WSS Intern Waad Dafalla ’26 shares her thoughts on the pressures of constant productivity of today’s youth.

Waad Dafalla, WSS Intern

I hate getting up from bed after hours of scrolling on my phone. I feel clammy and guilty, wrapped up underneath my blanket. I tear myself apart as I look down at my laptop screen and see the Netflix tab asking me if I’m still watching. I shouldn’t be. “Productive” videos on social media have done nothing but ruin my self-esteem. 

Recently, my social media algorithms have been exhibiting people showcasing their perfect schedules. Maybe it’s because I keep liking those videos, hoping one of these routines will finally replace my inconsistent day-to-day life. We all know what videos I’m talking about; the ones of a person’s day starting at 5 a.m., not checking their phone, making their bed right away and arriving at the gym by 5:30 a.m. After their healthy and light breakfast, they immediately get to work and they’re finished by noon. At the end of the day, they still manage to find the time to relax, read a book and even go out with friends. These videos are constant reminders of what I cannot achieve. 

And I’m not the only one. My friends and peers constantly complain that they didn’t get anything done the night before, even though we all know that our to-do lists should be cleared by the end of the day. Social media constantly feeds us unrealistic videos of what our lives should look like, but in reality, many more factors go into how our days flow. The videos never mention these aspects, maintaining the façade of perfection.

As high school students, we have assignment after assignment, tournament after tournament and game after game. Some days we come home late at night from whatever extracurricular we’ve roped ourselves into, and all our body wants is to get some sleep before we have to wake up in a couple of hours. However, we don’t allow our bodies to get their rest with an overflowing to-do list sitting on our desks. This is when we contemplate whether we can handle another couple of hours of work.

Some may say that these videos are motivational for certain individuals, and I don’t entirely disagree. They could be motivational if they were relatable to impressionable teens, but in actuality, most of these influencers are not high school students. They no longer have to deal with all the responsibilities that come with being a teenager.

Seeing others being productive can encourage individuals to get tasks done. But at the same time, these standards are too high; the chances of successfully following through with these routines are very low. Therefore, it’s not uncommon to think something is wrong with you when you aren’t able to keep up with someone else’s expectations.

Whether you have a perfect schedule or not, you can still be productive. It is okay to be lazy sometimes. You don’t need to be doing something at all moments; that is not how the human brain is built. We’re designed to need rests and resets. Stop trying to force yourself to have a perfect schedule and be productive 24/7 when you know your body and mind cannot handle it. Situations come up, and circumstances happen that prevent us from living these perfect lives. It’s okay to have those lazy days.