Watch the habits you make now, they will follow you

Oct. 6, 2014

Audrey Jensen
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College problems: sleep deprivation, caffeine or alcohol overload, isolation, unhealthy food choices, procrastination, physical weariness and tardiness.

But these aren’t just habits; they create a lasting way of doing things. College allows for poor behaviors to develop and students ignore the negative effects that stem from their decisions.

I have been told that in life I must do what is difficult now because it will end up being better for me in the end.

For example, writing a research paper that requires 16 sources and a minimum of 15 pages is not going to be completed overnight. But I decided to put researching and writing on hold until the last week of the semester and I paid for it.

My grade suffered because of my choices. I had a relaxing three months at the beginning of the semester, but procrastination negatively affected the results in my classes.

A student who wished to remain anonymous shared a similar problem.

“I started to procrastinate and finish assignments the day they were due,” they said. “I do not think I will have a career if I keep procrastinating.”

The student said that they are trying not to make a habit out of it.

Lack of sleep due to partying or pulling all-nighters also contributes to poor health, even increasing the potential of heart problems. Working intensely to study or finish a project puts a lot of stress on the health of students.

It is hard to balance the priorities in your life, especially if a decent GPA or graduating depends on sometimes having to stay up later than you would like.

But it’s possible to fnd a healthy balance between sleep, school and a social life.

Yes, there will be times when you have to give up one for the other, but realistically it might not be possible to always make the best choices when life decides to butt in and there’s nothing you can do about it. You cannot stop life from happening when trying to be on time to everything or always trying to get to bed by 10 p.m.

There are steps you can take to lessen the effects that these habits can have on your life.

Stephanie Allen wrote an article on habits that successful students have, and explained that instead of working all the way up to a deadline for an assignment, set a due date a day before the actual assignment is supposed to be turned in, even if you need to lose sleep to do so.

Apparently, successful students limit their caffeine intake as well. “If you find it hard to focus, or sometimes feel like you’re operating from behind a brick wall of tiredness, try getting more exercise – it’s been scientifi cally proven again and again that getting your heart rate up for half an hour a few times a week does wonders for mood, sleep and concentration,” Allen wrote.

As a college student, whether part-time or full-time, working or not, you will sometimes have to give up what you love in order to reach your goals as a student.

College isn’t forever, but life is. Know what habits help you today, for the long road tomorrow.