European Youth, quo vadis?
I’m concerned. And I’m not talking about the high youth unemployment rates in Europe. I’m concerned about the future. What does all this mean? How will the European society look like in 20, 30 years? Or even 10? Will there be only one “lost generation” or will we even lose more? And what exactly do we lose? Everyone’s talking about economy, numbers, crisis, growth. Who’s talking about dignity, re-definition of work, social responsibility and values?
We are the future. The famous Generation Y is the future. Not a promising one, right? Many of us are unemployed, apparently many of us have high expectations to their work place and therefore don’t find a job, some are ambitious in regards to the pay, and then there are the idealists who don’t want to support the multinationals and wish to make this world a better place by dedicating their life to NGO work.
So, European Youth, where are we going?
I have hope. In the last weeks I had the opportunity to meet young people from all over Europe who are engaged in youth work, education, training or music. All of them dedicate parts of their free time to a cause they believe in. It’s not always about youth unemployment or youth employment, but it’s also about bringing people together and having fun. Fun? Oh yes, sorry to mention this word. In times of crisis one might have the impression that “fun” or “joy” should be excluded from one’s vocabulary. It provokes the same awkward feeling as someone telling you that he or she is unemployed. Although we all know that there are many young unemployed people out there, it is quite difficult for us to literally face it, face this omnipresent challenge (don’t say problem!). What are you going to reply? “So what do you do in your free time?”, “I’m sorry.”, “Aha, so you are one of these idealistic, young persons who belong to this well-known Generation Y. Oh my…”. It’s weird, isn’t it? It’s hard to find the right answer in such a situation.
But let me come back to my hope part. I see this crisis as a chance to show the world out there that we aren’t lost at all and that we are able to create change. There is much potential out there and many young people are already working on a better future.
To come back to my question which I asked at the beginning “European Youth, quo vadis?”,my answer is: To a future that we are going to shape actively according to our beliefs and experiences. Let’s go!
by Lidija Globokar
About the author
Lidija Globokar is co-founder and General manager of Project 668, a professional development platform for current and former EU trainees whose aim is to help other trainees break into the job market, develop their professional skill set, and manage their career. Like all team members she is doing this on a voluntary basis. She believes in social change and that the mind set of people regarding charity and social enterprises need to be changed.
Originally published on The European Sting: European Youth, quo vadis?