A recent Gen Z college graduate published an essay describing her experience adjusting to the reality of holding a 9-to-5 job. Piper Hansen graduated from college earlier this year and shared her “difficult” experience adjusting to adulthood.
Hansen illustrates that maintaining a 9-to-5 work schedule takes up too much of her time, where she feels she can’t socialize and pursue her interests. “How can I ensure I’m eating well, seeing my friends and taking time for my hobbies?” she questioned. “How am I supposed to fit my whole life into a 9-to-5 work schedule?”
The recent college graduate then discusses the repetitive, monotonous nature of the 9-to-5 lifestyle where one’s free time can be consumed with preparation for the following day. “Then I have to make sure the coffee pot is ready for the next morning, and I have something to take for lunch the next day,” she wrote. “I’m home for just a few hours before I get ready to go to bed by 11 p.m.”
Another Gen Z employee went viral in a TikTok for ranting about the demands of a 9-to-5 work schedule, which garnered mixed reactions. “I want to shower, eat my dinner, and go to sleep,” she said. “I don’t have time or energy to cook my dinner either. Like, I don’t have energy to work out, like that’s out the window. Like, I’m so upset. Nothing to do with my job at all, but just like the 9-to-5 schedule in general is crazy.”
Hansen referenced the viral TikTok, sympathizing with the complaints in the social media post. “As a Gen Z person who’s going through the same transition into the workforce as the person in that viral video, I just want to say: We know this is how it is. But does it have to be this way?” Hansen said.
She noted how “wild” it is that “there’s only time to work and go home to rest before work starts again.” Hansen asserted, “That’s not how humans are supposed to live.” She continued, lamenting the idea of living in such a routine for the next few decades, seeking greater avenues for self-actualization.
“I wish there were more options for schedules that are conducive to actually having a life outside of work,” she said. “I don’t want my next 45 years to be the same as these last few months of going to work, coming home to eat dinner, rest, and then going back to work. I want to live my life, too.”
Hansen noted that she envies for others she sees living a more “flexible” lifestyle. In the age where the younger generations are glued to social media, it is easy to become drawn into the supposed lifestyles of social media influencers or travel bloggers who live entirely unrealistic lives for the average person. Perhaps these individuals are who Hansen is referring to.
“I see other people having more flexible situations that allow them to be able to travel or enjoy other things outside of work, and I want that, too,” she concluded. “But in the meantime, I’m trying to fill that void by seeing my friends and developing hobbies — in the little free time I have.”
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