• Alexis Madrid, University of Colorado, Denver

Is Life Really That Hard?


“Life only gets harder,” but will it?

Being a full-time student, working two part-time jobs, and balancing life as a 21-year-old is exhausting. I find myself working as hard as I can and doing as much as I can to pursue all the opportunities possible to avoid missing out on any beneficial experiences. I want to experience everything, and that could be my biggest strength and my biggest weakness.

As a first-generation college student, I knew it would take a lot of hard work, but I never thought about all the little things I would have to sacrifice. My schedule differs from week to week. From Monday through Friday, I was on the University of Colorado-Denver campus, attending my four classes. I was also working as the student marketing coordinator for CU Denver Events, attending meetings for numerous clubs/events, trying to meet up with classmates for group projects, and making time for quick workouts at the Wellness Center. Saturday and Sunday, I was working at my retail job. All in between those times, I had to find time to walk my dog, plan a date night, catch up with friends and family, and, most importantly, study and do homework. I believe this was the period of my life that I will be most busy with busy-work.

My junior year was challenging, but I justify it by saying that there is light at the end of the tunnel. For me, this light takes the form of graduating and securing a stable job that affords me a balance between my career and personal life. I know life is hard, and there will be turmoil and some low times, but I do not want it to be any harder than this. I want to make use of my degree, so I will not have to work two jobs to pay the bills or be so busy that I have to decline dinner weekend after weekend with my family.

I know full-time work will take up all the time (and possibly even more) I used working two part-time jobs. I also knew that I would have to complete my homework after I returned home. I wanted to believe that I would have more free time to enjoy the activities I had to pass on during my school years. Or, I would be just as busy and working just as hard, yet feel different because I would be excited about the possibilities and see the purpose of my work and get compensated for it.

Will life get harder, or will I just be faced with more responsibilities and less timely obligations? Why go to college and practically torture and deprive me of my early twenties if I am going to face harder times? I believe that life only gets better when you work harder. With the pressures of being a young woman entering the professional workforce, I want to go in ready to conquer and look back at my hard times in school as the stepping blocks to get to this point.

Millennials and Gen Z’ers are stereotyped as lazy with poor work ethics. However, through my experience in Los Angeles and hearing from other NMC members, we will shock the workforce and deconstruct these negative stereotypes with our determination and drive.

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