Always in the business of trying to understand the next generation there was an interesting article in the Guardian today about millennials. They have been getting a bit of a hard time recently, being seen to be a generation that is struggling to cope with stress and being known as the snowflake generation when older generations just pulled themselves together and got on with it.
But what is different here is that while this generation certainly isn't the only one who have grown up with a potential catastrophe looming (nuclear war, world wars etc) their catastrophe is that things just carry on the way things are and it is that that will bring disaster.
There is little more than a nod to the environment by older generations yet it is the biggest and most important political issue for 18-28 year olds. Financial stress because of austerity and zero-hour contracts, inability to have security because of that, never having a home they can own, certainly no pension or perhaps a job despite having grades in exams the rest of us could hardly imagine.
I was at my daughters school tonight finding out about her subjects, course work, and support and while the support is truly fabulous it is there because the pressure and amount of work for Highers can easily put them all on overload. I came away not delighted with her school but anxious and stress at what my daughter has to go through where everything is aimed towards passing exams rather than the experience of learning and the insights each subject brings to life.
And this generic fear of the future comes because of a belief things will not change under current governments and is why so many have mental health and welbeing issues. Abi Wilkinson, the journalist who wrote the article finishes: "As living standards decline, financial insecurity rockets and an unprecedented volume of extreme weather events wreak havoc across the globe, the more confusing position is to insist that everything will be fine if we just carry on as we are."
You can find the article here