The transition to life after college can be difficult with adjusting to a new schedule and increased independence.
A college graduate, who recently began her first job, took to TikTok to vent about her struggles with the new phase of her life. Brielle, who goes by the username @brielleybelly123 on the platform, posted a video with text across the screen that read: “QOTD (question of the day) in a 9-5 how do u have time for ur life.”
Brielle began the video with tears in her eyes, as she explained that she just started her first 9-to-5 job after graduating college. Because her job is completely in-person, she said she has to commute into “the city” which takes her “forever”. She assumed people in the comments would tell her to just move to the city and walk to work, but the TikToker explained that there was “no way” she could afford to move.
To make it to her job on time, Brielle said she takes the train at 7.30am but it varies on what time she gets home, typically around 6.15pm at the earliest. “I don’t have time to do anything,” she said in the video. “I want to shower, eat my dinner and go to sleep. I don’t have time or energy to cook my dinner either. I don’t have energy to work out, like, that’s out the window.”
She went on to note that it wasn’t her job she was having problems with, but the lifestyle of eight-hour work days. “If it was remote you get off at 5 and you’re home, and everything’s fine,” Brielle said. However, because she commutes to work, the work day doesn’t end for her until she physically arrives home, which can be more than an hour after she left the office.
In the video, Brielle wondered how other 9-to-5 workers have made time for friends or dating, considering she doesn’t even have time to cook dinner for herself. “I don’t have time for anything and I’m like so stressed out,” she said.
Since she first posted the video on 19 October, it’s been viewed more than one million times. Many people turned to the comments section to show their support for Brielle’s frustrations. “The 40-hour work week is beyond outdated and your feelings are totally valid,” one comment read.
Another commenter agreed, writing: “40-hour work week was designed with a homemaker to take care of house tasks. We need dual incomes now, so that’s not possible. No time for anything.”
Other commenters suggested that her time management skills might be the problem, and she just needed to make a better schedule that works for her. “You will find your schedule that works for you girly! Make your dinner for the WEEK! That helps me a lot!” one person commented.
Some people mentioned that working from home helped them make time for themselves, but Brielle mentioned that she tried to get a remote job and never heard back from them. “If I didn’t WFH [work from home] I don’t know how I would manage tbh,” one person said.
“Drove to an office for 30 years,” another commenter agreed. “Remote now and I would absolutely never ever go back. Life is so much better working from home.”
In a statement to The Independent, Brielle said that her video highlights a need for change in how society typically functions. “I want to be able to talk for this next generation and explain that a 40-hour work week plus commute is not necessary for productivity,” she said.
“I appreciate all the positive comments from other sympathetic workers and hope that more companies consider following in other countries’ footsteps in regards to the work week, especially after so many people are used to being remote after Covid.”