veritas exquirere

Talon

veritas exquirere

Talon

veritas exquirere

Talon

Hustle Culture’s dangerous grip on American youth

The alienation pandemic

Everyone wants to make it big in America. What better way to become successful than to work hard for it? Working hard to deserve your outcome only becomes toxic once it is obsessive. This harmful mentality is called Hustle Culture.

“Hustle culture preys on everyone’s impulses,” the host of the Jordan Harbinger Show explains. “The hunger to succeed, the fear of failing, the desire to conform, the wish to be admired, the need to feel fulfilled.”

Many high schoolers believe the drive to work until their heart runs out will end after high school. It is false and a bitter truth to know the cycle continues until adulthood and beyond. 

According to The World Health Organization, working arduous hours led to 745,000 deaths from stroke and ischemic heart disease in 2016. The deaths were reported to be a result of working at least 55 hours a week. 

A meta-analysis published in 2019 concluded that working non-stop increased the likelihood of cardiovascular and Cerebrovascular disease, stress, depression, anxiety, poor sleep quality, alcohol use, smoking and occupational injuries.

American youth are taught that the amount of work put into a subject equals the outcome. This is only true in some cases. It’s more of how effectively you use that time and what you do when you’re not working. However, hustle culture entirely skips this part, only selling the destination rather than the journey.

Like an addiction, hustle culture makes you feel unworthy without constantly being busy, only making you more hooked and working more. This addiction is not only prominent in the workforce, but it is seen closer to us at OPHS, so much so that a wellness center had to be built to help emotionally stabilize the students. 

Alienation, disillusionment and directionlessness are apparent symptoms of the intoxicating belief. 

Social media plays a significant part in hustle culture as a medium for creators to influence their audience to work harder by posting short videos for short-term motivation.

When considering the physical and emotional toll of the grueling process, the American Psychological Association reports that 49% of adults confirm their behavior has been negatively affected in an overly work-stimulating culture. 

Balancing work and life is the only valuable solution achieved in the status quo. 

We have outgrown the need to abuse our brains with piles of work mentally. The real solution is sitting with yourself and understanding what you value in your life.

Taking time out of your day to center yourself to evaluate how you are doing will only help. Rid your mind of any toxic content that deteriorates your self-worth. Track your thoughts: are they optimistic, concrete or practical? Or are they leaning more toward comparing your progress to others, what you have not yet accomplished or an undefined success?

High schoolers must stay energized about school and remember to enjoy life’s short, beautiful moments.

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About the Contributors
Justine Picard, Senior Staff Writer

Class of 2026

Justine has been part of the Talon staff for 2 years. She has previously served as a Senior Staff Writer and enjoys writing news and graphic design pieces.

Diya Johny, Business and Communications Manager

Class of 2025

Diya has been part of the Talon staff for 3 years. She has previously served as a Senior Staff Writer and enjoys writing opinion pieces.

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