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HUSTLING FORWARD THROUGH LIFE: THE PERPETUATION OF TOXIC WORK ENVIRONMENTS

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.

Hustle culture refers to a practice that encourages overtime work hours and glorifying them under the euphemism of the pursuit of their professional goals. Positive depictions of this rising culture in popular social media makes the younger generation, especially students more susceptible because they are vehemently drawn to this mentality that promotes hard overtime work, often at the risk of one’s mental health. In hindsight , the overall prospects of the culture seem plausible because it is formed on the premises of attaining more wealth, status and advancing forward in our academic and professional lives which is the goal for a majority of students, especially in colleges across India. In this specific type of culture, it becomes very easy to get caught up in the hype and overwhelm ourselves.

According to statistics from the World Health Organisation (WHO) , working overtime of at least 55 hours a week kills more than 745,000 people a year. Increasingly, when we look at the current stream of college and university students of India,they have fallen prey to the extreme competitive culture with resumes filled with dozens of internships and society work clamouring for the constant attention perpetuated by this culture.The idea that hustling their way through success has been something whose course of action has been sustained by these educational institutions.These long working hours further elevate the risks of poor mental health and impose restrictions on their emotional well being.It creates assumptions in our minds that our value comes only when we can produce maximum number of work in a limited amount of time rather than our human nature to work.

This kind of culture makes young people apprehensive and reinforces the feeling that they are not doing enough intensifying the interplay of forces of dwindling mental health cases amongst them. In today’s world,this leads to the defining of one’s worth by one’s own productivity and although this might lead to positive results on one’s professional life,the recurpussions it has on one’s own mental health cannot be denied.Regardless,one has to take note of one’s own calibre and mental capacity and understand that productivity could manifest itself in different forms amongst different groups of people.Since this kind of culture rests on the idea of constant work and the fight to keep up with the same,it definitely has a negative impact on our day to day relationships with others.Owing to the constant ‘all work and no play’ norms reinforced by this ideal ,there has been a strain in our ability to enjoy life to the fullest one of which comes through our close relations with our near and dear ones. This overwhelming competitive need to stand out in the crowd has led to the decline in our ability to sustain real authentic relations as opposed to superficial ones.Friendships and families are being neglected over our intense obsession to fit into this so-called culture which is much in vogue these days.

Rest assured,there are definitely ways to get yourself out of this culture emanating from a toxic environment.Firstly,we need to stop measuring our self worth by the amount of work we can do, because it only leads us to the belief that we’re worthy only if we can work. Rest as much as you work simply because you don’t need to do something to earn you rest and self care certainly isn’t a commodity to be earned.We also need to understand that this is something that requires time to unlearn,so take it slow,breathe in ,breathe out and sometimes it’s okay to be a little chill and laid back with life because eventually life goes on and so will we.

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