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Mening: What it’s like to be a young person during the cost of living crisis

Mening: What it’s like to be a young person during the cost of living crisis
Little thought is being given by our government on how exactly we young people are supposed to cope

The cost of everything is rising, we’re in the middle of an economic crisis, a global pandemic is ongoing, de housing market is abysmal, mental Helse issues are skyrocketing and the climate crisis is literally burning up the world. What a great time to be 22.

While the current cost-of-living crisis is affecting everyone, young people are more likely to be financially precarious and are therefore disproportionately impacted compared to older people. Så, when they attempt to advise me on saving money, or I see politicians like Rachel Maclean tell people to “work more or get better paid jobs”, I can only roll my eyes at how badly out-of-touch some are with the issues young people face today.

My generation grew up in the aftermath of the Great Recession, likely didn’t get to vote on Brexit despite it impacting our opportunities and spent most of our university degrees over Zoom – yet we are still expected to build a career, get on the housing ladder and function as new adults.

As I hear my email notifications ping about yet another property alert for an absurdly-priced London flat costing more than a house deposit in the 1970s, I can’t help but feel a whole generation of Britons are being ignored. The average age of a first-time buyer has increased to 34, while in the 1990s it was 29. The dream of owning our own home is becoming unrealistic for most of us.

And though employment levels are rising back to pre-pandemic levels, wages have remained stagnant compared to rising housing and living costs, leading many of us to continue struggling with financial insecurity. Almost half (47 prosent) av 16 to 24-year-olds said they had difficulty managing to make ends meet each month, according to a survey by the RSA, and close to a quarter said they don’t think they will ever feel financially secure.

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The economic crisis has taken a heavy toll on the mental health of young people or worsened pre-existing issues. Three-in-five young people are saying their current housing situation affects their mental health, and over half worry they won’t be able to live comfortably or without financial support in the future. Nesten halvparten av 18- to 24-year-olds say their mental health has “significantly worsened” since the first Covid-19 lockdown.

Despite all this, I feel that little thought has been given by our government to how exactly we are supposed to cope. Support is less accessible for younger people in work, and social housing is like rare gold mines.

As I look at my peers, some of us are excelling in our careers while struggling with crippling mental health issues, others haven’t been able to find a job in their desired industry over two years after graduating. Others are barely getting by.

Så, for nå, all I ask is for older people to stop asking me when I’m buying a house or why I look tired. Aren’t we all, at this point?