Why Hustle Culture is Toxic

Maddie Bataille


December 29, 2021

As much as the next person I feel the pressure to prove myself worthy in society. As the saying “hard work and determination” goes, it will get you anywhere. I question that because I believe it is said in ignorance of a patriarchal white society.

I digress, “Hustle” culture is, according to urban dictionary, “The glorification of working very long hours in hope of reaching one's professional goals while having a disregard for their health, and relationships with loved ones.”

Hustle culture affects everyone, but it also affects the different identities in many different ways. As a woman, hustle culture is based on what I can and cannot achieve. Because I am a woman, these are my limitations, so. I feel like I need to surpass myself.

What this ultimately leads to is a feeling of being burnt out and depressed. And then feeling impending guilt for feeling that way. Feeling like a failure for not being able to stay on top of all the things I want to do at once.

It is a hard wall to hit once you actually do hit it. In all truth, I started this three weeks ago and had to stop because of how busy the rest of my life was.

That's what Hustle Culture does to you, it makes you feel worthless for not being able to get things done.

For me, I notice I constantly compare myself to my peers. When I see that they go to a new club meeting, or apply for an internship, or new job, it starts to make me question if I am doing enough.

Something I have noticed is that people like to show off how busy they are. I think this is a result of our social lives being so vulnerable through social media. However it has created a competitive nature in the way we keep ourselves occupied.

Simply, I personally always feel like I am never doing enough. Or at least I am never doing enough that can be credible to my resume, education or career. After all, I can't put “does yoga everyday” on my resume.

This has made me feel like I need to turn my hobbies into something profitable in some sense. Which then defeats the point of having hobbies. It no longer becomes fun; it becomes work.

Since we live our lives showcasing our highlight reel of life through social media posts, daily vlogs, and living through the screen, we feel the need to be chasing that excitement, throughout the rest of our lives. It’s almost like a drug, where we are chasing that high.

I think for a lot of people they feel an emptiness when they are not doing something, or doing something productive like they are wasting their time. I know way too many people who feel like they have their time wasted when they don’t get what they want out of a situation. And that can leave people feeling very ruined.

And the truth is that there is such beauty in the mundane things. It is so amazing when people can sit in a room with no distractions and just be present. They are intimately sharing their time, which is one of the most raw forms of human experience.

I feel so bad that our generation has lost that. However, I feel like there are people in GenZ who are making an effort to dismantle hustle culture.

The views, opinions, and stories expressed in Promly Garden articles are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official position or policy of Promlyapp.com. We aim to give Gen Z a voice and welcome articles and opinions from Gen Z contributors who want their voice to be heard. Please send any articles, poetry, or artwork you’d like to see published on the Promly Garden to heypromly@promly.org.

With immense gratitude, the Promly Team.

Maddie Bataille

Maddie is a junior at The University of Rhode Island and she is studying Journalism and Spanish with a minor focus in Gender and Women's Studies. She is from Long Valley, NJ. She is passionate about social issues such as discussion in gender, feminism, race and LGBTQIA rights. She focuses on well being in many different areas of her life from physical to mental. She loves to do yoga and meditation to keep herself grounded. She enjoys being creative in her free time, including painting or journaling.