25-Year-Old Claims She Hates 'Working To Live' — 'The Only Reason I Keep Going Is To Pay My Bills'

It seems to be getting more difficult for many to even enjoy rare moments of free time.

woman o laptop, laptop and calendar, bills tab on computer Brandy Kennedy via Unsplash / Pashalgnatov and everydayplus via Canva

A young woman took to Reddit to express her deep dissatisfaction with the way American work culture is structured. She wrote to the r/antiwork subreddit, explaining that she’s been at her current job for a year and a half, the third job she’s had since she was 16 years old. 

The 25-year-old claimed she hates the feeling of ‘working to live.’

While her dissatisfaction could be framed as the inevitable onset of a quarter-life crisis, she accurately captured the extreme emotional and physical exhaustion that most people feel over the span of a 40-hour work week. She expressed a familiar weariness, stating, “It feels like every day I get up just to go to work and count down the time until I get to leave.” 


Even when she’s not working, she still feels a sense of pressure, noting, “When I leave work on Fridays, it always sets in that the weekend is going to go quickly, and I feel so much guilt for not ‘appreciating my free time properly.’”

She revealed an unlikely aspect of her sense of professional dissatisfaction — she doesn’t actually dislike her job. The woman explained that overall, she likes her coworkers and the work is easy; her ennui stems less from her specific job and more from the idea of having to work, at all, stating, “I just generally hate spending so much time working.”


“I need the paycheck to pay my bills and rent, but that is my only incentive to keep going every day,” she said. “I do not know how to cope with this dreadfulness anymore.”

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She ended her post by posing the question, “How do people do this for decades upon decades?”

Most of the comments from other people on the forum acknowledged that her lack of satisfaction at work is an entirely common part of entering adulthood in the United States. As one person explained, “I think most people aren’t mentally [or] emotionally equipped for a 40+ hour work week— otherwise hating work wouldn’t be universal.”

Someone else commented on the harsh reality of the transition from the end of college to the start of full-time employment, stating, “Those summer vacations, spring and winter breaks are over and done with. Having issues that no one else is going to solve for you are daily.”


Another person gave an answer to the woman’s question of how people continue to work day in and day out, without feeling crushed, saying, “I'm not happy about it either, but the threat of hunger and homelessness kinda does the trick.”

woman workingPhoto: Mizuno K / Pexels 

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Others offered techniques to lessen the pain of working.

One person described the cycle of working in order to live, stating, “I just wake up and go to work so I can make some money then turn around and throw it all at bills or what little trivial thing to get some small amount of happiness.”

Someone else explained that they purposefully seek a sense of fulfillment outside of the office while recognizing the need to continue working. They advised, “I'd look for ways to make your life more meaningful in a different employment setting because at the end of the day, money makes the world go around in this world and without it, things get a lot worse.”

It would be easy for others to diminish the weight of what this woman feels, yet to do so would gloss over the reality of our American economy and culture. We hear so much about maintaining a steady work-life balance, yet that balance remains elusive, especially as rent increases and basic necessities, like groceries and gasoline, become even more expensive.

The sense of struggle that the woman expressed is valid, and the responses she received show how normalized that struggle really is. 


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Alexandra Blogier is a writer on YourTango's news and entertainment team. She covers social issues, pop culture analysis and all things to do with the entertainment industry.