Those two words strike fear into the hearts of many twenty-somethings; associated with no job accompanied by crippling rent. An Instagram account that follows too many cute dog accounts whilst still trying to find the perfect Follower to Following ratio.
It all seems rather bleak doesn’t it!?
And, at the moment, whilst I am trying to find a job that matches with my ethics but ACTUALLY PAYS, it truly does seem bleak.
How am I supposed to afford to cover my rent and feed my dog whilst maintaining a social life? All whilst being paid less than the London living wage because I still classify as a ‘student’. And then comes the Grandparent’s questions “But when are you going to make your Career...?”; the dreaded notion of a ‘Career Job’ – that stereotypical 9 til 5 mundanity.
Yup, I am bitter. All because I was born in the 90s…
Am I really using this as another platform to rant about being from Generation Z, talking depressingly about my lack of prospects and not trying to move beyond them? No. I am grateful.
4 years ago, I found myself in London. A fresh-faced 19-year-old alone in the ‘Big, Bad World’. It was the type of world that my parents warned me about; gritty, grimy, but full of endless opportunities. A bright new start for the lucky ones. And thankfully I would consider myself to be one of those Lucky Ones.
Ok, I have not got a job yet. I will most likely spend a few years juggling a plethora of part-time roles but hey, that’s the fun of it. Being able to not be tied down (apart from the dog) and just dabble. Whilst the idea of being a Generation Z might have caused me to choke; coming out of university with nothing but a Nutribullet and a cold-press juicer does not seem to trouble me as much as it probably should. I am still bright-eyed, bushy-tailed and excited about the next flat that I might find, the garden that it might have, the lovely next-door neighbours that I might have the chance to meet.
The luxury of being of this generation; of having Siri to answer all of my questions, having search engines to answer all of my questions. Did you know that Avril Lavigne has been married twice? Wikipedia says that they both ended in divorce.
Yes, I will probably never own my own house or car. I might not have my ‘Career Job’ until I am 40, but these are purely semantics. I could own a boat; have it on the Thames, ride my bike to my £8.50/hour job but I will hopefully be happy.
Yet when I get the urge to complain about being a Generation Z, I try to stop and think; to remind myself actually how lucky I am. How lucky so many of us are that we are a Generation Z in the Western world, that we can walk down the street and (I really do hope) feel safe. Generation Z might not be ‘all it could have been been cracked up to be’, BUT it is a damn sight better than it could have been.
Without trying to sound cliché (I know that is inevitably happening); we are a generation that has the opportunity to make a change. It is up to us to get up, stop moping around and to come up with ways to make the injustices that we see not repeat themselves for future generations.