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You have probably heard countless times that your university or college days will be the best time of your life. It’s a new chapter in your life that will lead you to your dream career. You gain a broader scope on life with more independence, freedom, friendships and knowledge. My university experience so far has been interesting. Some days I love it, and other days I wish I can time travel four years into the future so that it can all be over. Being a student can be hard. 

You have your fun days but they are equally accompanied by struggles. I sometimes wonder if the struggles are actually real, or if we create them upon ourselves. For example, we stay awake instead of getting sleep, procrastinate instead of studying, zone out in class instead of paying attention and the list goes on. When we regret these decisions, it’s too late to go back. I want to assure you that every student has a set of poor school habits that we wish we would not do, but still continue to do. Here are 6 things that every student can relate to. 

Starving yourself while finishing an assignment because eating is a distraction

Have you ever been cramming for a test or grinding out a paper and you realize you haven’t eaten anything all day? This has happened to me way too often. And when I realize that I haven’t eaten anything, I still don’t get up to go get something to eat. Eating just feels like a distraction and seems too time-consuming. When I have to get something done I tend to neglect everything in my life, even eating. When I’m in ‘work mode’, I don’t want any distractions. If I leave to go eat and come back, my ideas will be gone and my whole flow is off. But why do we think like this? Food is essential for our body’s overall health. Doing an assignment when we have eaten and are comfortable, will make our studying or work more effective.

Taking ten 5 minute breaks in the span of 2 hours

There are two types of people when it comes to studying. The one who neglects everything and only studies, and the one who keeps taking breaks and gets nothing done. I am both. Taking breaks is good if it’s done the right way. You should be studying and taking breaks in moderation while ensuring you are spending more time studying than on break. The problem is we never study and take moderate breaks. It is always one extreme or the other.

Finally having a day off, but then feeling guilty because you think you should be doing something productive

Having work and school multiple days in a row can be draining. When I experience this, I dream about a relaxing day off. But when that day off comes, I am not at all relaxed. I begin to think about all the things I should be doing instead, to give myself a head start. For example, I think about the readings that I have to do for the next week. But why? It’s nice to have a head start but we also need to take time to just do nothing and relax. I feel like relaxing is so rare that when it’s time to relax, my mind cannot relax. We can all benefit by learning how to give ourselves time to relax.

Procrastinating yet still getting the assignment done on time

For me, the process of working on any assignment always includes procrastinating first. This applies to so many students as well. We rush the whole assignment on the last day, just to realize, “oops this is more work than I thought”. Then, we pull an all-nighter to finish the assignment so that it is quality work. We go through this stress, but somehow still get it done on time. Our ability to still get it done is what’s making us procrastinate again and again. But why do we put ourselves through stress every time we have an assignment? It’s a poor habit that contributes to our continuous stress. But don’t ask me why we do it, I couldn’t answer.

Forgetting your energy drink and then struggling to stay awake, if not falling asleep in class

This one is dedicated to on-campus classes, which I am dying to experience again. After a long night of studying, working the day before, or even from having back-to-back classes, fighting your sleep in class is more common than you think. In my first year, I had two back-to-back three-hour lectures and I was always exhausted going to the second lecture. The professor of the second lecture kept the lights on throughout the whole class which made it worse because she would spot me dozing off and then jumping in my seat to stay awake. The class itself was enjoyable, yet I would always fight the urge to sleep if I didn’t have a coffee or a Redbull before. My only conclusion is that the chair was too comfortable.

Spending money on anything and everything without thinking about it, but now you have to buy textbooks and you suddenly feel broke

In our personal lives, we spend money on clothes, shoes, food, and everything that is unnecessary without even thinking about it, but when it comes to buying books for school we dread it. I buy books and read them for fun, but when it comes to buying books to read for school… I don’t want to buy them. Why do we make unnecessary purchases effortlessly, but when it comes to something that would benefit us and our education, we don’t want to do it?

At the end of the day, we are just regular students and people. All students have poor habits, but as long as we acknowledge them and are working towards breaking those bad habits we will be successful. We all procrastinate, get stressed out, have our good days and our bad days. If you have any of these struggles, you are a completely normal student. 
Saleena is in her second year at York University. One day she hopes to become a school teacher and an author. Her passions include schooling the world for an equitable future and rethinking human exceptionalism. She spends her free time eating, reading, creative writing, or exercising.
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