In Studio 200, students are able to practice a form of meditation that does not involve quietly sitting in one spot for an extended period of time. Instead, students can create a personal piece of work to either express themselves, relieve stress or simply have fun through visual journaling.
“Visual journaling is taking pieces of magazines, books, papers, and other materials and putting them together to form either an expression of yourself, a thought, or just a fun looking project,” said sophomore Mackenzie Waltemath, one of three students helping to bring visual journaling to Studio 200.
Junior Celeste Borg, junior Lauren Feden and Waltemath started the initiative after Lisa Smith, dean of student engagement, sought them out to understand how students could use Studio 200. Additionally, by bringing activities students can partake in to Studio 200, students can learn about the opportunities already present in Studio 200.
“Visual journaling is a way to process your current mindset. It is very therapeutic. No matter how chaotic your life is, taking an hour to create something helps center you and makes it easier to return to whatever ‘real world’ things you were working on before with a clearer mind,” Feden said.
The process of visual journaling involves taking both newspapers and magazines, and cutting out different parts, then putting them in a journal. The visual journaling cart has all the necessary supplies for visual journaling including scissors, stamps and writing utensils.
“All you need to bring is a blank journal and your imagination. All other supplies are available: scissors, glue, old magazines and books, washi tape, paper, a label maker; it’s all free for students to use,” Borg said.
According to Waltemath, the benefit of having visual journaling comes from its ability to help people create a personal piece of art and focus or relieve stress.
“Students should go to Studio 200 and take part in visual journaling because it can be very therapeutic. As college students, we can all get a little stressed and it is a good way to relax and calm some nerves. It is a great resource because it is free for students to use the materials and supplies,” Waltemath said.
Visual journaling was introduced to THRIVE students for an involvement activity by Lisa Smith. Waltemath was one of the students in THRIVE who took part in the activity.
“The first time that I went to a visual journaling session, I was very stressed and confused and all around not in a good mindset. However, after I tried it I left feeling a little less chaotic, relieved and had enough focus and determination to finish the tasks I needed to,” Waltemath said.
Funds for supplies come from the Studio 200 budget. The visual journaling cart is available right now. Students are invited to join Feden at 4 p.m. on Tuesdays to learn how to do visual journaling.