Our generation is hit hardest by the effects of covid-19, Russia vs Ukraine wars, but most of all- an even worse academic crisis than the generation before us. Gone are the days where “bunking class with the bros” is the norm and born are those where teens are isolated within their rooms, fearing the air outside has been contaminated, scared to be near and connected. I believe that the impacts of covid-19 have had severe impacts on school age students at a rate far higher than acknowledged within the media. The reasons for this? For one, we are encouraged to stay home within the bounds of safety. The “safety” of this home though is also the home of mental illness and isolation. Not only this, young teens and children are stuck at home in the midst of an increasing level of domestic violence. Thirdly, teens are isolated from resources of support, for some- they have never seen their school friends with our restrictions.
Covid started spreading the world shortly after my 16th birthday. I was in my 11th year of high school and already working on my identity, mental health and learning how to manage feelings just like most teens are (knowingly or not). Then came the first lockdown. I developed habits just to pass time by, like sleeping til lunch time and becoming more and more addicted to my cell phone. The second lock down came in year 12 during the early days of my first relationship. I was willing to do anything to see my high school boyfriend, but felt obliged to comply with social rules in order to protect those most at risk. More isolations came, more jabs and sadly- more time alone in my head. This story is not uncommon and studies have actually found that The most common psychological disorders emerging are anxiety and panic, obsessive-compulsive symptoms, insomnia, digestive problems, as well as depressive symptoms and post-traumatic stress (Rogers et al., 2020).
I believe that the correlation between growing mental health issues is getting in the way of teens achieving:
First jobs in high school
The privilege of seeing different positions and the impact this has on helping students to decide what career path to take.
These 3 impacts are in my opinion going to have devastating effects on those trying to enter the property market. Academic failure due to the effects of these mental health issues will cause less year 13s to achieve the necessary requirements to enter university, or, to secure scholarships to fund university. Less uptake of employment in high school will mean that more of my generation will start to understand the concept of working for money at a later age, and therefore start to save later as well. Lastly, not being able to decide on a career path will mean that more of us will change jobs more frequently - consequently meaning that our wages will be less due to the smaller levels of experience in each field/ industry.
You can agree or disagree with my idea, but the facts can speak for themselves:
According to pew recent Centre, During the pandemic summer of 2020, teen summer employment in the United States plunged to its lowest level since the Great Recession, erasing a decade’s worth of slow gains, according to Pew Research Center’s latest analysis of federal employment data.
According to the Education Review office : Students were four times as likely as principals and teachers to report that they never feel happy.
It also showed nearly one in five schools reported Covid-19 had resulted in lower-than-expected attendance. By term 3, nearly half of schools reported ongoing concerns about attendance. This was most prevalent in low-decile schools.
A report released by the Education Review Office, the Government’s education evaluation agency, reveals only a quarter of NCEA students said they were coping with their school work last year.
And, according to the BBC - The latest employment figures show the transition from education into work has become very difficult in the pandemic, with young people taking the brunt of job losses.
What can we do about this?
I’m working on this problem and it’s been on my mind a lot. It worries me that all these effects will be worse for Māori. Māori already had lower rates of home ownership, and I expect this to only become worse. I’ve started a personal finance blog called Māori Millionaire which can be found here: www.maorimillionaire.com
My aim for the blog is to make financial literacy accessible to all. I aim to do this by:
Simplifying financial concepts so more people can understand them.
Using social media to share money hacks and finance tips.
Sharing my resources throughout different communities so that a diverse range of people have access to them.
I believe that like any issue, changed behavior will allow for different results. Entering the property market can be a blessing for so many different reasons. It’s very important that a change is made. Let’s work together to share finance tips with those who might need them. If you need help, direct them to my blog so that they can do so themselves.