Our Struggle to Keep up

We have all been there. We feel like we are not good enough for the task at hand, or we become stressed out when we see all the ambitious young people getting things done. Today, more and more young people feel pressured, often leading them to become anxious or frustrated. Who is responsible for this constant pressure to aim higher?

By Olivia Grubenmann

 

When we are young, we usually approach things in a playful manner. We learn new things easily and have doing it. Was it so easy because we didn’t see the ruthless system of competition in our world back then?

The Internet, our friend and enemy

The internet opens up a whole new dimension where we can find information, where we can meet people from all over the globe and where we are confronted with opinions, norms and views strengthening or challenging our own. A girl in the United States can chat with a boy from South Korea on Facebook, exchanging opinions and knowledge. A jobless teenager in Paraguay can look for work in a city far away from home, and a young artist can build a worldwide community to showcase his work. The internet is incredibly fascinating and incredibly scary at the same time.

Through social media we can constantly compare ourselves with others. Everyone seems to be doing something useful – everyone else seems to be happy, talented and successful. Most young people are aware that the internet has made available so many possibilities for them, so they feel like they have to show initiative 24/7. It seems that the millennial generation is afraid of unfulfilled potential.

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Also, the internet brings our world to an ever-faster moving pace. We have to be up to date all the time. Within seconds we know about everything going on in the world. Where geographical distance has become  negligible in the age of air traffic and other technologies, the internet has transformed time to a constant present. Therefore, living in the age of the internet also means that we get the feeling of having to be online and present all the time. We can’t take a break anymore because the world will move on without us, and it seems impossible to catch up.

Companies’ high expectations

We try to get good grades and work experience so that we can find a job. This creates a dilemma, especially for young people: How do you get your first work experience, when no one wants to hire you in the first place? Companies have high expectations regarding the profiles of potential staff.

This has probably always been that way, but in today’s international and fast-moving world, it has become a lot easier for companies to choose whom they want in their team. The constant pressure of the market, the constant fear of being replaced by someone better, leads a more intense and ruthless competition for jobs. Many young people don’t have their focus on making big money or working in a secure job. Self-development, creativity and having a challenge have gained importance.

Today, young people mainly want to have an impact on the world. They want to change and create. They want to leave a mark.

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