Top 5 Benefits of Writing in a Journal for College Students

Writing in a journal re-balances you because it utilizes both your left and right brain. Here’s how they work together during journal writing.

Congratulations on being in college! This is an important phase of your life. You’re transitioning from childhood into adulthood and experiencing many “firsts.” While it’s overall an exciting time, there may be times when you feel overwhelmed or stressed. One way to deal with these feeling is writing in a journal. Today, I’m sharing with you the top 5 benefits of writing in a journal when you’re a college student.

How Does Journal Writing Work?

Before I delve into those benefits, let’s take a quick peek at the science behind why journal writing works.

Writing in a journal re-balances you because it utilizes both your left and right brain. Here’s how they work together during journal writing.

The left side of the brain, which is analytical, guides your thought processes through the mechanical act of writing. Whether you are writing in your journal long-hand or on your computer, the result is the same.

While your left brain is handling the “business side” of writing, your creative energy flows from your right brain, which is responsible for creativity and intuition. Releasing these creative thoughts and ideas onto paper (or computer screen), without regard for anyone else reading it, gives you valuable insight into your emotions and thoughts.

Top 5 Benefits of Writing in a Journal

Benefit 1: Clarification of Your Emotions

College is both an exciting and a scary time for many. That’s part of growing into adulthood. How you deal with those emotions is up to you. A journal can be a powerful tool to help you get to know yourself better.

Putting your emotions into words on paper helps you gain clarity into your feelings. Write with abandon and authenticity. Don’t worry about correct spelling or punctuation in journal writing. Get these feelings out and let them rest a little while. When you read back over them, you will be able to clearly see what you were feeling and gain clarity on how and why you were having these feelings.

Benefit 2: Dispute Resolution

When you’re having a fall-out with someone, physically confronting them is often the most damaging road you can take. This problem is even bigger if the dispute is with someone you’re living with in a dorm situation, like a roommate or next-door neighbor.

Instead, you may bottle it up inside and seethe over it for days or weeks. This can cause distraction and anxiety.

Release the dispute to your journal. As you write out the scenario of who said what, when things happened, and the feelings surrounding the dispute, you release those toxic feelings that you’ve bottled up inside of you.

In addition, when you read back through the scenario, you may gain a new respect for the other person holding their ground or begin to see their viewpoint. This will help you find a common ground to help repair this relationship.

Benefit Three: Stress Reduction

There are many pressures on you during college. Your parents are pressuring you for good grades, advisors pressuring you to choose a major or career path, friends pressuring you for your time. You may feel pulled in all directions. This is normal, but it’s difficult to deal with.

The way the right brain/left brain relationship works during journal writing will help you release these feelings of stress. Take to the journal to get all these pressures worked out. Use it to create lists of pros and cons of different career paths. Create an action plan for yourself to help you get your studies back on track. Jot down social events. Use these written thoughts to schedule your time and make decisions that will take the stress out of your life.

Benefit Four: Surround Yourself with Positive People

In time, honest journal writing starts to show your trends involving people in your life.

Have you ever had a friend who was co-dependent with a toxic significant other? You knew the person was bad for them, and you could predict the heartbreak every time.

Writing your own relationships out into a journal allows you to do the same thing for yourself! When you read the same names involved in every negative situation, you can distance yourself from those people.

When you read about the positive people who bring joy to your life and enhance your college experience, you will be confident in the choice to spend more time with them. It is life-changing when you hang with positive people!

Benefit Five: Fosters Creativity

Many of the most creative minds in history kept journals. Because it’s an honest dialogue, you can keep note of your most creative thoughts and ideas without fear of someone squashing your dreams. Writing out those ideas brings them to life in your mind, and it will help you bring them to fruition when the timing is right.


During college, writing in a journal can be a powerful tool for you. Some say that it’s like you have a best friend to talk to…one who will keep your innermost thoughts and secrets to themselves. This allows you to express your deepest emotions with confidence, release stress and anxiety, and be the most balanced person that you can be.

About the author: Deborah Tayloe is a professional freelance writer with a Bachelor’s Degree from Edinboro University of Pennsylvania. When she’s not writing, Deborah enjoys cooking, gardening, and working on her endless list of DIY projects. She resides in North Carolina, USA, with her husband and an energetic toy fox terrier.

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