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  • Vivian Graham

SOPHIA (2nd year)

“Something that has really helped me, and that I think everyone should try, is that when I feel really emotional about a situation, really angry or really sad, I just write down exactly what I’m feeling. Because then I’ll read it again and ask myself, “are things really that bad? Am I over-exaggerating?” Writing it out helps me calm down and realize “okay, this actually isn’t the end of the world.” And when I read them again later, I realize that if I got through these, I can get through other things. Sometimes things will seem so big in the moment, so frustrating and life-altering. And then I write it down and I’m like “okay, actually, I’ll be fine.” I mostly write in my journal when I’m upset, or having a really great day, or just when I feel like I need to record a moment. It doesn’t need to be long, and it helps sort my mind. I only write a few times a month. Some months I’ll fill multiple pages but others I just write a few sentences. But it’s helped me through COVID. I think with journals, sometimes people put too much pressure on themselves. You don’t need to fill an entire page, just write whatever you’re feeling. Or even if you just draw something, it’s good enough. Mine are always embarrassing to read again, but it’s also kind of funny to see, “this is really what I was feeling? This is how I handled that situation?” And it helps me, because memory is very fluid, and your memories of things change over time. Something that you once thought was negative can become positive, and keeping a journal reminds you, “oh, this is what I actually felt in this moment.” It helps you move on from hard stuff, and realize shit happens. During the pandemic, I’ve realized that with some things the best way you can handle them is to let yourself be angry, and feel all these emotions, but then just take five minutes to write it down, and calm down, because everything will be fine, you will figure out a way through it. Don’t put your energy into being mad or frustrated, just write it down.”

Location: Maryland, USA

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