll want to tell my children.

Every time I’m feeling a little lost in my own head, I go back to my thoughts from that time period. Looking back never fails to ground me in a striking sense of nostalgia. I’m reminded of who I was and who I wanted to be.

If you aren’t already in the habit of journaling, my recommendation is to write at least once a week for thirty minutes. Pro tip: Never start off with the archaic and writer’s-block-inducing phrase “Dear Diary.”

Here are 10 journaling prompts for a rainy day:

  1. A list of people you met in first year, how you met them, and how your impressions have changed.
  2. Words you want to use more every day or in that novel you want to write.
  3. That re-occurring dream you have every now and then. Be a little self-indulgent in your analysis of what it means.
  4. A childhood memory you think about every day.
  5. Your favourite quotations. (My list helped me write the Frosh Week post!)
  6. That idea you have for a screenplay.
  7. Midnight attempts at poetry.
  8. Your goals for the year or the next four years.
  9. Everyday observations and details about people.
  10. Things you think people should pay more attention to.

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