Teenagers and Bad Habits

Habits develop over time and during times of growth; it’s very common for habits to form during teenage years. Although many habits are good, there are a few bad habits common among many. (Photo Courtesy of Lyric Chassin)

During high school, students face many stages of growth and development that help shape them into adults. As they go through their life as a young adult, they develop tactics that become a natural instinct by the time they are fully grown.

These tactics that every single person possesses are often referred to as habits. Habits can be beneficial or negative. The habits that students develop throughout their high school years can shape them and their ways of life.

Some habits are easy to develop and can help you manage your life in the future. Some examples of this are staying organized, cleaning up after yourself, and being productive. With enough repetition you can turn anything into a habit, which isn’t always helpful in the grand scheme of things.

High schoolers develop bad habits by using coping mechanisms that may not be favorable for their health. With the stress that all aspects of a teenagers life can cause, methods of dealing with the stress are common among many teens. This raises the question, what bad habits have North Carolina students developed?

Students were polled in order to determine the likelihood of bad habits in high schoolers.

The most stereotypical bad habit is nail biting. According to scientists, 20-30% of our population are nail biters. Out of the 230 Wake County students surveyed, 42% of them report biting their nails. Nail biting is often used as a method to cope with anxiety; something that is very common in teenagers. The number of students that bite their nails is lower than those that don’t. This is most likely because of other methods to release stress. If a nail biting habit is developed as a child, teenagers who bite their nails probably find comfort in it and do it without even realizing. Nail biting can cause damage not only to the nails, but also to the teeth. This can lead to bacterial infections by putting germs from the fingers into the mouth.

Another thing many teenagers and adults do is crack their joints. The health concerns around joint cracking have been studied. Scientists have confirmed that cracking your joints is harmless. Although it won’t physically harm you in any serious matters, it can be annoying and obsessive thing to many. The constant need to get rid of the tightness can make it hard to do things without adjusting. The build up of tension within areas like the knuckles, back, and neck lead people to crack their joints as a source of relief. It can loosen and calm people down and reduce stress. 86% of people surveyed account cracking their joint frequently.

A lot of the hardships faced through schoolwork is intensified through homework. All students have homework at one point or another, some more than others. The amount of homework needed to get done in a certain period of time can place a lot of pressure on students determined to succeed. After a long school day of working in all of your classes, students don’t necessarily want to get straight into their homework–they prefer to take breaks in between the assignments of the day.

A common thing many students do during their free time at school and at home is go on their phone. This can be a distraction from all of the tasks at hand and allow the mind to release the weight of schoolwork. Phones can also be used to avoid completing the work. This can keep students from getting everything done. 96% of students use their phone to procrastinate and take breaks from homework.

All of the common bad habits in today’s teenagers are used to benefit them in the moment, but can have some negative effects in the long run. Staying aware of the potential consequences that could come from preserving the habits is extremely important.


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