Transitioning to life after college can be a challenging period, marked by adjustments to new schedules and increased independence. Recently, a college graduate who embarked on her first job used TikTok as an outlet to share her struggles in this new phase of life. Going by the username @brielleybelly123, she posted a video accompanied by text that posed the question, “QOTD (question of the day): in a 9-5, how do u have time for ur life.”
With tears in her eyes, she began the video by explaining that she had just started her first 9-to-5 job after graduating from college. Because her job required in-person attendance, she had to commute into “the city,” which she described as taking an excessively long time. Although she anticipated suggestions in the comments to move closer to work and walk, she clarified that such a move was financially unfeasible for her.
In order to get to her workplace on time, Brielle reported taking the train at 7:30 am, and her return time varied but typically was around 6:15 pm at the earliest. She lamented her lack of time for personal activities, such as showering, eating dinner, or working out. It wasn’t her job that posed a challenge; it was the eight-hour workday, as the physical commute extended the workday beyond the stated hours.
im also getting sick leave me alone im emotional ok i feel 12 and im scared of not having time to live
While the workday for remote employees typically ends when they log off at 5 pm, for Brielle, the commute means the workday doesn’t end until she arrives home, which can be more than an hour after leaving the office. She expressed her concern about how other 9-to-5 workers find time for friends and dating when she doesn’t even have time to cook dinner or engage in personal activities. She concluded the video by sharing her stress due to the lack of free time.
The video, posted on October 19, has garnered over a million views since then. Many viewers empathized with Brielle’s frustrations and expressed support in the comments. Some acknowledged that the traditional 40-hour workweek was outdated, as it was originally designed for households with homemakers who handled household tasks. The necessity of dual incomes has made such arrangements unrealistic, leaving little time for personal activities.
There were also commenters who suggested that her time management could be improved and recommended creating a schedule that worked for her. They advised batch-cooking meals for the week, as it had helped them manage their time better.
Additionally, several people pointed out the benefits of working from home in reclaiming personal time. Brielle mentioned that she had attempted to secure a remote job but never received a response. Her video underscored the need for societal change and challenged the conventional notion that a 40-hour workweek combined with a commute was necessary for productivity. She emphasized the need for companies to consider adapting to the changing work landscape, especially in light of the experiences gained during the COVID-19 pandemic when many people transitioned to remote work. Brielle’s video resonated with others, sparking discussions about the future of work and a possible reevaluation of traditional work hours.