Intro to Bullet-Journaling
So I need to brag on my high school for a quick sec. Have you heard of Chicago Idea week? If not look it up and then get back to me.
Upper Arlington High School students made an executive decision to recreate their own “Idea Day”, giving kids access to motivational speakers, successful entrepreneurs, artistic workshops and more. Student planning can take up to a year with the goal of creating a fun, nontraditional school day environment to spark new ideas and change among the student body.
While professionals host most workshops, students can also attend student-led activities. To my happy surprise, I was asked to put something on that would relate to the core of Abundantly Anna-Noel! After putting some thought into it, I settled on teaching teens how to bullet-journal for the sake of both their minds and souls (of course anyone was welcome, but all who signed up for Into To Bullet-Journaling happened to be female). It ended up being a kick-ass day full of empowerment, community, and creativity! So today I am going to take you through the steps I (pretty much winged) to make the bullet-journaling magic happen!
Foster a creative outlet for participants
Give students the correct tools and inspiration to start journaling
Bring kids together who otherwise would not have met
Step One: Gathering Supplies
Bullet-journaling requires two things: pen and paper. I took advantage of a local teacher supplier store, Star Beacon Products, to purchase fine-point pens and mini journals. I ended up finding a rainbow of colors which could not have been more perfect for everything that I represent. Additionally, I paper clipped my business card onto the journals so that participants could have access to content even after Idea Day.
Pinterest, my go-to tool for absolutely everything, helped make some custom concept sheets. I printed off prompts, doodles, planner ideas and more to spark some visions for each bullet-journalist.
Step Two: Finding an Audience
Each student at UAHS gets to sign up for their choice of an Idea Day session. To attract the target audience, a short description about bullet-journaling and the Abundantly Anna-Noel blog was listed beneath my name.
The turnout was fantastic! Given a large number of high schoolers ditch Idea Day (something I’ve never understood), managing 30/30 participants was so fulfilling! They happened to all be girls, of all ages, grades and backgrounds. The girl power was bouncing throughout the room, but of course, bullet-journaling is intended for everyone!
Step 3: Start the Day
Our cozy little classroom housed a spot for everyone including a journal, pen, business card, and inspiration packet. I filled the white-boards with information about the workshop and got the show on the road!
As soon as the girls started piling in, there was interactive and upbeat energy (in case you are unfamiliar, this is not the case for many traditional high school classrooms). Some were in sets of friends, others were brave enough to show up alone- but by the end of the day, we were a community.
Intro to Bullet-Journaling was lucky enough to be monitored by my friend and all-time favorite teacher here at UAHS, Ms. McPherson, who introduced our session. I ran through some info about myself, my desire to make high school a better place for teenage girls, and of course the blog! But what I wanted to do most was get to know the girls who were kind enough to spend the morning with me.
We used an exercise I learned at a SCAD summer seminar: Mind-Mapping. Mind-Mapping is a branch-like diagram connecting all of the things that make you, you! I demonstrated by sharing my basic information (name, age, hometown, etc.) linking to branches that represent a different part of my life including my role models, travels, prized possessions, and interests. The first page of each bullet-journal bled out the characteristics that make each participant their authentic self.
Step 4: Free Time
After sharing our mind-maps to realize how both similar and vastly different each teenage girl was, it was time for some creative liberty!
When you go to class every day in a mundane classroom, following patterns of a textbook and filling out informational worksheets gets old real quick. It’s hard to leave enough time in the coursework for more creative freedom, which is why I decided for the last hour to just let the crowd do their thing.
If you have as many ideas as me running through your head, thoughts that need to be expressed, and areas of life to be organized, you need to take some time for creative liberty!
With their phones to look up inspiration, concept sheets and each other, the girls stayed engaged for the entire 1.5+ hours that they had to themselves. No one wasted time or lost interest. Witnessing that kind of imagination and individuality was one of the best things that ever happened to me during high school.
Step 5: Reflect on How Totally Awesome and Rewarding Bringing Young Females Together Was and How I Will Remember this Forever
I didn’t use to be known for anything really. I was quiet, reserved, never really wanted to be at school and hadn’t yet found activities that meant something to me. To be perfectly honest, I struggled a lot during high school.
I know, without actually knowing, that some of those girls in that classroom felt the same way. So I hope that, even if it was just for one day, they felt a little less alone and a lot more like they belonged somewhere. That is what Abundantly Anna-Noel and the readers of it mean to me.
So thank you, UA Idea Day, for giving me a wonderful opportunity to be the girl I wish I could have had when I was younger. I promise that when I am older (and hopefully successful), I will come back and help fund and or put on UA Idea Day. I cannot wait to watch it flourish.