What I See as the Biggest Chalenge Young Adults Face Today
English and Literature
Submitted By petal69
What I see as the Biggest Challenge Young Adults Face Today
Zig Ziglar believes that “sometimes adversity is what you need to face in order to become successful” (Junttila, 2010) but will young people in this 21st century be able to succeed considering the myriad of challenges they face on a daily basis. The problems faced by young people today are more than usual. We’ve heard time and time again that the youth is the future? Is this really true, considering the weight of their problems? They are riddled with obstacles which serve to hamper their future. Three of the biggest challenges young adults face today in my opinion is unemployment, lack of role models and obesity. Persons between the ages of 16-24 face multitude of problems. One can only imagine.
Let’s take a closer look at youth unemployment. Unemployment is defined as the situation where an individual is willing and able to work, but for some reason is unable to find work. A study carried out in the United States, stated that young people are nearly three times likely to be unemployed than the rest of the population, this is the largest gap in twenty years. The study also went on to say that the number of people aged 16-24 who are not in full time education or employment has increased a great deal. Over the last quarter it has increased by 8000 youths with 498 000 in that age group without a job (Invincibles, Seeberger & Adair, 2015). There is another study carried out in the Caribbean by the Caribbean Development Bank which declared that the youth unemployment in the Caribbean stood at 25% which is among the highest in the world. What this study also revealed is that this problem contributed to participation in anti-social behaviors, low self esteem, hopelessness and ambivalence. Another study revealed that although the economy had gained strength and overall market conditions had improved in recent years, young workers continue to struggle finding a job. Employers are fearful to hiring young adults because of perception. They believe that young adults are not sufficiently trained, has a laisefaire attitude and don’t have what it takes to get the job done. It is about time that young adults are given the opportunity to prove that it takes what is required to get the job done. Over half a million new jobs were created yet still the unemployment rate reached a record 19.6 percent in April 2010 (Maloney, 2010). Unemployment periods in a young person’s work life can have lasting negative effects on future earnings, productivity and employment opportunities. It is important therefore, that policy makers better understand the causes of unemployment amongst young adults so that they can set to reduce unemployment among young workers and help them build the skills necessary to regain their footing in the labor force.
Our children should have so many role models to look up to; but when you look around they have none of admirable quality. It was revealed by Prince’s Trust, an organization who helps inspire young people in many ways including job placement, revealed that 30 percent of young persons surveyed lacked parental role model. Our children need to find a sense of identity and hence the reason why they join gangs. This same survey recorded that 62 percent of young people in Scotland fall into that category. Growing up in the Caribbean as a child, I constantly used to hear older folks saying that it takes a whole community to raise a child. I often wondered why? I now realize that it was a norm that we took for granted because it was part of our everyday lives. This is no more. Children no longer have regular contact with grandmothers and aunts. Geraldine Gammell, the Scotland director of the Trust said that the country’s young people are forming their own communities because of the breakdown of traditional communities (Scotsman.com, 2008). She went on to say that and I quote “All the threads that hold a community together- a common identity, role models, a sense of safety are given to young persons to join a gang” (Scotsman.com, 2008). But where are the Role Models? Where are the Parents? We can’t always blame parents because they are busy holding two and three jobs struggling to provide for the home. Regardless, young persons are suffering. They are raising themselves. This is how it works in today’s world. Teen girls are influenced by persons who do drugs, get into fights, have sex in public, just to name a few. They are easily influenced by famous persons who do stupid things and not persons who can have a positive effect on their lives. On the other hand our males are suffering from poor mental health because of lack of role models as a survey suggested. The survey went on to say that males are 3 times more likely to feel depress. Don’t you believe this factor can be a reason why so many of our young males turn to suicide? And then there is the matter of physical health.
Obesity is a major problem caused by our modern lifestyle. And yes, it is another problem so many of our young person’s face. Obesity is defined as excess body fat. A study carried out showed that in the last 10 years, the problem of weight has doubled (O’Connor, 2015). Young persons of today consume more alcohol and abuse drugs as a means to accomplish a multitude of ends. This too contributes to obesity. As a means of coping with daily pressure they indulge in negative behaviors. They no longer want to eat a proper home cooked meal. Fast foods restaurants such as Kentucky Fried Chicken and Burger King have become the norm. These foods are laden with lots of fats and addictive ingredients. A study revealed that out of every 4 obese teen three of them turn out to be obese adults. There is a great possibility that those young adults develop arthritis, heart disease, stroke, several forms of cancer and diabetes. Young people withdraw socially because of low self-esteem as a result of being obese (HealthyChildren.org, 2003). The question we have to ask ourselves is who is going to take care of whom?
More stringent measures should be implemented to alleviate the major challenges young person’s face. Employers can play a big role in curbing unemployment. They can provide career guidance; engage in apprenticeship programs which will help with the training required by young persons to be skilled workers. Policy makers can play their part too; by making it mandatory that young person’s get the required tools in terms of training and knowledge required for the work force. And of course, we have young vibrant adults. You may ask the question “How do we get young persons involved?” Simple! Motivation is the key. We need to get young people involved in this important work. They need to be empowered. First educate them, and then put them in the forefront and let them lead the way. They can serve as leaders in communities in as far as helping to edify their peers on matters of making better health choices. Those young people can also help adults to understand the plight of youth who are disenfranchised. They are more connected to what is going on in the world of work than we think because we live in a digital world. Young persons shouldn’t be taking a back seat. They need the support from dedicated adults to help show their stories and success. With their help we can overcome the problem of lack of role models, obesity and unemployment to a great extent.
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