You are born between July 1991 and May 1996. You are 17 to 22 years old. Perhaps you are working already, but most likely will still be studying, doing a traineeship or… you are unemployed. Well, more about that later. Soon, you will have a new right.. In 2014 you will be able to vote for the European Parliament for the first time.
Are you part of a generation? Do you have some characteristics you share among your generation, what distinguishes you from, let’s say, your parents.You form the tail of what is described as generation Y, the demographic cohort born between the early 1980′s and the early 2000′s. Your generation is also referred to as the Millennials, the Net Generation or Generation Next.
So, what do researchers say about your generation? Apparently you would be more "civic-minded" with confidence and tolerance. However, also a sense of entitlement and narcissism are attributed to your generation as well as attaching more importance to being wealthy compared to previous generations and a lower interest in keeping up to date with political affairs and becoming involved in programs to clean up the environment. It seems that studies predict that Generation Y will switch jobs frequently due to their great expectations. Oh, and you are also optimistic, engaged, and a team player.
the most important question within the sphere I am working in is of course, WILL YOU VOTE?
Starts to sound as reading a horoscope, doesn't it? But you do have some experiences in common. Do you or anyone of your friends know how to heat something without a microwave? The 9/11 attacks happened when you were still playing hide and seek, so way back…. You will for sure have a hard time imagining that once you could be reached through a fixed phone line only…
You were in secondary school when the financial crisis started. You must feel it has been a crisis for all your live! And indeed, the youth unemployment figure of 23.5% for the 15-24 year old is high. The economic difficulties have led to a dramatic increases in youth poverty, unemployment, and the numbers of young people living with their parents.
There is a huge difference between you and your peers of course, mainly depending on your social-economic background but also the country you were born. Do you see your older brothers and sisters being unemployed, still living with your parents, feeling without perspective. Are they working, but perhaps not in a job they studied for, or hopping from temporary job to temporary job? Or is perhaps their biggest problem they need to continue to rent a home, not getting a mortgage to buy a first flat?
All this will heavily influence the most important question within the sphere I am working in, that is of course, WILL YOU VOTE?
Enough reason to be disappointed, put off, cynical…. But you are among the voters with the largest amount of future, so enough reason to want to have a say in shaping that future as well. Will you really let older people decide for you?