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Europe’s Lost Generation

Europe. A continent hammered in recent years by recession and austerity. But despite the fancy figures surrounding “Northern Europe, why don’t we take a step back and focus on the younger Southern Europeans who are, sadly, going to be the worst affected by the current state of the continent.

The economic crisis seems to have hit the young more than other age groups. From the beginning of 2009, the gap between the youth and the total unemployment rates has increased, so that at the end of 2012 the youth unemployment rate was 2.6 times the total rate. This roughly gives you and me an idea of what is happening to young Europeans and the challenges they face. The example of rising unemployment also reminds us of the problems again facing the continent.

But let’s take a more personal look at the current scenario…How would European youths feel in an environment of depression as we are now?  Well sadly, I myself can’t answer that. But I can however give you a vague idea of what might well be the answer…whilst other continents such as Asia thrive and spend generously on luxuries, here in Europe it is quite the opposite. Some struggle to live above poverty line…Countries like Greece have to endure education cuts and decrease in benefits which as we know affect a child’s future, but sadly are as common as ever at this present time. Not exactly a fantastic feeling knowing the younger will endure suffering. It’s not also the nicest feeling knowing that even by having possibly received higher education, having a job is still very unlikely, especially at this time. Sadly however, that is reality, and the generation makes an attempt to push through despite the tough environment that we live in. Europe’s young generation as we know will be lost if things don’t change soon. Education cuts left right and center as mentioned before, as well as the possible fear of a stable income from parents all add up to the pressure being stacked on the young.

Now let’s remember what has been written above, and let’s ask ourselves some questions…

If you are 40+, then this very moment, try and think like a European teenager. Ask yourself the question “What do I see?” if you don’t see much, then continue and avoid the obvious. If, however, you see the problem, (or problems) then this article has been successful in making “you” the older one understand what is in store for the upcoming generation.

If you are under 40, then don’t worry “I understand your frustration.” But let me remind you of something. Light “Is” at the end of the tunnel, but it’s just a matter of when we discover it. “We are the future, and we determine our era.” So let’s make sure we think sensibly and do what is right for our own sake. And don’t take in to account the immediate effect on your parents, they luckily won’t feel the true pain of this catastrophe. Things may get even worse before they get better and therefore unity and pushing through is important to make sure we do the right thing. Just remember, if “you” don’t make the correct decisions in life, you will be part of “Europe’s lost generation.”

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