Every Thursday, students gather after school to learn how to engage in self-care, varying from writing prompts to calligraphy. In Journaling Club, members take time to actively reflect on their experiences while enjoying food, music, and company, Club Sponsor Susan Flickinger said.
Journaling Club began January 2021 as a reflective outlet for students during remote learning, senior Yuna Batmunkh, Club Board Member, said. The club originally just involved bullet journaling, Flickinger explained, but developed to incorporate activities such as card making and creating letters of gratitude. It has served as a special way to connect, she added, especially in the midst of the last year’s isolation during Covid-19.
“I really liked the concept [of the club],” Flickinger said. “I love the idea of being introspective and creative.”
As students transitioned from remote learning to an in-person environment this year, the club dynamic has evolved along with its projects and activities, Flickinger shared. The club is currently collaborating with Meraki to express Asian culture and history through different art forms, Batmunkh said.
Meraki is a club that creates works of art for the staff to display in their classrooms. The club takes students’ ideas to turn into the projects, making it a student-run club. Meraki’s goal is to create a more positive environment at South.
This partnership has allowed the Journaling Club to expand and connect with even more people while still giving each individual member the opportunity to take part, Batmunkh explained.
“The dynamic of Journaling Club feels like all of us in the room are equals, working on our own separate things while also contributing to the team environment,” Batmunkh said.
Journaling Club’s current project with Meraki involves a blend of advocacy and art. The idea behind Meraki itself is to have students go into classrooms and talk to teachers about what kind of art they would like their environment to have, Flickinger shared. Based on the feedback they receive, the students begin creating posters and art pieces to make up a bulletin board that corresponds to a specific theme. In terms of their project with Journaling Club, the theme is Asian culture and community. Members have been able to add their own work, including drawings, writing, and calligraphy to the bulletin board.
“[Through the project], we have been able to actively support the [Asian American and Pacific Islander] community while also creating art,” Batmunkh said. “We are having so much fun with it.”
Aside from collaborations or projects, the main goal of Journaling Club is to allow students the time to express thoughts they might otherwise compress, junior Kaya Ibardaloza, club board member, explained.
“We’re all trying to do something a little bit more creative or artistic, so it’s relaxing, but we’re also being productive, which is like it’s a good feeling to have,” Ibardaloza said.
Journaling Club offers different prompts every meeting for the club members to use as inspiration. The student, self-driven club allows the members to interpret the prompts to how they wish, Ibardaloza shared.
“Usually we have a prompt on the board for [members] to journal about,” Ibardaloza shared. “We have [members] practice calligraphy and doodling. We [try] to split [our time] in half like that. Half of the time we’ll do a prompt and then the other half we’ll do drawing. ”
Journaling can be incredibly therapeutic and is a creative way to process stressful situations Batmunkh explained. Regardless of one’s artistic experience or skills, she encouraged everyone to try it.
“Journaling is something I believe everyone needs in their lives,” Batmunkh said. “To be able to express, vent, create, and dump any ideas out onto physical paper helps us turn mere thoughts into a reality.”