You received a plain, brown journal in your summer packet. This is for you to keep your own journal -- something private for you to use to put your thoughts and feelings on paper. Each day of the program, Carrie will post a new journal prompt here. I sincerely hope you will follow along! Of course, you can be flexible with what you write or draw (not all entries need words!). 


Thoughts on Journaling

Most of you have met my mother by now, Dotti Priddy. She's a regular Bridges volunteer, College Buddy, and member of the Parents Council. She is also retired from an impressive career as a professional writer and teacher! Mrs. Priddy put together this guide to journaling specifically for Bridges. 


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1: Your Journal Cover

Personally, I'm more energized to write in a journal that is decorated and reflects who I am. So, first assignment: decorate the cover of your journal!


I love bluebirds (and newspapers). So I tore strips of newspaper and glued them down across the cover. Then I found a newspaper ad that had lots of blue ink and tore out little pieces to form a bluebird. I also put images and words on the inside cover that reflect a personal goal with my summer journaling. Do whatever you feel is "you." I've found several examples here of newspaper art, but feel free to decorate YOUR jounral however YOU want.  

2: Your Summer Mantra

As included in the journaling guide at the top of the page, don't forget to put your name in the front of journal. Claim it! Make it clear that this is your space and it is only for your.

Today's challenge is to craft a mantra for your summer. If you could sum up a goal for your summer, what would it be? If you need to remind yourself of something this summer, what would it be? Include this in words or art. 


3: What are your best qualities?

Dig deep. What are the "things" that make you YOU? What are the best qualities you possess? I traced my hand and fit as many positive traits in there as possible. I also noted a few traits I'm working on (not "weakness" but areas to grow . . .) This is for you and you only so be honest. What makes you special? 

(P.S. I had to google "personality traits" to help me think up more words!)


4: What Serena Williams Said

If this tennis (and life) phenom says it, I'll listen. So when I read in a magazine article where she talked about how we each need to be our own best cheerleader, it made me think.

Join in on this journaling challenge and be your best cheerleader!


5: In and Out of My Control

I wish I learned this learned this earlier in my life! There are certain things we CAN control and others that we CAN'T. Knowing the different can be freeing. 


6: Gratitude!

Everybody from Oprah to our mamas tell us the power of gratitude. Today's journaling challenge is to write out as many things as possible that you are grateful for. 

Some can be deep (love of a sibling, forgiveness of a friend) and some can be a little lighter (coffee, Jimmy Fallon clips that make me laugh so hard I snort). Just start listing whatever comes to mind!


7: Letter to Self, with a Twist

We are our worst critics. Why are we so hard on ourselves?!

I wish this challenge ended with me curing you of self-criticism (but I haven't figured out that yet!). Instead, we are going to write a short note to our body. We are beautiful and able to do amazing things. Let's focus on the power of our bodies and not it's flaws. You are beautiful!


8: I am Currently . . . 

Here is a fun way to document your life (and to think about you spend your time and mental energy). It's as simple as writing at the top of the page "I am currently . . . " and then list things like what you are currently doing, like listening to, watching, loving, questioning, hoping for, cooking, laughing at, hoping, feeling . . . 


9: How life has changed since COVID19

2020 is very different than we expected. When schools closed in March, I hoped it was temporary. Now we aren't sure if we will return to school this fall.

How has your life changed since the COVID19 pandemic hit? I mention several ways it has changed mine in this short video, both the good and the bad.



10: Quotes that speak to you

I am a quote person! I collect quotes like some people collect trading cards.

So many quotes speak to me. In my journal entry, I listed one of my favs: "If you fail let it be because you reached too far, not that you settled for too little." What quote speaks to you?


11: What I would tell the world

Sometimes I wish I could just shout a message to the world, especially when it seems that people are acting foolish and mean. My message to the world would be . . . (you have to watch the video to see!)

What lesson would you share with the world if you could?


12: The People Around Me

Who do we spend our time with? And what does that say about us?

The people we choose as friends influence our lives, both our thoughts and behaviors. We shouldn't make that decision lightly. So today's challenge is to think about who is in your inner circle. Then, think about who in your life you need to keep out of your inner circle (those toxic people who belittle your or make you feel bad about yourself). Are there any changes you need to make in your friend selection??


13: An Issue I Care About

What do you care about? There are so many issues to care about (and to dedicate your attention, time, and resources toward): economic mobility, transportation, climate change, college access, domestic abuse, gun violence, racial equity, LGBTQ+ equality, ability/disability, bullying -- so many issues.

You might not be surprised by the issue I care about most . . .


14 & 15: How I take Care of Myself and My Energy 

Two challenges in one! First, what do you need to do to take care of yourself? What are the things you know you need to do to stay healthy in mind and body? (Maybe you've learned some new ways in your electives this summer!)

And, your energy. What depletes your energy? Can you avoid those things? Can those self-care techniques help you build your energy back up?


16: My Song

What's that one song that every time it comes on you think, "this song could have been written for me!" No surprise that my pick is a country song . . . 

What are some of the lyrics that really speak to you? Why?


17: The Hardest Thing I've Ever Done

We've heard sayings about how you see the brightest light only after darkness. What that says to me is the challenges we face help us see the beauty and light in the world (and in ourselves). 

What is the hardest thing you've ever done? What did you learn from the experience and how are you stronger now?


18: And Now Something Lighter . . .

We've gone deep! Now let's lighten it up a bit. If you could be any color Crayon, what color would you be? Remember: Crayon colors can have crazy names (Mac-n-Cheese Orange, Purple Mountain Majesty, Razzle Dazzle Rose) so don't just say "red!"


19: What Would You do if you had no Fear?

Is there anything you've been thinking about doing that you are afraid to do?  It could be something like skydiving (yikes!) or trying a new down-hill mountain  biking trail. Or it could be something like taking an AP class or trying out for a school play. 

What could you do to overcome that fear?


20: What Sets your Soul on Fire?

"Be fearless in the pursuit of what sets your soul on fire?"


What makes you feel alive?? Is it adrenaline-related? Being with loved ones? Feeling confident? This challenge is related to the last challenge, in that we can't let fear keep us from our best selves. Be bold, be confident, be yourself!