“Just one more article…… and I’ll go to sleep”, a constant battle with our own body and will at the cost of our mental health; how much hustle is too much hustle?

Thousands of researches and seminars later, we conclude that mental health should be our priority, whilst writing this, we survive on four hours of sleep, overdosing on caffeine, bundled up with internships and internals; aiming to reach our goal. 

A research pointed out, working eight hours a week is sufficient to gain the well-being benefits of employment. Well, college teaches us multi-tasking, eight hours a day working is an average college student’s bare minimum. Popular culture has its fair share in glorifying hustling, or over-exerting oneself beyond their rational limits in order to achieve more than others. From Harvey Specter in Suits to Dr. Yang in Grey’s Anatomy, all of them glorify ‘Type-A’ Personality, or burning oneself out to ‘aim greater’ in life. ‘To each his/her own’ is not applicable at the stake of one’s mental health.  

The need for constant productivity comes along with a bundle of stress and pressure which also gives rise to the culture of converting every art into a capitalist pursuit. Somewhere we believe that our midnight exertion would someday lead to a comfortable (read: rich) life. The skills that we acquire throughout our tenure become our own personal Unique Selling Point.  This commodification of our skills makes us aim to sell ourselves for greater pursuits, thus, pursuing an inevitable vicious circle of burnout and glorifying hustling. 

Working hard is not supposed to ruin your mental health. Hustle culture is exploitative. It points towards a notion that those who don’t hustle, they cannot succeed. The pursuit of greatness or happiness or success should not be inspired by the desire of being valued at the cost of our skills. The rise of capitalism and private work ethic forces an individual to go beyond one’s working hours to produce results. Not to mention the over-exploitative unpaid internship culture only for our CVs. A constant ‘work-mode’ is a hindrance to good health, self-care or maintaining relationships. The pride in claiming “I stayed up all night to finish this..” is not only a form of ego boost, but provoking a constant competition. 

Chronic stress as young adults is detrimental to not only our mental health, but to our physical health. The harms to physical being due to stress combined with our over-the-top ‘healthy’ lifestyle and environment add to total disruption. Hustle culture reduces human beings to their worth measured in terms of their productivity, as machines of money-making ability, exploiting them to their ultimate shred. The priority given to ‘working it out’ for a better future paves the way to an impending doom of our health and social reality. The replacement of human dignity with human capital is evident and surmounts an individual’s skills over their mental health.

With trending hashtags of #riseandgrind #hustle #werkit #slay, a question raised by The New York Times becomes more pertinent than ever, when did workaholism become performative? No amount of success can substantiate the lost years of relationships and health. Aiming for a greater reality whilst keeping oneself at stake, is not just imbecilic, but equally detrimental. 

Feature Image Credits: Scopio

Anandi Sen

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The Finance Minister of India, Nirmala Sitharaman, recently attributed the major slow-down of India’s automobile sector to the “millennial mindset”. Here is looking into the same, and beyond.

The Union Minister of Finance, Nirmala Sitharaman, stirred a wasp’s nest recently, when she commented that the Indian millennials’ preference for app-based cab provider services such as Ola and Uber, is one of the leading reasons behind the ongoing grand fall of the Indian’s automobile sector. According to Sitharaman, who is an alumna of Jawaharlal Nehru University in Economics, there has been a change in the mindset of millennials who now prefer cab aggregator services for their daily commute, instead of committing to paying monthly instalments for a car. She also cited metro as a reason for why young urban consumers are buying fewer cars.
Sitharaman’s analysis comes at a time when India’s auto industry is facing the worst setback in its history. In August this year, when sales fell by 41 percent, we had the tenth consecutive negative month for domestic passenger car sales in India. The broader industry scenario also reflects on the reality of the automobile industry with car companies putting brakes on investment, dealerships shutting down in large numbers, and lakhs of jobs already gone Maruti, India’s largest automobile producer, has reported its seventh consecutive month of contraction in the demand for cars. In conversation with the Economics Times (ET), Maruti Chairman, R.C. Bhargava, said that the situation could get even worse, since he sees more workers in the automobile sector getting fired in the near future. The automobile production industry gives employment to around 7.6 million people in India. However recently, due to fall in the demand (and hence, the sale) of cars and other vehicles, the production of automobiles has left 20 to 30 percent people of this number, unemployed.
Going by the numbers, this auto slowdown is mere a reflection of our country’s overall economic woes than anything else. Consumption, the main component of the economy, is falling; the growth rate of our Gross Domestic Product (GDP) has fallen to a six-year low; and unemployment is pegged at a 45-year high.
Sales of buses and trucks also saw a precipitous 39 percent fall last month, compounding the auto industry’s trials. According to Bloomberg, it actually is a pointer to the general fall in demand in the Indian economy — something that extends way beyond the country’s millennials and their buying behaviours.
According to ET, millennial consumers are deferring buying decisions in view of the uncertainty of India’s economic indicators. Other factors down the line that have contributed to the auto slump include
the sluggish urban income growth that has ploughed the demand for cars, “haze” car norms that are confusing buyers, the shadow-banking crisis has made loans scarce,thegovernment’spushfore-vehicles in the country, and the rising fuel prices. Moreover, a drop in private investment and banking crisis has led to a weakened consumer demand.
On the other hand, millennials today are hyper-aware of their impact on the planet, and are consciously buying less. They are also waiting for eco-friendly options to emerge in the market. Abhinandan Kaul, a first-year student of St. Stephen’s College agrees, “Our generation is well-read and conscious about the decisions they make as global citizens, so making efforts towards green-living is a priority for many.”
According to some analysts, millennials are saving up for efficient electric alternative vehicles and waiting for cars that will comply with the new pollution standards (Bharat Standard-BSVI-whicharetobeemployed from April 2020 onwards).
Tanmay, a law student, affirms, “People our age use cabs for commuting, but there are many other lynchpin factors affecting this sector.” The reasons for the auto-industry’s plunging sales are varied, and millennials’ aversion to owning cars may have only had a brief impact, if at all, on car sales numbers. This impact, however, cannot be extended beyond the country’s urban centres, where cab service apps enjoy wider user bases.


Feature Image Credits: Namrata Randhawa for DU Beat


Bhavya Pandey

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