Journaling as a Final Year Student

Twenty five percent done with my last year of med school, these are all times of my life, just like any other time of my life, that will eventually be lost in the chasm of my mind, forever out of my conscious reach. Even by writing it all down, it wouldn’t be a guarantee that these days would be easily accessible to remember and recall, but it would still be a memoir, a written testament of my experiences and my growth into becoming what I’m destined to be.

I find myself using my journal not just to write a quick overview of the day, but to also write out potential plans for the week, recap what I’ve consumed in terms of reading and jot out short ideas for what I can do with my blog. It’s essentially my blue drawing board, the wall I bounce ideas off of, the oven I throw raw ingredients into so they can steam up into something good. Occasionally it even serves as a raw recording of lectures and events, things that aren’t part of my formal education, but contribute overall to character building and social development. 

Not just lectures, I even find myself writing out discussions based on conversation I’ve had with people, various Youtube videos I’ve been watching, documentaries, movies- if there’s something in my day that I’ve consumed and thought about, it goes into my journal. It’s the melting pot of my thoughts, all carefully characterized by day and later on, highlighted afterwards by topics. After all, I have to extract my ideas and thoughts later on so I can do something meaningful with them, just like Haruki Murakami does in Kafka by the Shore.

It’s not just ideas and quick recaps that go into this journal. I often find myself summarizing interesting cases I saw in the OPD or in the wards. These are the experiences that I probably won’t be forgetting any time soon! Anecdotes like these crop up every few pages and I try my best to write out the cases as interestingly as I can with all the new things I’ve learned in it’s full documentation. Flipping back and reviewing these cases are definitely something that come in useful as a medical student.

Besides a heavy, condensed wall of writing, my journal is also a place for occasional pages of scrap-art. While I do add designs and apply various styles on to the pages of the journal, there are some pages that get wholly taken up and have no writing on them at all. Most of the time, these pages are there to hide an accident. 

This page happened because I thought it was a great idea to pour wax on the page and try to stamp the face of a coin in. I probably should have practiced a bit first. Regardless, the wax left… peculiar traces, not unlike oil stains, and I decided to cover it up with blue tissue paper (I think that’s what you call it?) and various pieces of art I had discarded as failed experiments. I still plan to add some sparkles and glitter on this page!

Other pages were made just to get rid of scrap paper lying around that I didn’t have the heart to throw out just yet. There’s something really relaxing and satisfying about sitting down with a pair of scissors, tape, a glue stick and a bunch of random papers that you can cut up and design into a collage onto a page in your journal. 

Every week, or every two weeks, I settle down with my supplies and various scrap papers and design the next few blank pages of my journal. I know most journalers tend to design the page of the day and then write but I find myself to be a rather inconsistent writer. Some days, I’ll write enough for two pages, some days, I’ll only write two lines, so designing an entire page relevant to the day’s entry is often counter-productive. That and I can’t dedicate time every single day to write AND design the page. Therefore I end up doing designs in bulk and then contentedly writing without worrying about aesthetics for the next couple of days.


If you haven’t checked out my other posts regarding journaling, you can check them out here. It’s an exercise I highly recommend to everyone out there, whether you’re an artist, a blogger, a med student- or even all three! Journaling is what gets those thoughts out of my head that would otherwise keep me up late at night 🙂 I hope you have a nice day!

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2 thoughts on “Journaling as a Final Year Student

  1. Oh wow !
    Thoses pages in your journal are so pretty ! I particularly agree with your point of view of wanting to write everything; it’s kind of what I do in my weekly spread.. but shorter of course to fit in the squares. I think it’s just normal that on some days you may have more to say than on others ~ and I think it looks really cool mixed up with collages and the days “snuggled together”.

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