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Breaking Bad Habits

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at U Mich chapter.

Breaking long-lived habits is harder than it sounds. Since I was little, I was unable to control my nail-biting. Even though I hated it, it was so subconscious that I would not even notice when I was doing it. I became afraid to show people my hands and would envy those who had perfectly manicured fingers. On multiple occasions, I went to get manicures and the technicians would laugh at how short my nails were. For years, I just wanted to have long nails, but I just could not stop.

As I started high school, I was embarrassed to be meeting so many new people and for them to be seeing my gross hands. Thus far, my parents had tried many methods with me to try to break out of this cycle, but all the tricks possessed within the internet did not help. Freshman year, an idea suddenly appeared that we had not previously thought of- like other girls in my grade, I could get acrylic nails to give my nails time to grow out.

One downside of having these fake nails is that you have to go to the nail salon every 2-3 weeks to get them filled. It is very time-consuming and expensive. This was likely the downfall of this first attempt. I accidentally let them grow out so much to the point where each fake nail individually fell off. As soon as this occurred, I was back to biting straight away.

Sophomore year came round and my embarrassment continued along with a sense of failure. With my parents’ support, I wanted to try acrylics again. This time, I was on top of my schedule and would get them redone with so many fun colors. For months, the fake nails looked amazing and I was so happy. I began to take pictures of my hands to motivate myself to break this habit. My nails finally grew to normal length and I was so happy to have the hands I had finally wanted. But one day, only a few weeks after getting the acrylics off, I do not know what happened. I just lost all my self-control and bit them all down.

The Lalanavy Nails And Plaid Shirt
Her Campus Media

At the start of senior year, I thought ahead to all the exciting events that I would be experiencing in the next couple months: senior pictures, prom, graduation, etc. With a crazy sense of determination, I decided to try one more time and finally be confident with myself. Spoiler Alert: I finally did it. By the end of high school, I could get regular, amazing looking manicures in perfect timing for all the excitement. I was so proud of myself.

I still have had some slip ups where my nails break or I fall back into my old routine again, but with my newfound strength, I get my nails back to where I like them. I think everyone has different obstacles in their lives; for me, this small hurdle taught me many lessons. We all have different things that we do that we hate. This same routine could apply to eating too much junk food or not maintaining a good sleep schedule. Breaking a tough habit takes time though, and is not simple. Just because it does not go perfect the first time does not mean you are a failure. If you really put your mind to it, with time, you can achieve your goals and celebrate your progress.

Eden Gilan

U Mich '23

Hey! I am Eden Gilan! I am a Freshman at University of Michigan studying Communication and Media. You are most likely to find me drinking coffee at Expresso Royale, scrolling through Instagram for way too long, or eating cool foods with my friends. Go Blue!