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Nipping Bad Habits in the Bud

by Pamela Pagano


November 5, 2015 | Curiosities

DO IT NOW!!. Quotes Fans.

“Bad habits are easy to form and difficult to break,” says Peter Cooperman, one of Dawson’s counsellors. “The word habit comes from the word habitual, meaning it becomes a way you do things.”

Basically, we don’t always notice the habits we have developed. Think about it; do you always buy your Tim Horton’s coffee before an 8am class? Do you automatically get into the second metro car because the staircase to Dawson is situated there? Those are only a few examples of habits a Dawson student might have. While some are harmless, other habits can be absolutely terrible – even worse than the Tim Horton’s worker mixing up your order. They are known as bad habits: the murderers of your education. So, what exactly are they?


1. Procrastination

Don’t lie to yourself. We all know you have procrastinated at least a hundred times during your academic life. As you surf social media, decide to watch an episode of Family Guy, or do anything else rather than dive into your school work, it is slowly decreasing your chances of receiving good grades. According to a 2008 procrastination study from Warwick Business School,  students who hand in assignments 24 hours or less prior to the deadline receive much lower grades than those who complete it two or more days before. Therefore, is watching that episode worth the bad grade? Not at all, so why do you do it?

Mr. Cooperman states that, “Having spoken to many Dawson students regarding this, anxiety is what makes students procrastinate.”

Out of a survey that was conducted, 83% of Dawson students say they procrastinate and 40% of them agree that they do it because they are anxious about completing the assignment. The remaining 61% of students get easily distracted or are like Gabriela Gasprini, a first year student who says, “I am just so tired, I need to sleep rather than complete an assignment that I can do tomorrow or the day after that.”


Time of submission and average marks graph. Bloomberg Business

2. Lack of sleep

You can’t remember anything that’s on the test but you studied all night? Well, you most likely are another Gabriela, who only snoozes for 5 hours. According to sleepfoundation.org, we need, on average, 8 to 10 full hours of sleep per night. If you don’t come close to those numbers, you are up for great consequences because lack of sleep restricts your learning abilities. Mr. Cooperman sees a big difference between students who get enough sleep versus those who don’t.

“Lack of sleep affects focusing. You need a fresh mind and rested body to work properly.” Don’t think you are alone, thouhg. 67% of Dawson students know they do not get enough sleep.

However, if you want to actually retain what your teachers are teaching you – start sleeping!


3. Lack of exercise

Besides your mandatory gym classes, when was the last time you actually exercised? Whether it was two hours ago, yesterday or last year, it is important you get your “derrière” up and moving. According to livestrong.com, your mental health is at stake if you do not exercise.  Therefore, if you are not shaking that “Derrière”  in a Zumba class or weight training at the gym you are diminishing your memory retention, self esteem and increasing stress.

“It is difficult to exercise regularly, but then it becomes a habit,” says Mr. Cooperman and later adds that “Those who I have recommended exercising to, agree that it helps them manage school stress and increases their self confidence.”

Dawson students can relate to that. 84% of them find that it does reduce their stress levels, yet, only 39% of students exercise on a regular basis.  You must practice what you preach! Just listen to another two first year students, Anthony Santoianni and Brandon Ruffolo, who both exercise on a regular basis. “A lot of people take exercising for granted. We don’t because it takes our minds away from the work load.” Therefore, hit the gym or else you will continue to complain about school and feel stressed.

Now, you must be asking yourself, which bad habit is the worst? The answer: all of them! Cynthia Chiovitti, a former Dawson student, says, “You must get rid of these bad habits now before they continue to consequentially affect your education at a university level.” If you want to succeed in your present and future education, it is a worthwhile goal to set. Therefore, take advice from the great Mr. Cooperman on behalf of your fellow students: “These bad habits were very easily formed, so, you can make it a habit to do the opposite of them.”

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