When I say young twenty-year-old, I mean me. And maybe you if you are reading this. The ones who are now in their twenties, trying to find the balance between having fun and actually being an adult and saving for the future. You know, the the newest generation of workers and homeowners. Those of us who could quite be rather helplessly winging their way through life and adulting – or maybe that’s just me.
Those of us, who have got ourselves a good degree, and then came back home for a bit and are working on the minimal wage just to get by until our dream job comes along. Or maybe, you went traveling for a year, had the time of your life, and then came back home, found yourself tragically unemployed and are now finding yourself even further behind then those of your course mates who have been plugging away for their dream job, whilst you were off on the other side of the world having adventures. So not only are you worrying about the lack of jobs in your life, but you’ve found yourself also feeling home sick for foreign lands, sunshine and adventure – yes that is me by the way.
I am currently playing that ever so fun game of applying for jobs and the waiting game of waiting to discover if I have been successful or more than likely unlucky again. Having discussed with mum over and over again, how tough the the job market is right now, and the fact that employers are looking for young, ambitions people, who have about 30 year’s experience and possibly a few Olympic medals, or the equivalent in a similar achievement.
I’ve heard the words ‘mortgage,’ ‘saving’ and settling down thrown around a lot recently too. Here in England, it’s incredibly expensive to buy houses and can be difficult to get yourself on the property ladder. Oh and just for fun, a lot of places in England is full of streets covered in fancy houses, you know, the very expensive kind. It’s no wonder so many people have resorted to moving back in with their parents as they just can’t afford to move out. And then, I’ve noticed maybe, lets just say, some of the older generation, criticising the fact that none of us are moving out or working top end jobs or even the fact that a lot of us seem to be just settling and not looking forward to personal growth. Which in all honesty has got me thinking – I think society hates our age group.
Hear me out here, I appreciate what I am about to say is VERY much first world problems and very much the privileged complaining about not being privileged enough, but it’s still valid, it’s still what the majority of us are going through.
Let’s be honest, the world is constantly changing, and it’s especially changed since our parents and grandparents were young twenty somethings trying to get by in the world. I mean, for starters, there are certainly a lot more opportunities available to us, and training and professional support. There’s also more technology, the world is a lot more accessible (and smaller as a result) and life has certainly gotten more expensive. Our wages have gone up over the years since our parents started their own work life, but so has house prices. Over the years house prices have certainly gone up and up. University is more available to everyone, only now you’ll be in 30K worth of debt once you’re qualified.
I would say that the world has changed, but society’s expectations for twenty somethings most certainly has not. For example, have you ever been given THAT look, when a stranger finds out that you still live with your parents? How many young twenty-something-year- olds actually have jobs which we are qualified for, from our degrees? How many friends do you have, or know, who are working in bars, supermarkets and coffee shops, because they just need something to get by? How many of us can actually spare some money every month to save for a house or for the future? How many of us have been asked about when are we planning on settling down/getting married/having babies?Back when our grandparents were our age and even our parents to a certain extent, they left school, got a job, got married, bought a house and started a family young. Now let’s be honest, our age group and future generations are going to be lucky to have achieved all that by the time you’re 30.
Now after you leave school, you either go to university or a form of further education, or into a trainee apprenticeship etc, spend a lot of money and spend even more that you haven’t even paid back or get paid peanuts if you’re on a trainee apprenticeship. Once you’ve finally graduated and you’re qualified in a certain field, you either get any job just for some kind of wage whilst you hope and pray that a job that you’re actually qualified in comes your way. Or you work for ‘experience’ or spend your life filling out applications for your dream job. I mean, like I’ve mention previously, how many people do you know in this age category who is actually working within a field or in a career, that they did their degree in? Also, if you’re in a relationship in your early twenties, you might get engaged young, but it will be years until you can afford your wedding.
There is probably a strong chance that you will graduate and move back in with your parents for a bit and find yourself saving for five + years to attempt to afford a mortgage, or even try and move out again in some desperate attempt to gain some independence. Only sadly, you will struggle to afford to finally get on the property ladder as all your money will be going on your rent.
So yes, like I’ve said, the world might have changed, but society’s expectations on what young twenty somethings definitely has not.
We’re constantly being told that we have everything handed to us on a plate, that we have it much easier then they did, that we shouldn’t be living with our parents or working long hours on minimal wage in a supermarket or being questioned on why we haven’t started hitting all those life mile stones that the older generations had. And yet, we are also told that we are young, and we should travel the world and experience everything that we possibly can before we settle down and have babies and what not. No wonder we’re all confused. How are we supposed to travel the world AND get that well paid job that we studied so hard to be qualified for AND that three bedroomed house and a mortgage before we hit our 30s?
So to all those young twenty something year olds stressing about houses, mortgages, shitty jobs, our apparently ever ticking body clocks, babies, marriage and finally getting out of your parent’s place….it’s not you, it’s them. I’m sorry you’re also having a shitty time and society hates you too.
Love, Hugs and Pugs,