Monday with Ms. Marvel: hustle culture


Morgan Kong

In her weekly column, Monday with Ms. Marvel, Wingspan's Trisha Dasgupta reviews different political issues and relatable topics in everyday life.

Trisha Dasgupta, Staff Reporter

It isn’t uncommon to hear high schoolers talk about a lack of sleep and an excess of homework. Early mornings, late nights, days spent in class, evenings spent in club meetings, some students can barely catch a minute to breathe. 

Too many teenagers suffer from their busy schedules, and yet somehow these routines are normalized. In fact not only is it normal, oftentimes teenagers who stretch themselves too thin are celebrated. Unfortunately, the competitive nature of high school has bred a toxic hustle culture that promotes unhealthy working habits and poor life choices to young and impressionable teenagers. 

Getting into college is harder than it has ever been before. Students must be in multiple clubs, win competitions, be leaders in some official capacity, all while having commendable GPAs and a high rank. With systems like auto admissions, so many teenagers feel an immense pressure to be in the top ten percent of their class, on top of all of their other activities.

 Students want to go to a good college and in order to do that they need perfectly padded resumes. Therefore they stock up on AP classes, college prep, SAT and ACT courses, become officers of clubs, start their own clubs, and so on and so forth until they don’t have a spare minute in their schedule.

 It’s a competition in every sense of the word. A competition for the higher rank, the higher GPA, the more powerful officer position. This mindset keeps students on edge, and negatively impacts the way they live their lives. 

In an attempt to finish their ever growing workload, many students make harmful choices in their day to day lives. Instead of eating, many skip meals to finish homework, and choose to snack on junk food throughout the day. Some stay up until three or four in the morning, or pull all-nighters to study for a test or finish a project. A lack of nutrition and a lack of sleep is dangerous for anyone, but especially for teenagers who are still growing. The decisions they make now may continue to impact them in their future, and unfortunately too many students are falling victim to bad lifestyle choices. 

The issue with all of this is that so many students think that this lifestyle is normal, or even worse, that it’s something to boast. There’s almost a sense of accomplishment, realising that you only got three or four hours of sleep because you were working. 

I’ve fallen prey to this system of thinking too, and have had to make serious steps to recognising the toxic nature of this way of thinking. There is a stark difference between doing your best and stretching yourself too thin, and working hard should not cause the latter. Getting into a good college, having good grades, and participating in extracurriculars are all important, but it shouldn’t come at the cost of a student’s physical and mental health.