Children of the Recession

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Sometimes we just get in and think to ourselves 'what is going with my life, where's it going?'. This little article is an acceptance of the hundreds of thousands who get stuck with that question. Letting it dominate their thoughts, and life decisions. More than anything, it's an exposure of those poor young people trying to find themselves a career, and just 'a decent job'.

Submitted: July 11, 2013

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Submitted: July 11, 2013



There is a problem in this world at the moment. It is sly, mysterious and so subtle that very few of us find the time to ponder on it, to remove the vale that is day to day life, and to see it. It is a bodiless phenomenon that the youth of today must endure. The youth of today, being a particular group of people feeling more and more ostracised unjustly and unfairly. Now, when I use the term ostracised, it denotes a separation from something that is forced. To speak so boldly on behalf of so many, I can only hope I don’t come across as a pretentious and opinionated so-and-so. But, here goes anyway; I’d like to try and speak out for the children of the recession. That group that seems to be left in the limelight, despite supposed media attention. We are young people who, living one another’s lives cannot realistically come together as one uniform body and step out from the limelight. I guess, at this point it’s time to stop talking in riddles.

There is one thing people like me seem to have a hard time doing at the moment. For argument’s sake, let’s just say ‘people like me’ can be aged between eighteen and twenty six. Of course that gap is widening because of the problems recession presents. These people are talented, intelligent, even qualified to a great standard. Yet they get nothing back for their efforts. Like I said in a previous article:

‘We all believe for a very long time that we are on some kind of academic pilgrimage, with the long road of education leading to a big pile of money at the end. When little, our parents and elders ask us “what would you like to be?”. No doubt we all responded with some lavish answer like “an astronaut” or “a stunt double”. Eventually we have to come to terms with the fact that money makes the world go round, and no matter how hard we try, we must suck up our pride and accept “I am just another average Joe who must pay the bills”. Ha, it’s called growing up, buddy’.

I dare I say I paraphrased a little there. The fact is, this attitude has become a little too brutally apparent and I guess it just got to the point where ‘the world around us’ took notice. By that I mean we see adverts on busses, on facebook, well... everywhere. Pay attention to how often you see adverts and they’re drilled into our brains constantly. I dare say a good 25% of those are youth employment schemes. Hell, I even heard a particularly cringe-worthy ad on the radio booming at me ‘Wanna put a rocket up your career path? BOOM, well now you can with...’ whatever the group was. But where do these get us? Well, another set of qualifications and shiny bits of paper that employers don’t give a shit about. Well, I say that a little too cavalier, I guess. Of course there are a fair few that are useful. Alas, the problem we have is actually being allowed the lee-way to put them to use. As Dylan Thomas wisely said, ‘Swansea is the graveyard of ambition’, and he’d probably turn in his grave if he knew what getting a job was like now. The result of this little, but growing phenomenon, is that we have plenty of great people (sometimes out-qualifying the boss of their prospective job!) who end up getting a job, not a career. As you may have seen in another of my articles, I was working in a call centre. I still am. It’s been nearly a year now and everyday, whilst slipping away from ambition and closer to blind acceptance, I feel like I wasted three years of my life working towards a degree. It’s not all about me though, let’s be honest, there are hundreds of thousands of others like me who want a career, not just a job. As you may have gathered, job and career, have slightly different connotations... see what I’m getting at here.

Of course, while we walked the pilgrimage of academia, blindly unaware of the world of adulthood that lay menacingly round the corner, we could always turn to our parents. I’ve always had a rather brutal outlook to parenting. Of course, being very young, you are extremely naive and impressionable. So I reckon it’s all about mastering a clever mixture of wisdom and fine-tuned brainwashing. (bear with me while I get to the point) Of course, in order to brainwash, you must have full knowledge of the subject at hand. That being things like ‘don’t do drugs’ or ‘don’t be a bully because...’. Yet a problem lies dormant in this process, like a beartrap. It’s a new problem and this is the part where the youth in question flies the nest and has a hard time finding a job. Now, it is this particular generation where qualifications are snuffed and ousted out of simple laying-offs and redundancies leaving no room for them. So if this generation, asks the older generation how to get through this, there is no supply of wisdom or brainwashing for us, and we are left, truly for the first time, to figure things out for ourselves. SNAP goes the beartrap; ‘oh shit’ goes our internal dialogue ‘what the hell am I going to do?’. Of course it’s at this stage that yours truly swept delusions of grandeur under the rug and started the phonebashing. Is it enough for me to go and say ‘well, hey I paid the rent, the bills, had dinner tonight so it’s all good, right?’. Well no it’s not, because aside from all those material worries we also have mothers that aren’t proud of us telling us to ‘get a better bloody job, you’re better than this’, and of course the ever beckoning question ‘how did I end up like this?’.

Now I’d just like to make clear at this point, I do go to work with a smile. I am happy to see my fellows every day and don’t get me wrong; the way things are right now I am damn grateful to be earning anything at all. Yet the buzzword I’ve just skimmed over is ‘happy’. When are we really happy? Well a pure definition of the word is totally subjective. You can go from content all the way up to ecstatic.

Although, let’s go back to the people like me. It’s the children of the recession that deserve the spotlight, here. They’ve worked hard enough for at least a little recognition. I would like to pose a question to them. ‘If money were no object, how you truly like to spend your life? What you do to be truly happy until the day you die?’. A certain philosopher by the name of Alan Watts brought this question to the front of my mind when talking about this. The link in particular can be found right here, {} and even though I wouldn’t technically agree with all he says, I’d like to think its a link of inspiration for you all. I’ll step aside and let him do the talking for me on this one. He’s right though, and perhaps this is the key to being happy in life.

To wrap it all up, I guess the best thing to do is simply quote what I said to a friend. It’s the same quote that inspired to write this today.

I think it's a freak occurrence in the economy to be honest. We're just the victims of it. We're the first generation to graduate, get qualifications, whatever. And then get nothing back. The first! Even our parents had it better than this. It’s an unfortunate phenomenon and unfortunately, our parents can't support us through it, because they haven’t experienced what we’re all going through’

© Copyright 2018 Nick Banks. All rights reserved.

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