Affection in learning embraces emotions, attitudes, values and beliefs that emerge during the learning process, and it is a vital and hidden element of learning. Studies focusing on affective, or emotional, aspects of design learning in the context of design education underscore the significance of the affective process and inform us of the connection between the creative dimension and emotions during a design activity. To this point, this paper addresses the following research question: to what extent does reflective writing disclose design students' affective journeys throughout a semester? An empirical study is conducted to observe first-year industrial design students' affective processes during a semester using their structured reflective diaries. The longitudinal study results show that the students exhibit certain tendencies in terms of the affective processes throughout a semester. The findings of this study are discussed in reference to peak points, anomalies and tendencies of the affective processes observed based on excerpts from the diaries. It is concluded that affective responses in design learning are multidimensional and wide-ranging.