You say habit like it's a bad thing!

May 23 2011 - 2:03am


Illustration by TAYLOR LOPAZ
Bonneville High School/
Illustration by TAYLOR LOPAZ
Bonneville High School/

Everybody has things that they do that they quickly make a habit out of -- and not all of them are very good. Things like chewing on your fingernails, procrastinating homework, being way too competitive, or even being very unobservant and tripping all the time over nothing.

Habits are formed all the time out of boredom, or nervousness, or to think, or just for plain fun. High school students around the Top of Utah admit to a variety of bad habits.

Personally, I chew my fingernails. I am always being told to stop, but that is only when I'm forced. I can't really help it anymore, which is what makes it a habit.

Alex Richards, a Davis High senior, is also a nail biter.

"My nails are always hideous and I feel like people are looking at how bad they are," Richards says.

Josh Pfost, a Weber High junior, says he is extremely competitive.

"When competing, I sometimes do and say things I don't mean," says Pfost. "I am working to control my emotions while competing but that won't stop me from doing everything I can to win," he adds.

Others have the common habit of procrastinating homework and other tasks.

"My worst habit is procrastination. I am always waiting till the last minute to complete tasks -- especially with homework," said Ashley Brown, a junior at Clearfield High.

Aaron Shreeve, a junior at Clearfield High, said, "I'm bad with following through with things or finding the point in doing tasks."

Or some of teens' other habits may distract from school work.

"I watch a lot of television," said Vernon Yazzie, a senior at Clearfield High.

Trying to quit

And then there is a most unusual case of a bad habit.

"I walk backward a lot, especially on the stairs. I think that only counts as a bad habit when I trip on or run into stuff," says Kjersti Matheson, a Weber High junior.

So what do we do to break these habits? Well, for my fingernail chewing, nothing. I kind of keep the habit. It keeps me covered on nail checks for water polo, since we need to keep our nails short.

Procrastinator Laura Schvaneveldt, a Weber High junior, said, "I have tried to use a planner, but that didn't always work. One thing I found that works is putting it down as being due the day before it is actually due. That way I get it done before it is actually due and I don't get stressed about it."

Another procrastinator, Weber junior Taylor Lundgren, said, "Sometimes I try to stop but other times I know I can get away with it."

Olivia Snarr, a Davis High junior, says it bothers her that she puts off doing her homework because, "I'm always tired at school the next day and I always have that feeling of something I have to do."

Snarr says she has also purchased a planner "and I'm trying to organize myself, that has sort of worked."

No more junk food

On the nail biting, Richards admits, "I can't say I've really done anything to change."

Makayla Bottoms, a Clearfield senior, said, "I'm a perfectionist. I try to be reasonable and expect that some things don't work out the way I want."

"I stay up much later than I should, even if I am tired," said Kimball Gardner, a senior at Clearfield High. "I'm trying to get to bed earlier and try and sleep, but I'm still working on it."

Katie Handy, a Clearfield High junior, said she has a bad habit of eating too much junk food.

"I have just tried to find good tasting healthy foods, i.e. fruits, etc." she said.

Sean Reid, a senior at Clearfield High said, "I'm too hard on myself and don't react well when I fail; I'm still working on getting over this habit."

And then there is that walking backward habit that is also apparently hard to break.

"Usually I'm distracted so little effort goes into my attempts at habit-breaking," says Matheson.

Bryant Studebaker is a junior at Weber High School. He likes swimming and playing water polo. E-mail him at

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