The budget unveiled by the Conservatives this week revealed that they were scrapping the maintenance grants for lower-income students, but allowing universities to increase their fees beyond £9,000. This is in spite of some students already resorting to extreme measures to stay financially afloat.
Rather than effecting their pockets, the constant pressure put on students in schools and the over-focus on exams is having a negative effect on their mental health. It is no secret that the number of young people self-harming is on the rise; however, there continues to be a lack of understanding. There needs to be some sort of module on mental health in schools.
Knife crime shows no sign of letting up and if anything, these stabbings seem to be a more frequent occurrence. We are fooled by the news of reported knife crime being down, without considering that there were increases in most offense groups.
According to The Guardian, “Young people are nearly three times more likely to be unemployed than the rest of the population, the largest gap in more than 20 years, according to an analysis of official figures.” Then there is also the problem of young people eventually becoming employed, and then struggling to progress in their field, buy a property or even live above the bread line.
The number of young people who are homeless is ‘more than three times the official figure’, and mental health waiting lists are ‘spiralling out of control’. There are a number of other issues facing young people, as they strive to grow and move forward in life.
However, the system and powers that be continue to find ways to hold them back or put them down. Too often, the youth are an afterthought or not seen as important as their elders. They keep squeezing us and cutting our funding or services, but they are always quick to come down hard on us when anything goes wrong.
Nevertheless, it is up to us as young people to help ourselves and fight through the system that wants to keep us down. We have the capabilities and through the right action, our voices will be heard. And even if they don’t want to hear us, then at least we will be paving our own way and making a better life for the youth at present and the youth of the future.
You just have to ask yourself, what can I do to be the change and how can I get involved to make a change? The time is now.