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Health

6 too-real comics show what happens when work gets too heavy

Finding a good balance between working and relaxing can be difficult, but it doesn't have to be.

Image courtesy of College Humor

A reason to be late... tasty treats.


Everyone gets antsy about their jobs sometimes.

Maybe you notice you're less motivated than usual. Maybe you acknowledge that you're no longer going the extra mile, and you're not quite sure why. Maybe professionalism is a term you've long since forgotten.

For many of us, the struggle can be so, so real. That's why Willie Muse wrote these all-too-relatable comics for College Humor, illustrated by Karina Farek.


These six funny comics perfectly illustrate what a typical first day at your job looks like versus the 101st day:

1. Who doesn't look at at least one viral video a day?

music, work, employee rights, jobs

To tune or not to tune.

Image courtesy of College Humor

2. You suddenly find the time to fit in a breakfast sandwich.

breakfast, fast food, time

How do you miss out on a breakfast quickly served?

Image courtesy of College Humor

3. You go from wanting your boss's approval to hating his or her guts.

boss, employee, friendship, community

Getting to know your coworkers...

Image courtesy of College Humor

4. All the details that were once so important become nuisances.

job requirements, nuisances, work vacation

An evolution in responsibility and ethics?

Image courtesy of College Humor

5. Your (lack of) motivation can take you from hero to zero — quick!

motivation, work-life-balance, career

When an opportunity evolves into a responsibility.

Image courtesy of College Humor

6. And you most certainly DO NOT want to end up like this.

advice, labor, qualifications

Getting on the right side of fear.

Image courtesy of College Humor

Let's be real: These comics are funny, but they also aren't ideal.

In a perfect world, we'd all have jobs that still look and feel like Day 1 on Day 101. And one of the only ways to get there is to intentionally strive for a life that's full of work-life balance. We really do have the power to not let things play out like this.

What can we do?

At a most basic level, we can make sure we're getting enough sleep, eating well, and doing at least a little exercise. We also shouldn't underestimate the benefits of detaching from computer screens and smartphones every once in a while. Plus, we can also minimize our stress levels by not multitasking and instead concentrating on one task at time.

The most overlooked advice for maintaining a healthy work-life balance is to actually take time off.

Disconnect from your daily work routine. Make a conscious effort to recharge.

Perhaps if we dedicate more time to enjoying life outside of work, there's more of a chance that we'll be on Day 1 for months, feeling grateful for our jobs rather than impatiently waiting for the clock to strike 5. Let's get to it!


This article originally appeared on 10.25.16

His real name was Theodore Geisel, but his millions of fans will always remember him as Doctor Seuss. Over the course of his career he wrote and illustrated upwards of sixty books, many of which rank among the most beloved children's stories of all time. His work has sold over 600 million copies and has been translated into more than twenty languages. Countless children the world over have learned their ABCs, 1-2-3s, and dubious (but beloved) recipes with the help of his whimsical creations.

But Doctor Seuss has a lot more to teach us than just the alphabet. His often-overlooked early work as a political cartoonist, which he did well before the world was introduced to the Cat in the Hat or Green Eggs and Ham, is especially resonant in today's increasingly volatile political climate.


He first dipped his pen into politics as an Army captain, writing propaganda cartoons (like the hilarious Private SNAFU) and making documentary films. But as nationalist fascism threatened to conquer Europe, America was wrestling with hatred, bigotry, and isolationism at home. To Doctor Seuss, these ideologies were undermining the war effort against the Axis powers. He fought back with the only weapon in his arsenal, wielding his pen as a cartoonist for the left-leaning New York City daily newspaper PM, where he drew more than 400 cartoons lampooning the dictators in Europe as well as intolerant politics at home.



His record wasn't spotless, to be sure. Early in his career he drew racist advertisements, and during the war he repeatedly caricatured Japanese people with tired racist tropes, fanning the flames that would lead to internment. He came to regret his actions later in life according to Ron Lamothe, the filmmaker behind The Political Dr. Seuss, and he wrote his famous book Horton Hears a Who as a parable for the post-war occupation of Japan, dedicating it to a Japanese friend.


There's still a lot of good to be found in his work from the time. Reviewing the cartoons today, the first surprise is how relevant they are, over 70 years after they were created. You can't help but feel a bit of historical deja vu when you see Seuss's satire of the "America First" movement of the time, which advocated for the same intolerant policies made famous more recently by a certain cartoonish bloviator who, when you think about it, wouldn't be out of place as a Seussian villain. The cartoons pull no punches, directly associating the ideology with Nazism.



Even though Doctor Seuss turned from political cartoons to writing children's books after the war came to an end, he never stopped his fight for a kinder, more tolerant society. In his 1961 book The Sneetches and Other Stories, his pen is as sharp as ever, satirizing the stupidity of discrimination based on skin color with a parable about "Sneetches" who think they are superior to others because they have a star on their belly. By the end of the story, the Sneetches learn their lesson:

I'm quite happy to say

That the Sneetches got really quite smart on that day,

The day they decided that Sneetches are Sneetches

And no kind of Sneetch is the best on the beaches.

The question is, can we do the same? The Doctor who has taught us so much still has a lesson or two for us to learn. Hopefully we will prove to be as smart as the Sneetches.


In the past year, about 85,000 refugees from around the world settled in the United States.

Each refugee undergoes a rigorous screening process that can take years to complete. That experience alone is often exhausting and all-consuming.

Once they arrive, language barriers, lack of economic opportunities, and working in and around complicated systems can make settling in a new country and community very difficult.


"[Refugees] undergo already a very long and painful life," said Chhabi Koirala, who spent 17 years in a refugee camp in Nepal. "They are very tired of being in the camp. And when they come here they see everything different. It's not always what they expect."

The Hornbakery, a group of graduate students from the University of Maryland, explored the confusion and uncertainty many refugees face in a powerful illustrated story below, titled "Amira in America."

The group consists of four women: Andrea Castillo, Carmen Collins, Liz Laribee, and Dolly Martino. "All of us had a personal interest in creating something for people who speak English as a foreign language for a variety of reasons, from experiencing migration to the U.S. firsthand to volunteering with refugees in the U.S.," explained the group in an interview.

"Amira in America" is about a Syrian girl named Amira who is adjusting to her new life in America. She shares a bond with her teacher, an immigrant from Ethiopia, who understands the hardships and isolation that Amira feels in a new land.

The Hornbakery chose to do an illustration about refugees to resonate with a diverse audience. "Pairing the story with the pictures helps get the message across more easily, especially for those who may lack literacy skills, either in English or even in their own language," they explained.

While getting started in a new place is challenging, as this story shows, there are many ways to support and empower new residents.

Koirala now works as a job coach with the Immigrant & Refugee Community Organization (IRCO), a Portland-based nonprofit serving over 30,000 community members each year. The organization provides more than 140 linguistically and culturally specific services and resources, including academic support, community development, parenting education, English courses and more.

In his role, Koirala helps new residents secure employment. He assists with resumes, sets up interviews, and even provides transportation.

You can help refugees in your community too. In fact, Koirala has some tips.

Seek out local organizations and charities in your area, as many desperately need volunteers. Whether it's driving families to and from appointments or serving as a translator or English conversation partner. And as refugees and immigrants settle into their new routines, being a friendly and familiar face in a sea of uncertainty goes a long way. Unsure where or how to start? Koirala says, don't be afraid to speak up.

"Ask folks what they need and how you can help."