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The 20s and 30s were supposed to be that period of one’s life where one could be carefree, live life and make mistakes. But COVID has destroyed all that for us.
It is safe to assume that no one has escaped the clutches of Covid-19 in India, especially after the second wave came in. The death rate is at a peak, the number of active cases is ever-increasing, and there is no visible solution presently. We hear stories of friends, family, colleagues and strangers getting affected by this deadly disease every day, and it takes a toll on our mental health as well.
As a young girl, who had limited exposure in life, it is difficult to face the harsh reality that life has shoved into my face suddenly.
Before I begin, I want to say that all generations are living in uncertainty and not just the Gen-Z or the youth, but I want to focus on that for now.
We grow up listening to stories from our parents and elders about the kind of life they lived, and we always have an image of what lies in the future. But that future has become a mirage for thousands of people like me.
In this time, when millions of experienced people have lost their jobs, it is impossible to have faith that one day we will get a secure job. Studying or graduating when job opportunities remain limited, and the Indian economy is at its worst, is very taxing on all of us.
Due to Covid-19, there was a widespread recession in India with its GDP downgrading to negative figures. Important exams like JEE, NEET, etc. were postponed, or some even cancelled. These are some of the toughest examinations in the world, and students prepare for them for several years. Imagine losing years of hard work and preparation without any guarantee of what the future would look like after losing these valuable years.
Talking about colleges, most online classes are subpar to their offline counterparts. While most colleges are charging regular fee the students are not even getting half of the benefits. In turn, they are merely feeling guilty because they are spending money and not even learning enough. It is reflecting on their academic performances and more importantly on their mental health.
This generation was forced to age too soon due to the adversities brought by the pandemic.
Just like it is said about every tragedy, the worst affected are the children. Losing family members, relatives, friends, or anyone close is the most heartbreaking experience. But when it happens in such a large number in a small period, it can be the worst feeling ever.
Even those who haven’t suffered physical, financial or other losses themselves have seen it happen around them constantly. Living in fear of losing loved ones and our own lives used to be a child’s nightmare but are now many people’s reality. The shock that these losses have brought to us might remain with us for the rest of our lives.
The people who were trying out new recipes and actively participating in social media trends one year back are now hopelessly waiting for all of this to get over. Looking at people in other countries who have got their lives back, while being stuck in the same phase ourselves, is depressing and burdening.
This pandemic can be regarded as our generation’s tragedy and it may cast a shadow on all of our futures.
Have you ever heard of this phrase, “Why are you crying about your silly problems when thousands of people have it worse?”
If you use any social media or have lived in Indian society, you must have heard this. I agree that it is true, but it’s the most unfair statement that I have ever heard. There will always be those who have it worse than us, but does it mean that we shouldn’t be allowed to speak about their problems?
This constant reminder that we are not the worst affected people has taken a toll on our mental health. Instead of talking about their problems, people have started hiding them because they feel scared to share them out loud. After all, they might come off as ‘ungrateful’.
The 20s and 30s were supposed to be that period of one’s life where one could be carefree, live life and make mistakes. But because of the current situation, we are forced to hide our feelings and smile at the mere assurance that someone has it worse than us. It has been going on not for 1-2 days but more than a year now. I can only imagine that this phase might leave a scar for the rest of our lives.
Having said all that, I do not want to generalise this for everyone. I merely wanted to talk about some of the issues that the youth is facing these days. It will impact us, but maybe something good will come out of this in the future. We can only hope for things to get better, and there is merit in doing that.
This article is an attempt to get people to be a little more sensitive towards the youth as well. We may not be the worst affected physically, but emotionally, and psychologically every person is suffering.
All images source: Unsplash
Header image source: Creativa Images Free for CanvaPro
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