The Struggle of Feeling Like You Are Never Doing Enough

Hustle culture is real and I hate it. When people have high hopes and aspirations, their desire to achieve these goals often manifests in completely filled Google Calendars, subtle brags about how busy they are and how they wish they could just relax! While it is obviously important to work hard, there is no point in over-committing to things and letting other valuable things, like grades (for some career paths) and relaxation (for all of us), slip away. 

Society and the media glorifies the idea of working hard in order to one day own a house with an open floor plan and dozens of plants, buy $6 iced coffees every morning and fly first-class across the globe. A lot of us Gen Z kids like going to cute cafes to “study” AKA take pictures of our coffees and laptops to post on Instagram, proving to our followers just how productive and hard-working we are. 

At one point, being busy becomes a competition. People complain about how much work they have to do, but sometimes you can tell they are not complaining because they are genuinely stressed, but mostly because they want you to be impressed by how much they are accomplishing. But someone that does a lot of things is not necessarily more successful than someone who is not doing as much. Success as we tend to define it- money- should not even need to be the end goal. As we compete to be busier and busier and to become more and more successful, our value becomes dependent on how productive we are and what we contribute to society. However, thinking that we do not have value outside of our academics and/or career is unhealthy and frankly, just wrong. 

Especially as young college students, there are more meaningful things in life than being productive members of society. Besides, we have the rest of our lives for that! Just because you are not doing work does not mean you are wasting time. Instead of just cycling through school, work and clubs, try to take some time for self-care, whether that is watching a movie, taking a walk or going out with a friend. We should not have to feel guilty for doing unproductive things. There is nothing shameful in stepping off the treadmill and taking life at a slower pace.

Reinforcing hustle culture has little real benefit in the long run. All we are doing is stressing ourselves out and downgrading ourselves to money-making machines, rather than empathetic human beings. Take a breath. Take a break. Relax.