Working yourself overtime

Adulthood is an endless cycle of booked schedules

Neha Seenarine, Associate Arts & Life Editor

There aren’t enough days in the week for school, work, family and yourself. (Peyton McKenzie)

A viral TikTok sound features rapper Cardi B saying that she works every single day and she doesn’t have time for her love life and family. I might not be breaking music records, but I understand where she’s coming from.

My daily schedule is consumed by work. I attend lectures, work on assignments or I’m at my part-time job. After my day is over, I eat dinner and immediately go to bed just to live the same day again. I liken myself to a cartoon show: same plot, same setting, same characters and a slightly different outfit.

My day starts before the sun is up. I’m not a morning person, but I wish I was because waking up early is good for you. It promotes having an allotted time to spend meditating, reflecting and enjoying breakfast. However, that’s not the case for me. The only reason my alarm goes off at 6 a.m. is because there are things to get done. I didn’t voluntarily choose to do it. Getting out of bed when I don’t want to is the hardest part of the day. My hand and the snooze button have met several times.

You can argue the day goes by faster when you’re busy. A slow day consists of me stopping by the fridge one too many times to get a snack. However, most of my days are jam-packed. It is one task after another. I understand that others are doing more difficult things than me, but exhaustion does not discriminate based on your activities. 

The traditional eight-hour shift only works as a Dolly Parton song. Otherwise, it is extremely tiring. People are finding alternative ways to work with hours that allow them to take a break. An eight-hour day with a 30-minute break is not enough. My classes are in the morning and my work shifts are five hours in the evening. It is about nine hours including driving. My break is the shower when I’m getting ready for work singing Big Time Rush songs.

“The eight-hour day isn’t eight hours,” wrote CEO of Wecruiter, Jack Kelly, for Forbes. “You need to add in the commuting time, following up with emails, texts and calls at night and weekends and always being on call … A four-day workweek could do wonders for a person’s mental health. It won’t take too much work from management, but would make the lives of workers significantly better.”

I don’t have the opportunity to take a break from school or work. I want a degree and I need money to pay for that degree. It’s really that simple. However, the complexity of things is wondering when I will have time for myself. There are 24 hours in the day but not enough hours for myself. 

The upside of hard work is the reward. Every week I get a paycheck and I can treat myself to another Juicy Couture tracksuit. I don’t have to ask my parents or anyone else for money because I earn it. Good things in life are not just given, but neither are the basic necessities. We have to work to keep the lights on in our homes. A paycheck is used to pay bills and that leaves barely any money to save. 

Working is an endless cycle of suffering. You are stuck in the workplace to pay your bills and afford the benefits of life. How are you supposed to enjoy yourself when you can’t escape the office? 

All I can do is enjoy what I have now. I am grateful to receive higher education and gain experience in the workplace. Some people do not have the same opportunities and deal with bigger obligations. I look forward to pursuing a career in my post-graduate life. However, I know the bills are going to get bigger and my budget will get tighter. I’m pretty confident I will never be well-rested again.