Why I'm Canceling Hustle Culture

I don’t know if it’s the impacts of past generations working hard because they never had enough or the influence of instantly seeing everyone’s life highlight reels on social media, but I’m so tired of feeling like I need to be overworked in order to be successful. Every day, I see multiple people share their intensely packed itineraries. It took me a few months to notice how often I was seeing posts like this, but once I did I began to feel incredibly lazy. I was wondering why I wasn’t working two jobs and completing two more internships, all while making time to study and manage a full course load. 

Growing up in a Hispanic household, being unsuccessful in life has always been a massive fear of mine. My parents had dreams of me being a doctor or lawyer and were disappointed with my decision to pursue communications, but I was happy. I felt the world of advertising, public relations and marketing would be bright and full of opportunities. Cue a major life crisis at the ripe age of 20 (halfway through my degree) when I realized that so many of the people around me were working to the point where it seemed they had time for nothing else. Why did I have time? Why was I enjoying my life as a 20-year-old college student, and not too preoccupied with something else? 

Hustle culture became intoxicating. I was feeling less than everyone else at a time when I should have been relatively happy that I was in a position where I could enjoy so many different facets of life rather than buying into workaholism. I was ashamed that I only had one internship! Like, for what? That should've been more than enough. I shouldn’t have felt like I wasn’t doing enough. 

Now, about half a year later, I’m reaping the repercussions of my past self. I’ve realized that hustle culture and the working all the time lifestyle is actual nonsense, all while being encompassed by it. I still feel like I’m working too much and not enough at the same time, but I’ve promised myself I’ll never do it again. 

I still don’t really understand how being busy all the time became cool, but I’m sick of it. It’s not cool. The point of life is not to work until the day you die, or even work nonstop through your youth. Life has so much more to offer, and if you’re in a position where you don’t need to be working an insane amount, do yourself a favor and take a break. There’s no way you can wholeheartedly be working at five different “hustles” and be giving each one your all. There isn’t enough time in a day. Working from home, particularly through COVID-19, has made it seem like work can be done anywhere at any time. News flash: work is for the office. It’s not for your way home, the kitchen table or your favorite coffee shop. Missing meals, sleep, events, or even your favorite TV show is not worth devoting sometimes more than 16 hours of your day to something thankless, just to wake up the next day and do it all over again. 

Maybe I’m just built different, but I wasn’t made for that. So much of the world happens outside of work and I don’t want to miss it. I want to be able to relax while watching the sunset every night while sipping on a glass of wine. I want to have time to read a book. I want to be able to genuinely connect with my friends and family every day. I want to work on my time and not have three different side hustles just to feel enough and fulfill other people’s versions of success.

Hustle culture is canceled. Work what you have the energy for. Being overworked isn’t cute or trendy. Define what success means for yourself, and forget about what it looks like for other people.


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