When Expectation and Reality Collide: Students

Why are we deemed adults on our 18th birthday? It’s not due to psychological maturity. Our brain doesn’t fully develop until we are in our mid-20s. Physical maturity? Most athletes don’t enjoy their golden years until their late 20s. Despite this we are expected to shoulder many more responsibilities. The expectations that are placed on young adults is too often greater that what should reasonably be expected.

Most young adults continue into tertiary education under misleading guidance that it will pay off. University graduates are becoming more numerous which is actually devaluing a degree. Paradoxically, tuition fees are rising. Cute little analysis aside, a degree no longer guarantees employment and the financial pressure many students feel forces us into employment to cover living costs. Employment experience doesn’t guarantee employment either. The expectations placed upon graduates clearly do not match the reality of the environment young people experience. This contributes significantly to feelings of loneliness, depression and general feelings of inadequacy.

Frankly it astounds me to hear politicians dumbfounded by the increasing prevalence of mental health issues particularly among teenagers and young adults. Technological advancements has ensured we are more connected than ever. Yet, loneliness pervades the existence of young adults. 1000 Facebook ‘friends’ is no substitute for a real relationship we are too busy to forge.

As a person who has experienced this environment and observed the subsequent damage and dumbfounded responses there must be a change. We are here for a good time not a long time. We deserve better than this. Future generations deserve better than this.

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