Generation Y in Greece: a “Lost Generation”?

The past decade the world has been brought to its knees due to one of the most massive financial crises ever experienced. Its shock can still be felt in most of the countries and undoubtedly in our own. Greece is still reeling from a hastily applied austerity policy, which has and will continue to reshape our society as we know it. However, the biggest victim is the younger generation, who can no longer dream.

“Generation Y” is a term designating young adults in their early and late 20s also called endearingly “Millenials”. Those who came of age when the systemic crisis first hit Greece have only known a dark and unsure future, as their dreams suddenly became unattainable and unrealistic. Generally, Generation Y is highly qualified, technologically literate, open-minded and socially responsible. However, it seems that there is neither equality of results nor equality of opportunities as the academic and professional landscape becomes more and more influenced by the socio-economic characteristics of each person in a highly competitive era. Merit and excellence are merely political tools in the eyes of the ruling Baby Boomer elite used for ephemeral gains, while in the long run, the respective government seems to condemn an entire generation to unprecedented rates of unemployment with its short-sightedness.

Greece serves as a particularly interesting example because Generation Y is dangerously close to being a “Lost Generation”. The term was originally coined to denominate the young adults of the post-First World War era when no hope was visible in the near future since Europe was in ruins and the world economy was devastated. The same conditions still apply in a broader sense. Generation Y has been doomed to mediocrity and obscurity, despite the fact that it represents the future and, one day, will have to assume a leadership role.

It is vital to keep in mind that it is not a competition between Generation Y and all the previous generations, especially taking into consideration the demographic problem that plagues Greece. In this particular game, everyone has something to lose: from the overqualified unpaid interns to the experienced high-level employees and their employers.

There is hope and all those who claim otherwise need to take a long hard look at the generation that constantly tries to better and reinvent itself. It is not yet a “lost generation” but will soon be, unless drastic changes are implemented. Besides, hope is all that’s left to try and reclaim a stolen future.