Nail Biting | Allegheny College Undergraduate Application Essay

Perfection. Boredom. Anxiety. There is probably a subconscious reason for my nail biting, but the origin of this habit has been lost with the years of my childhood. Regardless, it reflects my consistency as a person and my devotion to familiarity. My gnawed fingers do not consume me; rather, I consume the realities of the world through my fingers.

Perfection is my strife as an overscheduled student; I have but little time to finish my homework and even less to express myself creatively. With every assignment, I subconsciously choose a finger to victimize and work diligently on the task at hand. When I read an original poem of mine in the creative writing club, however, I refrain from my nasty habit and focus solely on the words flowing through my work. I do not stop because I am reading aloud, but rather because I am attempting to achieve perfection. Biting exercises my conscience by testing my ability to control the habit.

Boredom is not rare at the gas station where I work, but it induces my pattern of finger alienation. In between stocking soft drinks, running the register, and serving customers, I have stretches of empty time that sometimes overcome my nail preservation plan. When the hours stretch out ceaselessly before…

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