When I was in Primary School, in the late to mid 90’s, there was this movement that really affected me in my early adult years.
For some reason society decided that we would make it easier for the kids, give them someone to go to when they were getting picked on, someone to fix the problem. Teachers at school, and Mum and Dad at home. Any time I had any sort of issue, from a cut on my leg, to someone picking on me – I could just run to a teacher or parent and they would fix it.
Growing up constantly being told that it was okay, someone will fix it if you make an error, really really fucked me for the first few years of my adulthood.
When I turned 18, I had a car, I had a license, and a full time job. I was living the dream! Free to do whatever I wanted! Now, I would like to preface that I am definitely not a big rule breaker, however I did and still do like to skirt the edge of what is allowed, without really crossing over any serious borderlines. I started living life like I had been taught as a child. Enjoy it! Have fun! I took this in possibly the most incorrect way.
I bought an expensive car, I got a bank-loan, I moved out of home, I partied, I got a girlfriend who lived with me and I showered her with gifts with all the money that I loaned from the Bank. When that money ran out I got a Credit Card, and when I reached my limit (No pun intended) and I couldn’t pay my bills, I just ignored them. I got another Credit Card. I hoped they would go away like every mistake I made or issue I had when I was a child. As what I thought was an Adult, I didn’t know how to deal with my problems. I had no one to run to, and they didn’t go away like I was used to. If anything they got worse and worse.
I ended up with crippling debt and no Girlfriend, in a house by myself. My life was a never-ending weekly cycle, where I got paid, tried to pay back some of my Debt, ignored the new set of bills to come in, and then struggle to make it to the end of the Pay-week to repeat again and again.
A large portion of my Generation become ensnared in this trap, and while of course we are personally to blame, the environment that we grew up in affected us more than people are prepared to admit. The household that I was born into was fairly regular, middle-class, both parents were hard working individuals, and I was treated very well. But I also never had to deal with anything myself. Older generations may call me Entitled, and I suppose in a way I was. I felt that I was entitled to have the best Car, the best house, the best clothes.
Even now in my Mid-Twenties I have to force myself to follow up on things. There is occasions where I forget all that I have learn’t and make stupid split second decisions that could affect me badly in the future – But that is also who I am, I have always been spontaneous. But there is spontaneous and there is stupid. I feel that I am no longer the latter.
In a sense, I wish I had been left to my own defenses a little more when it came to bullying, and other hurts. My generation, and the generation below us, get way too upset over inconsequential words on a screen, or even heard words. I spent my teen years depressed and upset because I got bullied everyday at school. I wish that I stood up to them myself, and fixed the problem once and for all, instead of running to a teacher to help me. Now as a young Adult, I don’t let anyone’s words get to me, because they are just that – Words.
Luckily I managed to sort myself out, with help from friends and family, but I am still learning from my mistakes. I now know that it is unwise to do anything without understanding the terms first. I still try things, but I think first. Most importantly, I follow up on the responsibilities that I gained from trying it.
I genuinely hope that the next generation of children work out that they need to deal with their issues. They can’t just hide them, because they will always come back to haunt you until you finish them once and for all. I also cannot begin to imagine what it is like being a teenager with the amount of social media that is around at the moment. You can’t get away from bullying and the like anymore, so the need to be capable of stopping it maturely and swiftly is all the more important now. I don’t think bullying should go away, nor do I think it is a good thing. We just need to learn to not be as offended and upset by it.