The journey of human life passes through the stations of different ages. It is usually perceived that each of them encapsulate significant, but contrasting emotions. Many believe that out of all phases, it is ‘youth’ which is the most pleasant. However, when every part of life is open to endless uncertainties and unprecedented turns, would it be right to have so many expectations from a particular period of life?
Generally, childhood is the time when a person is unexposed to the world, cloistered in family’s emotional and economic support. This period is of considerably lesser mental stress; while in adulthood or even old age, a person has seen a lot, experienced almost every lively affair, and is visible to the world around in every way possible.
What lies between these is the time of ‘youth’. This middle phase, roughly from late teens till late 20s is believed to be the most ‘beautiful’ part of one’s life.
For those who believe, youth indeed has enough for other ages to envy. It is this time, when the person experiences the actual basis of freedom and realizes that most things happening are new and strange. It is this air of youth, in the fragrance of which one ‘may’ meet many new faces, attain beauty, shape one’s personality, fall in love, experience the sexual world, achieve goals, and create memories, all of which would have an everlasting impact. For a person, if life would be various seasons, youth would perhaps be ‘spring’.
However, all the possibilities associated with youth are just a bunch of ‘mays’. Although it is obvious that seasons are obliged to happen, thus, the youthful spring would come, but what we do not know is whether the climate would be shiny or some uninvited rain would spoil everything. Once my History professor Mr. Basant, quoted a line from an author that said, “I would kill the person who said being 18 is the best time of life.”
No matter how many tasteless adjectives and verses are composed in any poetic mood for this ‘season of youth’, those who step in this age, know how does it feel. As said, youth is the time when every experience is new, but it can not always be cherished as an exotic feeling. At most points, dealing with an unknown and alien situation can turn out to be a nightmare.
Moreover, young people might face several issues – many of which they would be even embarrassed to mention. The fear about the future, about employment is certain, whereas some would doubt the outcome of their specific university course or degree, others would even question their existence!
Youth is a stage when the emotional gap with people of other ages increases manifolds. No one discusses with people, sometimes even the closest of people, about the tension and problems which they are facing. For it is the time when one meets most of the temporary people in life, and understands what is meant by pressure.
How should one tell their father that they are not satisfied with their course, that they want to change it in the mid-semester? If one’s mother sensed their sad face, and demands the reason, their head might be screaming, “Yes, I’m really sad, maybe because my crush in class ignores me, maybe because I’m being bullied, maybe I just hate my ugly face, I made mistakes which I can’t tell or maybe because I’m a useless-talentless failure”, but in reality out of the consciousness of the newly won ‘economic independence’, none of them would say that, the only words which would come out would be, “I’m okay…”.
The problems and issues with today’s internet age are even greater than of any period preceding them. Today, youth not only have to deal with its already complex environment, but have to further match with the false glamour of the internet, where everyone is in the race of being perfect. In this virtual world, you may be having 500 online friends on Facebook list or 300 followers on Instagram, but with only few you would have talked, a talk which is more than mere sharing memes or asking customary questions. In this age, one generally gives time to those whom they do not know, while people who matter are left far behind.
There are problems and issues with this phase too. Sometimes a person wishes to move back in time, but they cannot. It must be remembered that it is also a phase, and like every other period of life, it would also pass. It is okay to feel down sometimes, think of the uncertainties and cry over the loneliness, for it is just normal.
When parents or any elder says, “Hum bhi isi umar se nikle hai” (we have also passed this age), they mean it. Maybe they can help with their share of experiences, their journey. Maybe one day, today’s youth, who will be tomorrow’s adult, would guide the upcoming generation about this sensitive time, because after all, being young is not so easy.
Aashish Kochhar is a student pursuing History from Jamia Millia Islamia.
Edited by: Nuzhat Khan
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this publication are those of the author. They do not purport to reflect the opinions or views of The Jamia Review or its members.