Reality check — that’s when sudents begin to figure out that too much of anything can evolve into a bad habit. Video games may be a nice way to take a break from the day-to-day routine although beating the next level or earning a long sought-after weapon can become an obsession.Teens with first jobs may become addicted to shopping with all that hard-earned cash.  And procrastination can easily become a form of self-sabotage that does nothing but guarantee failure.

Gaming

Sophomore Cameron Harris rushed through his homework, trying to finish as fast as possible. Excitement filled him as he thought about the new videogame, Forza, he had bought the night before.

He hadn’t had time to play it yet, and he couldn’t wait. He rolled his chair over to his TV and turned on his Xbox.

“Gaming is something I do so I don’t just sit around,” Harris said. “It keeps me from getting bored.”

Opening the game he adjusted his headset and waited for his friends to log on. Multiplayer sessions were way more fun than playing alone. He could sit for hours at his computer when playing by himself, but when others were online too, he could play for even longer.
Harris has enjoyed playing for a long time because it is an escape from everyday life. Normally he plays for a few hours, but the longest he has ever played is two days straight.

“Forty-eight hours without stopping is the longest I’ve played,” Harris said. “I’m usually tired, exhausted and sometimes hungry. I’ve kind of gotten used to playing for long periods of  time, so it doesn’t really hurt my eyes that much.”

Procrastination

Unlocking the front door of her house, sophomore Sierra Seevers let out an exhausted sigh as she threw her heavy bookbag on the ground. She had homework in every class and was not looking forward to doing it. The clock read 3:30, so she had plenty of time to finish it, but homework was the last thing on her mind.

“I’m really bad about procrastinating, and I always leave my homework until the night before,” Seevers said. “But usually the morning of.”

For Seevers, procrastinating is the norm.

“I think my procrastinating started in elementary school, in fifth grade because I would never do any of my work,” Seevers said. “That got me in some trouble, but it was elementary school. At the time I didn’t really care, and that’s probably why it has gone on for so long.”

Eventually 3:30 turned into 10 p.m. She was getting tired so she decided to wake up early to do her homework.

“I tend to not do as well on tests,” Seevers said. “When I don’t actually take the time to learn it beforehand, it doesn’t really work out.”

Seevers says she is always super stressed when in a hurry. She tires to make herself do homework on time, but she always get back in the habit of procrastinating.

Shopping

Scrolling through the J. Crew website, senior Jamie Speth was filled with longing. She had just cashed in her paycheck and was ready to purchase a new fall wardrobe. Mixing and matching colors and pieces, she began adding items to her shopping bag.

“I mostly shop on weekends, and I do a lot of online shopping,” Speth said. “I think about shopping a lot because I’m obsessed with fashion. If I really want something I think about it constantly.”

As her bag filled, her bank account emptied. She did not always spend a lot of money on one item, but she saw a pair of Tory Burch flats she had to have.  Feeling satisfied and a little guilty, she purchased the shoes on the spot.

“I used my birthday money to buy a $230 pair of flats. They’re leather, and they’re really cute so I wear them all the time,” Speth said. “I have a job, but I usually spend my paycheck the day I get paid depending on if I need to spend it on something else.”

Speth loves shoes, but her favorite thing to buy is accessories that make statements. Having items that she can wear with multiple outfits is very convenient for her.

The main items she purchases are usually clothes, especially this time of year.

“I like statement jewelry like watches and pearl earrings, and but I mainly buy clothes. I like things that are very versatile,” Speth said. “In fall I really like to buy scarves and statement things. I’m really into fall, so I definitely spend more money around this time of the year.”

While she normally wears and uses the items she purchases, sometimes she never even touches them. She has spent her money on items that just sit in the back of her closet.

“It happens with a lot of dresses and shoes, too. I have so many heels, and I never wear them,” Speth said. “I just thought I would wear them, and  it usually has a lot to do with the weather. I have a lot of dresses, but now since it’s getting cold I can’t wear them anymore, so they just sit there. I’ll buy something and then just forget about it.”

She knew she would have to ask her parents for a little money this week. She didn’t like doing this, but it was her last resort.
Buying clothes made her feel good, but sometimes she feels guilty for wasting the money she worked hard to earn.

“Sometimes I’ll need money for gas, and I always have to ask my mom because I bought a shirt that I didn’t need,” Speth said. “It makes me feel good and bad at the same time. I should probably start saving more money, especially for college, but I’m just obsessed with clothes.”

By Katelyne Featherstone

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