OPINION: Our Lost Youth
If you were to tell me a couple of years back that I would have my youth cut short and spent the next few years in a pandemic hell, I would have neither believed you nor cared. I was afforded that kind of response back then, a carefree kid just settling into school. Little did I know that soon I’d have to care a whole lot and shoulder responsibilities I never should have known about.
Call these first world problems if you will, an easy reaction if you’re able to look back on the yesteryears of your youth without regret of not having lived it to the full. You can remember the flashing lights, blaring music, and drinks. You were able to let go and just enjoy yourself, your only concern being how you'll get home by 6 AM. You had the luxury of a normal social life.
We have spent nearly two years hanging around beaches and closed bars to salvage some form of social life. It's only years down the line that we will truly understand what strange social creatures we're becoming. A generation of the socially repressed, told to stay away from people and suck it up while doing so.
Our phones have become our friends and tomorrow our enemy.
How can you demand the youth care about the future if they've become so fatigued with the present? The hope that the "pandemic will pass" any time soon has been exalted very promptly from our hearts, having been tricked into thinking so too many times already.
Life didn't end only once, we faced two sets of school closures and two partial lockdowns. The half-life we find ourselves in now, terrified to go out and live, is no life at all. We are aware of just what we are missing despite some life returning, but like a man in the Sahara, one glass of water is not enough to keep him going.
It's on everyone's mind but we've given up. New adults have entered this world too early, we should not have to live so seriously yet. Too many of us have fallen victim to a situation we tried our best to remedy.
The only thing left to do is speak about it. Not being able to let go doesn't mean you should keep it in. Scream in the streets if you must, you're not alone.