OPINION: Hustle culture detrimental for student health, undermines self care

OPINION: Hustle culture detrimental for student health, undermines self care

The concept of hustle culture has become more and more popular as of late, promoting constant hard work with no time for leisure. Although this is seen as a positive aspect of today’s culture, hustle culture in practice is unrealistic and has the potential to impact Kennesaw State students’ health negatively.

Hustle culture is defined as performative workaholism that emphasizes nonstop work, according to The New York Times. The culture is pervaded with slogans like, “Don’t stop when you are tired, stop when you are done.” This culture shames time taken for personal care and glorifies ambition as a lifestyle, according to The New York Times.

This hustle culture is unrealistic for many and can have especially adverse effects for students.

College students have always had chaotic schedules, consisting of school work, jobs, internships and other responsibilities. Many students have full academic schedules, work a primary job and have a side gig for supplemental income.

Unfortunately, any use of downtime for relaxation is now seen as a waste of time that could be used to increase earnings, according to The Red and Black.

While having a strong work ethic is beneficial for students, hustle culture can go too far. Not all students have the flexibility to work constantly throughout the day. Many students grapple with mental health issues, medical conditions, heavy course loads and family responsibilities — important aspects of life that require attention.

Hustle culture can result from peer pressure, which reduces a student’s quality of life according to Study Breaks. Students strive to please others and to keep up with their peers, sacrificing their own health and happiness in the process. With hustle culture’s pressure to constantly grind, students’ self esteems may suffer if they feel they are not achieving the same “busyness” as others.

“I do believe that hustle culture can be toxic,” junior marketing major Aleah Singleton said. “There has to be time set up for taking care of yourself and spending time with family and friends. If you are working all the time, then you will lose connections with people and eventually lose who you are.”

Hustle culture’s “always on, always working” mentality has been terrible for the collective mental health of Americans, according to Thrive Global. KSU students are no exception. Taking care of one’s wellbeing is essential to be happy, healthy and successful at work.

The stress caused by working too much can result in consequences for one’s health, including high blood pressure, heart disease, fatigue, anxiety and depression, according to U Lifeline.

Taking time to relax can diminish the effects of mental illness, as well as reduce muscle tension and chronic pain, according to Health Direct. Those who take time for relaxation are also likely to have improved moods and experience more confidence when addressing problems.

The desire to succeed can be appealing, but it should not come at such a cost. Relaxation, personal health and time spent with others are all important in maintaining a high quality of life. Students should work hard toward their goals, but should never forget the importance of caring for themselves.

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