I began this school year with 3 part-time jobs, an internship, numerous extracurriculars, and a full course load.
I began this school year equating being busy as being superior.
The less free space I saw in my Google Calendar, the more I valued myself, but the more it affected my mental health. I could not enjoy spending time with my friends or my significant other. Anytime I was at work, I felt guilty for not studying, and when I was at school, I was already stressing about my next shift at work. I began to feel my mental health and my self-worth deteriorate. The people close to me asked me what it was about work that was causing me to struggle with it – was it the workload, was I unsure of the expectations of me, did I feel unprepared? I could not describe why I felt so anxious about going to work or why one of my jobs in particular was causing me so much stress; I loved the people I was working with, I was being recognized for my hard work, and I knew what was expected of me.
I took a weekend off of work for the first time in 6 weeks during Canadian Thanksgiving, and I went to the mountains with my boyfriend. This physical and mental distance from my responsibilities gave me the clarity I needed to realize that I had unusal and unnecessary expectations of myself. My goals are long-term goals, and my academics are the most important thing to get me to those goals, and having so much on my plate was managable in theory, but I did not NEED to be putting so much pressure on myself. I made the decision that I needed to cut back.
I put in my 2-weeks notice at one of my part time jobs, I finished strong and on good terms. I kept 2/3 jobs, so I was not significantly affected financially. Freeing up Friday evenings, Saturday evenings, and Sundays has given me the time to spend with myself, to stay on top of my schoolwork without stress, to work out, and to enjot my time. I have grown closer with friends and family, and I have not lost anything – only gained benefits.
Our generation and society glamorizes hustle culture and being busy, regardless of the negative impacts it can make in our lives. I now value myself for being strong and taking the time I need for myself and my priorities. When I made the decision to leave one of my jobs, I was met with the opinions of many people and I realized that those closest to me knew that it was the best decision for me and supported me. Those who had a negative point of view about MY life did not care about my best interests and thus their opinions did not affect me. It was not that I “couldn’t handle it,” but I simply did not need to.
Overall, quitting my job has changed my life in so many ways, allowing me to focus on my own mental health, to prioritize my academics, to purge the things and people who do not serve me, and to be a healthier and happier person. I encourage you to take a look at your life and see what does and does not reflect the version of you that you want to be. \
-On letting go.