Reasons to start documenting your life

Photo of a scrapbook
Elysa Dombro/File

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This past summer, I came to the realization that life slows down for no one. I mean, it seems as though the semester just began when, in reality, it has been two months. Although I wish it weren’t true, Frank Ocean reminds us that “we will never be those kids again” in his song titled “Ivy.” This idea inspired me to make Instagram casual by creating another account solely for documentation purposes. It’s also the reason why my phone has been low on storage — taking pictures of the little things was a way for me to capture my daily life. In addition, I’ve been making an effort to use methods other than photography to capture my favorite memories of coffee breaks, study spaces and skylines. Below is a list of reasons why you should join me in the fight to encapsulate the best (and most challenging) moments in life aside from solely using your phone. 

Enjoyment

While taking photos can be enjoyable, other forms of documentation can be just as enjoyable, if not more. From daily highlight pages to scrapbooking, discovering what form works best for you and your likings is such a rush. Not to mention the wide selection of journals and stationary to invest in. My personal favorite is a cross between scrapbooking and journaling. Here is where I layer fun cutouts, stickers and doodles alongside an end-of-the-day brain dump. The best part of documenting your life is that it’s just for your eyes and personal enjoyment. What’s important is that you’re getting your emotions out there. So, there’s absolutely no pressure on coloring inside the lines. 

Stress reliever

Documenting your day-to-day not only serves as a productive activity, but it simultaneously calms the racing thoughts in your mind. Taking breaks is a crucial part of remaining productive. Whether you need a tranquil few minutes or just want to become in tune with your body, taking care of yourself is just as important as your upcoming midterm exam, if not more so. Developing the habit of recording memories, thoughts and other tidbits lead to a more effective study session as your mind becomes at ease.

Reflection 

If you’re anything like me, keeping tangible forms of your emotions is the best way to self-reflect. What better way to look back at memories than to read about them in your very own handwriting. Especially in regards to troublesome moments that you have already conquered. Looking back at your past struggles, mistakes and positive moments is a wonderful way to get out of a slump among a list of others. Life has a not-so-nice way of making us deal with adversity, but finding ways such as documentation to see them in a different light makes all the difference. 

These are just some of the many reasons why you should begin to document your life. Perhaps the most crucial is that you’d be spending your time proactively. Openly expressing your day-to-day can help you find some sense of clarity when you flip through pages from the past. Taking time for yourself is important not just for your health, but for your academic life too. I hope you’ll join me in documenting just about anything and everything.

Contact Anyssa Torres at [email protected].