Kick old habits now or die trying

By Brittany Gregg, Opinion Editor

It was an inconspicuous Saturday evening when I had just gotten off of work and my sister, mother, niece and nephew were to arrive at the door of my house, at The University of Akron. It wasn’t long until my sister discovered the unintended science experiment that consisted of my entire kitchen. It had been the first time my sister, niece and nephew had ever been to my house off-campus. Sure they were familiar with my living status when I lived on-campus within a residence hall but the ball game had changed this fall semester. I no longer live alone, I moved in with three other roommates, who I consider all to be sisters of mine. These not-so-OCD sisters of mine are a contrast to for my biological sister, who is a mother of two and cannot stand a mess for longer than a minute.

My family, unaware of the mess all of what being busy in college and working at the same time could conjure within a week, entered my home for what they thought would be an evening of dinner with of us all cooking, and a movie, if time permitted.

Instead, they were met with my catastrophe of a house, specifically the kitchen: unwashed plates, bowls, and a gazillion coffee mugs that had been sitting out for weeks, left out leftovers and an overflowing trash can that resembled a work of art, managing to balance everything in a single pile. In essence, it looked as though the amount of girls that lived under our roof was eight, not four.

My mother began to unclog the kitchen sink drain, sister started to reconsider eating dinner at my house and I swore to them that it was a stressful week and we had lots of company too. I also reassured my family that only certain areas were my mess and that when I graduate and have my own place, it will be immaculate. They then in unison mentioned something that I know for a fact many of my college peers would consider terrifying: ‘The habits you have now might be the habits you have for a lifetime.’

We may remember when we were kids and our parents told us to study, clean up after ourselves, brush our teeth before bed and make our beds before we left for school. They told us that if we did not make this a habit, we would have a hard time breaking bad habits throughout high school and college. But what about the habits we posses in college, within our early twenties? I began to think that my future dreams of being a successful young woman with positive impacting habits would be nothing but a dream. It is apparent that I am not as sloppy as others, but I sure am not living up to my parent’s expectations of how they raised me.

As college students, do we become hopeless when thinking that one day, we will stop procrastinating, binge drinking, being a mess and accept that we will be engaging within the same debauchery when we are thirty or forty? Can we really kick these habits to the curb, before we get kicked?

I think that there is potential for both being able to continue these habits and also kick habits. We are at the ages when we can decide independently what we want to do with ourselves, where we want to go and what we have to do in order to get there. If we want to be the immaculate and successful young men and women in the future, the time is now. We are at our mental and physical peak during our 20’s, therefore, this is the time when we can put the most effort into our behaviors and reap the success. Many of us know how hard it was to kick habits before college in order to be more of a scholar or simply manage to be responsible out on our own in the college realm. But it is even harder to kick a bad habits when you’re 30 or later considering studies and what we hear those breaching their mid-life crisis’s at 40.

The consequences of not trying to curb our habits might be detrimental to our dreams and aspirations. We watch movies and television shows that have characters experiencing mid-life crises and continue to procrastinate, create monstrous disasters within their living environments and let the trash pile up, however, these people do exist. Assuming that when you graduate, the adulthood fairies will sprinkle their magical grow-up dust on you and you’ll go on to suddenly check your mailbox on a regular basis is as far-fetched as this hyperbole.

If we want to have any hope of being self-sufficient adults, we have to start building on the basics now. Dedicating less than an hour of your day to chores is underwhelming enough to not be a burden but an effective push to overcoming your shortcomings. Doing two paragraphs of that 20-page essay at a time will not only save you stress on the due date, but also will create positive reinforcements of accomplishment that will encourage you to continue that habit. Kicking your immoral self-indulgence cold turkey does not just happen; you have to slowly but surely trick yourself into becoming more of a normal human being. It can be intimidating, but we can all agree that these habits need to be on the curb before we move on, kind of like that garbage bag in your kitchen that needs to be thrown out.