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  • Writer's pictureCaylie Poola

Stop Hustling For a Minute (plz)

Does this sound like you?

You wake up, check your phone, do your morning routine, check your phone, email, make your usual smoothie or breakfast, have caffeine, check your phone (again), workout (maybe your usual spin, yoga or at home routine), get ready, go to class or work, check your phone, more caffeine, more emails, finish up your daily to - do list and before you know it, the sun goes down.

So... you decide to meet or FaceTime with a friend or watch a movie to relax but still you constantly check your phone, make a mental list of all the reasons you're behind on and plan for what you still have to get done tomorrow. Then you go to bed, only to wake up and do it all over again.

If this sounds like you, even a little, then you my friend are a victim (like many of us are) to Hustle Culture. Hustle Culture, simply put, is being in a constant state of work, grinding, and devoting as much of your day as possible to being productive. Doesn't sound so bad, right? (you may be thinking) Well, it can actually become super bad mindset. Because while being productive & driven is important and necessary to be successful, hustling all the time can do some serious damage to your mental health, and general sanity. Especially with the holiday season ending and the new year around the corner, this is an important topic of conversation.

As a college student entering the second semester of my junior year I have internships, grades, assignments and planning for my future running through my mind daily. I want to make myself the best candidate for any position I apply to. Besides being a full time student, I hold leadership positions, am active in different clubs and of course dedicate time towards side hustles, such as this blog, other social media platforms and of course the occasional babysitting gig. When I'm not doing something that is productive, I almost immediately feel guilty. I try to justify anything I do with having a purpose, even something as small as doing a face mask and basic self care. During the height of quarantine instead of taking a step back, I felt pressured to pursue other goals of mine and put my work ethic on 2x speed.

Social media has a way of making everyone look super busy, when in reality we're all just posting pre - edited photos from our bed watching Netflix half the time. When people aren't sharing their achievements or entrepreneurial endeavors, they are traveling, eating good food and having fun.

At least thats what they like us to think.

As a college student with $25 in my Venmo account (on a good day), I trick myself into thinking everyone is doing it all, flawlessly, except me. And the thing is, I'm not alone in this struggle. My friends feel it too. I literally see my friends give themselves more work to do when their actual work for the day is done, because they cannot believe they have nothing else to do.

As I write this I got a text from my best friend, which I thought was questionably, yet perfectly timed for the topic of this post.

Her: "Sorry I'm in a bad mood"

Me: "Why?"

Her: "I’ve been overwhelmed with school. Too much happening."

Me: "Why don't we do something fun next week, something to look forward to."

Her: "See the issue I have is I have a really big practical when We come back from break. I thought I would have a break with no school wrong. I just need the semester to be over. Sometimes I wish I was interested in history... But no. I love healthcare and the health field but these classes are so mentally exhausting"

I couldn't believe that my extremely smart and capable best friend was so exhausted. A girl who does more studying and work than anyone else I know was defeated. Someone so excited and passionate about working in healthcare one day caught doubting her dreams.

This isn't normal. Hustle culture isn't normal.

Being tired and overwhelmed from school is normal. Feeling like you have a lot on your plate sometimes is normal. But never allowing yourself to simply be lazy and do nothing without feeling defensive or justifying it, is NOT. I'm not going to argue on this blog or anywhere else that I'm the most driven, hard worker to exist, because that would be a lie. But I do work hard. Everyones version and understanding of what work looks like or is for them may vary. I'm still trying to understand why we've all become programmed to feel this way and I don't have the answers yet, but when I do, I promise, you'll all be the first to know.

Until then, let's go easy on ourselves. Sit down and put your feet up (at least to finish reading this and then to watch an episode or two of your favorite show).

2020 was hard.

Just making it through this year is an achievement and a reason to be proud. Waking up in the morning and deciding to make your bed, can sometimes seem pointless when there's no where to go. Go easy on yourself. Write down how you feel on paper. Set goals. Go on social media less. Take care of yourself, whether that means watching movies all day, taking an extra class or going for a 5 mile run. Don't explain yourself to anyone. Be understanding with what other people need to do for themselves during this time to just to make it through the day. Don't take things so seriously, all the time. Listen to podcasts. Read. Sleep well, but don't feel guilty for staying up a little late one night watching TV either.

And mostly, just stop hustling (for at least a minute).

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