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Hello Amy,

I often find myself chewing on my pencil in class. Sometimes, when I need to borrow a pencil from a friend, I discover that I am tempted to eat their pencils as well. Most of the time I don’t even realize I’m doing it until I find bite marks. One time, I was caught by my friend who had lent me the pencil, which concluded in a shouting match. How do I train myself to not eat my pencil as I am hurting others?

—Lead Lover

Dear Lead Lover,

Your penchant for pencil eating is simply a bad habit. It is just like biting your fingernails, or twirling your hair, except this habit affects others as well. First, you must identify the triggers behind your pencil eating. When are you tempted to eat your pencil? When you’re nervous? Excited? Simply bored?  Once you have found your trigger(s), you must recognize when you are in that state of mind and be super weary. Overall, you really just need to commit.

Dear Amy,

I am a senior and I have received the relieving news that I have gotten into my first choice college. Now, as long as I don’t fail out of school, I really don’t need to worry about my grades anymore. but my teachers continue to badger me about doing my homework. This is my last year at home and I really would rather spend it on Netflix than school work. How do I let my teachers know that I just don’t care anymore?

—Unmotivated

Hello Unmotivated,

You just answered your own question. By not doing your homework, you’re already letting your teachers know that you don’t care. While I understand your logic, wouldn’t it be easier for everyone if you just turned off your Netflix for an hour and worked just long enough to avoid annoying your teachers, and eventually, parents? Trust me, I don’t like working either, which is why I spend my time answering random questions, but sometimes I have to push myself just hard enough to get a little work done. Right now, it sounds like you’re putting in work to not work, which is a waste of time for everyone.

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