Addressing “bad” habits

Let me start by saying “congratulations!” You are officially five weeks into the Spring 2024 semester! That means that you have been going to classes, submitting assignments, taking tests, and generally putting your best academic foot forward for a month and one week! So let’s celebrate that!

If you are one of the people who read the above and had a moment of panic along the lines of the following: “There’s only three months left?!”, “We’re already a month into the semester?!”, or even “none of the above apply to me”, it sounds like it’s time to check in with ourselves. This check in can occur in whatever way it makes sense to you. Personal recommendation: start by taking stock of what you’ve accomplished thus far in the semester versus what your goals were when you started in January. During this mindful reflection, if you find yourself displeased in any way with your classroom contributions, start to make an action plan. This applies to all students and educators who might be feeling that there is “more” that can be done.

If it helps, conceptualize the habits that you have been keeping as a toxic relationship. In a toxic relationship, we tend to repeat the same patterns (whether or not they manifest in different ways) repeatedly under the assumption that if we would have just changed our reactions, our thoughts, or even our actions, “maybe there would have been a different outcome!” But this is simply not true because we are fixating on that one instance instead of the dangerous cycle we are caught in. The same logic can be applied to having “bad” habits or being a “bad” student.

To start with: you are not “bad”. Who you are is not someone who is intentionally failing at school. Who you are might be someone who has the best intentions to attend every class, boost your GPA, and just crush it this semester. And who you are may be struggling with that, but that does not make you “bad” or your academic habits “bad.” What this does make you is human and someone who has an opportunity to start to address and adjust those habits.

These adjustments should focus on what does not serve you. For example: you may have started this semester with the goal or thought to work on your homework every weekday so that you have the weekends free. However, you’re finding that you are not only not keeping up on your homework, but now you are working on the weekends, you have missed an assignment or two, and your class is going “just like you knew it would.” Okay, so now we figure out what isn’t working for you. Maybe doing homework every day is not the way to instill joy in you as a productive student. Maybe instead we work on homework in between our classes on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Even if the gap is only thirty minutes so that you can feel productive, chip away at it in small pieces, and now you’re still doing this work three out of five days. Not bad for someone who was just judging themselves for being a “bad” student, no?

My point being: you got this. You have three months left of the semester to shine and thrive. And if you can’t seem to get your habits “just right”, we have FREE academic coaching ( at the ASCC and we can assist you and/or get you pointed in the right direction. We believe in you completely and are cheering you on from our corner of campus! Onward with your mindfulness and bad self!

By Adrianne Mitchell
Adrianne Mitchell GA: Academic Coach