Hustle culture. Most people tend to think of illicit activities and side jobs when hearing the word “hustle,” but let’s talk about the idea of hustle culture in the context of the University of Minnesota. The New York Time’s article, “Why Are Young People Pretending to Love Work?” prompted an important question: why are students boasting about workaholism when it’s quite unhealthy?
According to Erin Griffith, a New York Times journalist, hustle culture is defined as being obsessed with striving while being “relentlessly positive.” In other terms, hustle culture is logging 12-hour work days, gloating about how little sleep you got and working yourself until exhaustion. Simply put, hustle culture is promoting a burnout culture.
The millennial generation is being labeled many things, with the term “burnout” creeping in. College students love to fill their plate with as many things as possible; for example, enrolling in 15 credits, partaking in student groups and holding one or more part-time jobs. But the reality of this hustle and bustle lifestyle is exhaustion, depression and frustration.
A 2018 study completed by the Harvard Business Review showed that passionate entrepreneurs were much more likely to report feeling in a constant state of anxiety, frustrated by their work and a few felt emotionally drained. While this study focuses on entrepreneurs, not students, these feelings are more than applicable to our University.
Since 2015, University of Minnesota students had a 29-percent increase in mental health conditions. While this increase may result from multiple causes, the connection between unmanaged stress and mental health conditions is strong. Moreover, the 2018 College Student Health Survey, which was directed by Boynton Health, reported that more than two in five students couldn't manage their stress. That is an alarming amount of students reporting burnout.
While passion is a driving force to success, being a workaholic is dangerous to your health. Students shouldn’t be bragging about three hours of sleep or studying for eight hours straight. Everybody needs a break and it’s OK to take one — the world doesn’t stop just because we do.
If you’re feeling burnt out or stressed, Boynton offers mental health services. Contact Boynton at 612-625-8400 or visit boynton.umn.edu.