Maintaining control: a look at students’ quirky habits

By Brooklyn Norrell

The Periscope (Carlisle, Pennsylvania)

Quirks – a certain behavior or habit. Everybody has at least one – that one thing that has to be set or done a certain way for an individual’s comfort.   We asked Carlisle students to share their interesting quirks to give a deeper insight into how these behaviors may affect their every day lives. Some of these mannerisms stem from a desire for cleanliness and order. Senior Mary Smith shared that “I have to wash my hands three times in a row so that they are extra clean.” Other habits might just represent a preference in how a process gets done. For example, Ellen Diehl, a junior, said, “I always start walking up or down stairs with my left foot or I have to go back and start all over.” Another CHS student that preferred to stay anonymous said, “I prefer to eat my foods by density. So for example, if I had a classic sandwich in front of me, I would first eat the lettuce, tomato, cheese, meat, then bread, not all at once. Depending of the situations if I am in public or at a fancy restaurant, I would try to not do this as obviously to keep from looking strange. The only exception to this rule is if there were two foods of the same consistency. So, toast with butter would be okay to eat together because there isn’t must of a textural difference. I ALWAYS eat salad one ingredient at a time.” Finally, some just prefer to do things numerically, especially incorporating favorite numbers. “I love the number three,” said senior Leah Colestock.  “I mean everyone has their own lucky number, but mine is kind of an extreme. Whenever I eat small foods (like Smarties, goldfish, or animal crackers) I always take them in groups of three. When I’m in a public restroom, I usually take the third stall. When I’m practicing something like a song, type of review question, or a new field hockey move – I like to end on three really good ones. When I’m taking a test, I go back three times through it to make sure I didn’t miss anything or make a mistake.” Colestock added, “Basically, I knit the number three pretty tightly throughout my life.” While these behaviors may seem quirky and add time to a particular task, they also provide a level of comfort to the individual doing them.  In these times where many things seem out of our control, habits like these may allow people to gain a little order back in their life.

Photo Credit: Brooklyn Norrell

About Grace Masback

Grace Masback, 17, aspires to give voice to the voiceless and holds the modest ambition of becoming the voice of Gen Z. Frustrated by the dearth of impactful platforms for teen journalists, she founded WANT, a news, sports, and entertainment website that aggregates the best in high school journalism from school newspapers and teen bloggers around the world (

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