Sunday always comes with a gloomy feeling because it means that tomorrow will be a new beginning of yet another week of grueling work and toil. This is why I call it “Monday Eve,” a day that many of us have become accustomed to hate. This means that for most adults like me, we have to say goodbye to a weekend that went by quicker than a flash. Some young professionals’ weekends are more often spent on cleaning up their own space, drinking booze with friends (or alone), or working on a passion project as a way to “recharge.”

For me, Monday Eves used to be dedicated to recalibrating my life, ranging from thinking about personal issues and relationships to minding career matters that might affect how long or short it will take before I reach my goals.

Beginnings aren’t always easy. I started with tracking my monthly expenses and organizing my finances, counting every peso until the last centavo using automated spreadsheets. During Monday Eves, I also scour job posting sites where I can find freelance writing gigs and other online part-time jobs I can squeeze in after my 9-to-5. I’m fortunate enough that my current employer has been allowing us to work from home which saves us a huge amount of time that would only be spent on commutes if we were working on-site.

This work set-up, which many organizations are now adopting, adds a different kind of pressure. It opens up an opportunity to work harder, get another job or side hustle, and earn more money. Looking through Twitter or Facebook, I can see people my age working on weekends and spending Monday Eves doing side gigs to earn more money to sustain a more comfortable lifestyle and save for the future.

In today’s highly competitive and fast-paced life, hustle culture has been rapidly becoming the norm. Millennials have become so obsessed with the “grind” and the “hustle” that they are unable to realize how this phenomenon sets unrealistic expectations and pressures to a whole generation and may set a precedent for future generations which are now manifesting among Gen Zs. This culture has lured us into hyperfocusing on the hustle and bustle that it distorts our idea of success.

I’d be lying if I say I don’t feel the allure of the “hustle culture” especially now that I’m able to do my 9-to-5 fully at home. Good thing, I was able to score some freelance writing jobs and proofreading gigs. The good side was that my meager earnings from those stints were able to finance my hobby of collecting (and of course, reading) books. But the bad side was how it consumed my weekends, especially my precious Monday Eves. Instead of spending my time on fulfilling hobbies and other self-nurturing activities, I had to desperately reach word counts and beat short deadlines for a few bucks. So I decided to refrain from taking on more writing projects … for now.

These past few months, I’ve treated Monday Eves as days for mentally preparing myself for another week of work for my full-time job. Jotting down my to-dos for the looming week usually helps. In times when it doesn’t, I take refuge in watching adulting videos from YouTubers Thea Sy Bautista and Nicole Alba to give myself a sense of balance and direction in life as a not-so-young adult. From career tips and tricks to personal finance hacks, these vlogs have been helping me slowly circumnavigate the world of adulting.

The bottomline is that trying to become a successful young professional in the Philippines in the middle of a global pandemic isn’t an easy feat. In our generation of side hustlers, working students, and job jugglers, no wonder why twentysomethings today are getting more exhausted and depressed. I believe it’s not too optimistic to aspire to live in a society where people no longer have to take on multiple jobs just to survive, have bigger dreams, achieve their goals, and pursue their passions.

For better or for worse, it seems that the hustle culture, as we know it, is here to stay. When minimum wages remain low and inflation rates are getting higher, it’s normal for workers to seek other income streams just to make ends meet and to be able to save for rainy days. As long as this continues, most of our Monday Eves will be filled with the endless piling of work.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You May Also Like