A Lost Generation

Posted on April 9, 2012


Our generation is indeed a Lost Generation. This is a term I have been hearing increasingly more often from people aged 18-25 from different backgrounds, different cultures and different locations – like whispers in the night – but all are experiencing the same thing.

Our generation has been lied to – unbeknownst to our parents (let’s not blame them). We grew up knowing we had to go to school, and we had to do well because if we didn’t we would be a street sweeper or a toilet cleaner. This was drummed into me by many of my teachers. So we all go to school and we compete, and we do our homework, pass the tests in order to get to the next stage. After primary school, it is secondary school where we have to finish school legally – however, in order to succeed in life, we should all pursue the dream of tertiary school (University). I always knew that I would eventually go to University..I mean..there was no denying it – it was set in stone, if you like. So off we go to the next best years of our lives where we really become independent ‘adults’; we go through the motions, studying all hours of night and day; we go partying; we study more; we write dissertations that will forever make us a part of a secret society where we all know how painful it was and the reward of having achieved completing it.
AND THEN!! We Graduate!!! Now THIS is supposed to be the point where we all say ‘THE WORLD IS OUR OYSTER’  – we have achieved everything we had to; “in order to have a career, earn good money and have a good life we had to have a Degree” so here we are with that Degree that nobody can ever take away from us.

But what have they taken away from us? It suddenly dawns on us all that the beautiful roller-coaster of academic life has ended and there is nothing ahead of it. No light at the end of the tunnel. No good job. No money that will help you get on the property ladder, buy that car you always wanted, show your partner that you are suitable because you have your shit together, and your head screwed on. We have reached the point where our lives are suspended. Its not even a fun suspension time, it is a soul destroying agonisingly long period of time where your days are filled with filling out endless applications asking you the same questions over and over; changing your CV and you Cover Letter to suit a specific company so that maybe…just maybe this time someone will offer you the job. Give you that damned opportunity you really want and need. Our Government screwed us over in such a brilliant fashion that firstly they let any Tom Dick and Harry get into University for the sake of profiting in their business even though they never had to pay for their University Degree; but then they think the solution is to increase tuition fees and make it absolutely impossible for anyone who doesn’t have a rich Daddy to make a future for themselves (or at least try and have a better future, right?). So now we have a whole generation of people with Degrees that are now told “actually, your degree is worthless because everyone has one, so all that hard work you went through..hah!! was for nothing!! “

I have actually applied for so many jobs where one of the questions they ask is: “What is your greatest achievement in the last year, apart from your Degree?” :O Dude, even if I achieved something else, none of it is going to come close to me achieving a 2:1 at University!! That is my greatest achievement to date!! And now you are trying to devalue it by simply brushing it aside because “plenty of others have one too”??

Another thing that drives me insane in these job applications is how we all have to be ‘enthusiastic’; ‘money hungry’; have a 2:1 or above in a certain degree subject, plus several years experience which in order to gain that experience would have had to have the experience in the first place!!!!! It’s a Mind fuck, I know, but seriously, its a vicious cycle and the requirements are completely unrealistic. It really makes me wonder who writes these job descriptions. It has gotten to the point where we all have to be super heroes who achieved 300 UCAS points when we were annoying teenagers; get into the top Universities, with top grades, plus have loads of experience, plus answer all their questions verbatim of what they are looking for, and perhaps even after all that, they won’t like your shoes.

Another huge issue is doing jobs that we are either underqualified for or overqualified. An interesting post about this is: http://radicaled.wordpress.com/2011/11/16/youth-unemployment-a-lot-more-than-one-million/?blogsub=confirmed#blog_subscription-13

So we’re either underqualified because you know…when will we ever have all the required qualifications?? When we’re 100 and there’s no point anymore! Or we are overqualified and the only jobs we can get is filling and sending emails and making tea…or better yet…working for free. Another one of the wonders that has come out of our Coalition Government: In order for people to continue receiving their Weekly Allowance of about £56 they have to go to work Monday to Friday 9-5. Almost as if it is a proper job right? It begs the question of why don’t they pay them  FOR DOING THEIR JOB?!? This is supposed to give them ‘experience’ yet they are forced to go to whatever placement they have been given with no choice of the work being done or the industry or sector with regards to whether it will indeed move their career forward. So if there is someone who has studied Finance, and has to go stack shelves in order to gain experience….how will that ever move his/her career forward?! It is the new slave trade.

This in conjunction with them trying to get as many people into University as possible in order to “get them off the streets” is simply outrageous. How have we gotten to where we are now??? How badly has the previous generation messed things up for us??

We seem to be living a dark, bleak existence. One that doesn’t seem to be approaching a change for at least another 2/3 years and even that may be a tad optimistic. What will the repercussions of this be? Another interesting article is this one: http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/2012/03/2012328121227451432.html showing a closer look at the lives of young people with no hopes for the future.

I can scream and shout about it as much as I want, but it won’t really change. However, I have to maintain a positive frame of mind, right? Always have hope. Here is a video I came across that started off dark but making a lot of sense, but ended in a positive twist, hope you enjoy:

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