Kids These Days0 Monday October 31 2011 Written by Sandra
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Recently I experienced one of those moments when you’re on the tube having a conversation with someone you know about something you don’t really care about when a complete stranger decides to interrupt with a personal question. One of the questions asked was “what’s it like to be a young person?” and I really didn’t know what to say.
I found myself wanting to reel off the typical response about a lack of jobs, lack of prospects/aspirations, student loans, youth clubs shutting down and nowhere for young people to go etc but I didn’t. I honestly think we as young people have higher aspirations than ever before. We are a generation that’s ridiculously ambitious even if a lot of it is hot air. How many times have you read that facebook or twitter status about “making it at any cost” “moving up to new levels” or met someone who constantly refers to themselves as a “boss”?
More and more young people are seeing gaps in the market and instead of waiting for someone else to validate them are starting up on their own. Later mainstream establishments come running. I could point out the obvious example in Jamal Edwards but most of the new candidates on BBC “Junior Apprentice” have already started up their own businesses. James’ (The Irish ones) pearls of hilarious wisdom had me in stitches. “People say money doesn’t buy happiness but neither does poverty.” It even had my Mum quoting “Out of the mouth of babes”.
If you still don’t believe me go down to Greenwich Market and you’ll see evidence of young people hustling. One girl tried to get me to buy a bar of soap for £6 and I couldn’t count the number of vintage clothes stalls run by people under the age of 25.
As for having no youth clubs we could all try setting up our own. “Somewhere to” is an organisation which helps young people aged 16-25 reclaim spaces free of charge. http://www.somewhereto.com/
I also feel a lot of us put enormous pressure on ourselves to make it by the time we’re 25 and if we don’t we feel like a failure. During our conversation my friend said: “I feel like I’m running out of time. I need to get a move on or I’ll have nothing”. My advice was to relax. Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither was Simon Cowell’s multi million dollar fortune. Money is also not an element of success. Chris Rock was right when he said there is a big difference between a job and a career you can’t wait to get up for every morning.
So it isn’t all doom and gloom. There is some hope on the horizon despite those ridiculous unemployment figures (especially for London http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-15277646) and the economy. So let’s get started.