OPINION: Lauren Young


Caroline Nagle

Bellwood-Antis senior Lauren Young.

The future. One of the most important, yet scariest things that we must think about. Recently, with everything that has been happening in the world, there have been many concerns for what the future will bring. The economy is certainly not the best, college tuition is at an all time high, and new ideas have caused great controversy across the board. Moving into adulthood should be something that we look forward to, but with how the world is at the moment, should we be excited or should we be concerned? I personally have mixed feelings about our generation and about the world we are living in. 

On the negative side, the economy, in one word, is terrible. With COVID and the country’s multiple shutdowns, we should be worried. Gas prices are rising, jobs are being cut, and frankly, the stock market is, in new terms, “wrecked”. It is scary, not only for the older generations, but for us as well because we are at the times of our lives where we choose our path for the future. Do we pick a career we love even after seeing COVID almost take it away? Do we pick a career we love but that may not make enough money to even put a dent in the debt we will owe? These are all questions that we must consider. For me, for instance, I want to be a teacher, and I’ve always wanted to be a teacher, but after being virtual, I question what may change with this job. Obviously teachers are important and there will always be teachers, but if everything can be done online/virtually, what affects will that have on the career? Also, college tuition is insanely expensive, and knowing the average pay of a teacher, will I be able to pay off my debt? 

Not only do we have to deal with the crashing of the economy, but we also have to deal with the crashing of the unity in our country. It is no secret that recently many things have become “controversial”. Some things for good reasons, some for bad. Our new generation is nothing short of ambitious, and while that can be a good thing, it definitely raises concern for many of us. Two words: Social Media. Both a blessing and a curse, social media is for sure a big influence on our generation. Unlike older generations, we have grown up with technology in the palm of our hands. With a click of a button, our views and opinions are released for the whole world to see, which can lead to many problems as we have all witnessed. Politics especially are affected by social media and the divide between the parties have become prevalent. This is very unsettling for our new generation as the violence, both physical and verbal, has increased recently.

While I do believe that there are many necessary changes that need to be made to our society, I also understand that social change isn’t something that occurs overnight. A downfall of our generation is that we expect things to happen immediately because of the false hope social media gives us. It is a good thing that we are so passionate; however, many conflicts occur between us and older generations because older generations have different passions and expectations than we do. As a generation, we must understand that older generations have lived their whole lives with their beliefs, and while yes, some of those beliefs may not be the best, it will take time for them to change. If we try to change older beliefs too fast, those people who believe in them will be put off by our generation, and in turn, disagree with us more. I do believe that both generations should try harder to understand one another, and see that times are changing, but do it with a sense of respect towards others who disagree.

Our generation does have good aspects too, that I cannot ignore. For instance, our generation is more accepting of those who are different from themselves. That is something good that social media has brought, as we have the ability to learn more about others from different cultures, backgrounds, and those who just live different lives from ourselves. We also have the ability to communicate with anyone anywhere in the world, which opens up our possibilities in life. We can definitely look forward to the constantly improving technology that allows for endless opportunities.

So even though we should have some concerns moving into adulthood, I still believe that we should be hopeful and remember that “the secret of change is to focus all of your energy not on fighting the old, but on building the new.”