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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Queen's U chapter.

College students are busy. I know we often get the reputation for being lazy, and while this is partially true, it’s also partially untrue. In addition to being full-time college students, many of us also have part-time jobs, maybe one or more extracurriculars, and we manage it all while trying to live the “fun years” of our lives. And don’t forget to sleep 8 hours a night. And maybe throw in a workout here and there when you’re not falling asleep at 4pm after class. 

I often ask myself if I’m overcommitting myself, being a full-time student with a part-time job and being involved in two clubs with weekly commitments and a third club with monthly commitments. Ultimately, I always conclude that I’m not taking on too much because “other people do so much more!”. But, this narrative has been annoying me lately.

Hustle culture plays a significant role in the way we compare our success and productivity to others, and the pressure to push ourselves past our limits. This culture is insanely pervasive on college campuses, probably because college is often treated like preparation for the corporate world. I’m not a fan of hustle culture; I prefer to call it burnout culture. I know I’ve experienced burnout many times as a college student, but I still never consider committing myself to less. If anything, I consider more!

As for the “other people do more”, I know I’m not the only one who struggles with this mindset rooted in comparing ourselves to others. But honestly, screw that. Everyone is on their own journey with different finish lines and goals. And while I know this, I still struggle with comparison. It’s hard not to in a society where it is so normalized.

How can we change that? To be completely honest, I don’t know! I’m still navigating how to make this shift. What I do know is that it’s good to be mindful when you see things stacking up, and admit to yourself that you have too much on your plate. It’s okay to skip out on a night with your friends because you’re exhausted. It’s okay to submit your paper one day late (Sometimes! Not always!) because you’re exhausted. It’s something I’ve been trying to be more mindful of recently. I think we place so much of our worth on how “productive” we are instead of how we’re feeling, and maybe how much effort and energy we have put into the things we care about. I’m starting to realize that less is more. For instance, why take on five things at once and feel like we’re just barely getting by when we could take on two or three things and thrive? 

Obviously, it’s not entirely in our control due to exterior factors like finances, pressure from family and friends, and so on. But we do have some control. So, my goal for the next little while is to reflect on my current commitments and figure out how much “stuff” is enough for me to feel fulfilled, without having a totally jam-packed schedule. It’s not easy in a society that values work more than well-being, but I think it’s doable. So, feel free to join me in reflecting on your workload if you feel like you’re drowning. I think this will be good for us!

Layla Artzy

Queen's U '25

I'm a 3rd-year student at Queen's University studying Politics. Some of my favourite things include vegan restaurants, coffee, self-care, the outdoors, and a good time with friends and family!