Chewing your nails. Scrolling through TikTok for hours. Rampant perfectionism.
These are all bad habits, and even though they may not be yours, there’s always something we struggle with. It’s that little something that irks and irritates you when you think about it in retrospect, but you can’t help yourself when the cue comes.
Yep, there are cues to your bad habits! And in fact, there’s a lot more to your bad habits, and there’s a really interesting and simple way to overcome them!
But first, let me tell you about Sunday, March 6th, and a personal icon of mine, Julie Millisky.
When the initial shock of a pandemic uprooting my time on campus wore off, my next instinct was to look for hidden opportunities to come out of quarantine. I fully expected that within two months I could be cooking gourmet meals, working out everyday, and achieving other lofty goals. And while I certainly attempted to incorporate self-improvement into my social distancing experience, my dinners of microwavable grain bowls and Annie’s box Mac and Cheese offer a glimpse into my eluding success.
Another significant challenge I’ve experienced over the past several months has been keeping in touch with people outside my immediate family. Maintaining the strength of my relationships over distance and time has always been difficult for me and was one of my primary concerns when I realized the extent of our isolation.
Over the summer, a solution to both my disappointing track record and my need for more regular human interaction presented itself to me through a text from a high school friend. A fellow French student, who also happens to enjoy testing the limits of their brain’s linguistic capabilities by studying multiple languages at once, had been using Duolingo regularly throughout the semester. He could plainly see that I had not. By abruptly pointing out that I was lagging behind for someone supposedly dedicated to language learning, he inspired me to begin a daily practice with some friendly competition. The exchange motivated me to resume language study outside of the classroom, not just through the app, but through other means as well. Continue reading