June 3, 2020
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Hustle culture is toxic to mental health

By Madison Pena
News Editor

In recent years, posts surrounding “the hustle” have taken over social media feeds. This content can range from a motivational post telling you that you’re ready to “crush the day” to college students discussing the many business ventures that they pursue in addition to their school work. 

Students who overload their schedules often burn out. (tcnj.edu)

Although these constant affirmations and reminders of opportunity can motivate students, they can also burden them with unnecessary stress. 

On social media, there seems to be an idealized concept that if you are working constantly, you will see instant results. This can be daunting for someone who has been putting in the work, but has yet to reach their end goal.

Hustle culture creates a toxic environment that pressures people into working constantly, making them feel like they can never say no to an opportunity. People want to have the reputation of being able to handle anything and everything, but that’s not normal and should not be an expectation. 

Yes, I’ll admit that I strive to work hard so I can attain my goals – and I spend a lot of time making sure that I completed everything to the best of my ability. I also actively look for things to help boost my experience level and resume to help me achieve my long-term goals. However, I also am a huge advocate for self-care and taking time for yourself.

Self-care seems to have been left by the wayside while hustle culture has taken over, leaving many students and professionals more stressed and fatigued than ever.

It’s not uncommon for people to look around and compare themselves to others. This is one of the silent killers of hustle culture. There’s a constant need to be the best by doing more and achieving more than those around you – but this leaves little time to focus on things that would actually benefit you as a person.

Sure, it might be great to have that extra club on your resume, but you should ask yourself if overloading your schedule is worth sacrificing a good night’s sleep, hanging out with friends or simply relaxing. 

Yes, that’s right. I said it. The ‘r’ word – relax.  

The need to constantly be busy and working can take quite a toll on your mental health. There have been times where I’ve found myself taking on way more than I have time for, which leaves me feeling run down and with an overall loss of motivation. 

Hustle culture can go from a push in the right direction to a one-way trip to a burn-out, leaving you with more work to do while you try to pick yourself back up.

In college, it can be especially tough to set aside enough time for yourself. Between trying to balance school, having a social life and looking for jobs/internships, it can seem like there aren’t enough hours in the day. With the world’s weight on our shoulders, it’s easy to prioritize everything except ourselves, so we keep grinding it out, feeding into the hustle mentality.

This never-ending cycle can only last for so long before you crash and burn. In the long run, it will serve you better to take breaks throughout your day to do things you enjoy, like hanging out with friends. Not only will you have something to look forward to while you go through your day, but you’ll feel better after getting some social interaction.

We live in a society that glamorizes being constantly busy, when what we should really be thinking about is how to be productive. You many spend hours rewriting notes, but unless you are actually retaining the information and learning, it isn’t productive and won’t bring any long term benefits. 

Instead of feeding into a mindless hustle culture, focus on taking care of yourself. Your responsibilities can wait.

1 Comment on Hustle culture is toxic to mental health

  1. Hustle culture is a symptom of our materialistic culture. We definitely should invest our time to into our future, but when it comes to how to actually do this, people do not seem to know what they actually want. What good is boosting your efforts of getting a good job if you wreck yourself mentally in the process and will probably not reach the mental reward you are expecting in the process?

    For some people, they can handle such loads of stress, but those people are few and far between. Our culture encourages multitasking, so many people think they are one of these types, but very few people actually are.

    Balance is key. Few people can handle massive amounts of leisure, and few people can handle allotting the near-entirety of their time to work and activities. The conclusion: know your limits.

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