‘”The Best Years of Our-” Nope’ was published in the Strathclyde Telegraph in April, 2015
Have you ever had a rant unjustifiably silenced by, “you’re young”, or “you have to enjoy life at this age”, or “these are the best years of your lives” – arguably the biggest misconception of our generation?
I often wonder if people realise that by pointing out these “facts” to us whilst in peril – as utterly fictional as they may be – actually contributes another ill emotion to our already down mojo: guilt. ‘What am I doing wrong that makes right now hopefully NOT the best years of my life?’
‘Why am I feeling so low when everyone else is supposedly out enjoying the best years of their lives?’ Suddenly, your wee granny’s dismissive remark is having more impact on you than your tutorials have done in the entire semester.
Little do these foreign species know – we’ll call them ‘adults’ for short – that if it’s not unrequited Tinder love we’re upset about, there are always fears of exam failures, resits for those exam failures, part time jobs that feel like full time anxiety cases, and non-virtual poor relationships that will fill the void nicely.
So next time it pops into conversation how long you spent in your bed on your day off on Sunday morning (afternoon), here are a few pointers you can serve for dessert over the family roast.
Money isn’t funny
According to The Students Loan Company, Scotland have the second least number of students relying on loans ahead of Wales. This means that some of us must be sourcing our income from part jobs. What adults fail to realise now – seeing as uni wasn’t as common back in the ‘olden days’ – is some of us have been budgeting from as young as 17 to ensure we have enough Aldi’s Own beans to survive. Not only do we have the workload of extremely intensive courses constantly in the back of our minds when we try to be recreational, we also have the ever looming prospect that they’re might not be a job for us at the end of it. Self-inflicted? Oh yes. Worth it? Potentially. And that’s why we do it. But this is real. This is frightening (and we may have an alcohol problem/addiction to Krispy Kreme donuts).
Tinder traumas and love-life dramas
It’s no secret that many boys did not feel like becoming men until they witnessed Zooey Deschanel in New Girl on their television. And it’s also just as widely known that Robert Pattinson and Taylor Lautner were indeed the sexual awakening of an entire population. However, these attractive individuals regrettably set the bar quite high for us – as if it we weren’t caving under pressure enough already to look fabulous in our youth. Your mum will just tell you to get that new haircut but she doesn’t understand that you run the risk of looking more like Bruce Bogtrotter than Kaley Cuoco. Your ‘swipe rights’ are at stake here! With Netflix domestic subscribers now having watched a total of 2 billion hours of media since its establishment, somehow, those much needed five hours of love-life escape seem less like anti-socialism and more like a bulletproof remedy for forgetting how much we don’t look like Mila Kunis.
Depression in students is a very real problem
On a much more serious note, according to the Students Against Depression website, if you are having little interest or pleasure in doing things day-to-day then you are experiencing the first signs of depression. Depression will affect your concentration, thus, impacting on your studies, and it will also affect your ability to concentrate in social situations and make you more inclined to isolate yourself from friends. While your parents’/carers’ constant winging about your sudden lack of passion for your homework might be fuelling the already fairly raging fire in your belly, it is worth remembering that if they went to university it was likely during an era where their friends weren’t their job competition after graduation. Although we are able to celebrate our awkward-adolescent phase, it is imperative that we address any changes in our moods or motivation instantly if we feel like things are beginning to pile on top of us.