Background info: I mentioned in my first blog that I live in North Yorkshire. Without being too slap-happy about my location etc, I’ll go on to add that I live with my parents in a rented house in an affluent area. We move around area to area renting houses wherever there is work available for my dad. This means I have moved house regularly. 10 times in about as many years in fact. This means I’ve talked about houses A LOT, taken a closer look at housing markets A LOT, and felt the effects of not having a stable base to call your own. So here are a few of my thoughts….
House ownership – it’s becoming a bit of an alien concept for my generation. We have:
1)Been pushed through countless years of schooling, coaxed into University and then saddled with tens of thousands of pounds of debt.
2) Hit a workforce where many companies want to exploit you as interns/apprentice’s on a nominal wage, which you lap up because you can’t compete otherwise against the stagnant pool of graduates who came before you.
3) Watched the student loans stop after three years of independent living and reluctantly (on both sides) moved back in with parents, often whom are living away from the city lights which hold the jobs.
4) Seen house prices in the country rise and rise, the population grow rapidly, and nowhere near enough new, affordable housing being built.
Due to the combination of these, which cover our past, present and future, collecting enough money to put a deposit down on accommodation is something of a pipe dream. Unless you are one of the selected few, the 1 in 100 who get that grad job, that one who has a wealthy connected family. The problem will get worse. There is no doubt about it.
I mean, for all this talk about taking out a mortgage on a house, we can take a step back and see the reality for young people like me, which I’ve split into two groups:
1) Young – has job – putting all money into renting a tiny pad in a city. (Or all money on commuting from a town nearby into the city job)
2) Young – no job – either living with parent help, and/or JSA + other benefits.
Both of these groups have something in common, there is no way that they can save for mortgage, when it’s a struggle just to afford to live in the present. A job does not equal a bright future. A job is not the answer. We need people starting careers that they fit with, where they wake up each morning and feel a sense of worth, a purpose, filling the gap in the soul that gives life meaning. Then money is only a side line, as long as there is a roof over head and food in stomach. But we have a problem…a generation brought up obsessed with money, high-flying jobs, where education = high up job = money = happiness.
What we are left with are plenty of bright minds. We have ideas, enthusiasm, are used to being intellectually stimulated. We end up in dead-end, repetitive jobs, being told that we should just be thankful for the “life experience” we are gaining. We struggle and fight each day just to convince ourselves it’s worth it. When the reality is that it’s a waste; a mind that’s been built up and taught to explore and think deep and critically suddenly lacks all stimuli. There are no rewards to reap, because this is not where you’re meant to be and you know it. You can’t hide from it. You have plenty of time to think about it. Cracks start to show, the mind breaks, melts, explodes, fizzes, you fall.
So, to fit together my point. It’s easy to say to someone “I know, why don’t you get a job?” thinking that it will solve all their problems when in reality a job only solves problems for the person who really wants it, who it suits. Otherwise, it can create more problems than it solves.