The unemployment rate in Europe and the scarcity of jobs for young people (37%)
According to the European Barometer, young people are afraid of facing and suffering unemployment and consider it to be one of the greatest problems affecting not only Europe, but the world.
The main fears mentioned by young people boil down to not getting hired, to getting trapped in an infinite cycle of internships, to lacking the contacts to get to the right place to find the dream job, to facing economic and financial barriers to completing studies and training, to the possibility that the situation could get worse, to the fear of depending on the family budget, the fear of not getting adequate resources for self-development and, finally, the fear of moving abroad and failing in the effort to find a better career in a market where working hard pays off.
Lacking the resources to complete studies (23%)
Millions of young people are considered at risk of isolation and marginalization for several reasons, and one of them is a lack of educational opportunities. Europe is actually striving to address this issue, which scares a significant percentage of young people; but the greatest challenge resides in the fact that so many young adults recognize the high level of inequality in the diverse strata of European society (from the local to the international level), and so they are afraid of becoming the victims of a “system that discriminates against them” which can undermine their motivation and take them out of the mainstream of personal growth and educational opportunity. From personal financial challenges to geographical obstacles, from the social issues posed by ethnic minorities to the fractured realities of an intercultural society: all the “diversity” raises risks in the eyes of youth, and this leads them to think that they urgently need to move from their environment, but still the fears are present.
Not arriving at the prerequisite conditions to having a family (41%)
Sad, but true: a lot of young people between 24 and 32 years old manifested a high level of fear over not being able to develop their futures in terms of family. Time and again, the interviews disclosed that the top fear is the inability to build a future or the fear that there is no right to build one. The majority of the young adults interviewed connected this fear to the economic crisis and the lack of resources that do not allow them to think about having children and forming stable families, having their own place to live and a job. Human beings are social animals, but what happens when we have so little possibility of producing enough to build the future of our countries and have families? – This is the question which occupies the thoughts of millions of young people. Some of them admitted that they even face psychological problems from this fear.
The economic crisis could get worse (28%)
Fully connected to the job market in Europe, another issue which scares young people is the fact that the economy could get worse instead of improving, and this provokes a huge lack of motivation in them, with a consequential lack of ambition towards building their own businesses, becoming entrepreneurs, accepting long term challenges and jobs, etc. A considerable number of those interviewed manifested a kind of ongoing psychosis about this topic, and they do reckon that they do not feel convinced about the future of the Euro as a currency and the likelihood of united action in facing the National policies to treat and heal the wounds created since 2008.
Fear of not achieving success in life (33%)
It is called atychiphobia, the fear of not reaching a good and satisfactory level of fulfillment in our jobs. Young people think they are shy in front of Bosses and they have the feeling that the majority of them are “bossing” more than leading, and this creates insecurity and a wrong direction in the direct learning process during their first approach to a new job experience, for example. Another point is represented by the fact that young people
Fear of becoming victims of violence, any kind of discrimination, sexual assault and isolation (47%)
The greatest fear among young adults is violence. It can seem a paradox or not, but the majority of them are scared of being the target of a bullying group for some reason and at some point. And the problem is also linked with the abuse of drugs, alcohol, and illegal substances in general; this increases the loss of control among people who could abuse youth. If we consider the rate of fear throughout the analyzed countries as revealed by the interviews, we can see that half of all young adults feel already in the loop of possible violence (physical and psychological), current discrimination (religion, skin color, ethnicity, social level, etc.), and similar. One third of those interviewed have already been abused and they did not file any report with the authorities.
Fear of being denied the right of mobility (17%)
Difficulty in obtaining a VISA sometimes represents a really dangerous obstacle for young people who wish to move out of the Schengen area, and it seems that it is a real problem which creates more boundaries while it should be the exact opposite. Young people feel that they are somehow denied the right of having more opportunities, above all when we talk about those from disadvantaged or developing countries. This connects also with long processing times and lack of information about youth opportunities, or lack of resources again with a consequent discouragement of international mobility.
Young Europeans have this fear even when moving within the European space, and this is related to the limited spots and grants offered by the Universities and related stakeholders in terms of education and training or work.
Fear of the danger of online and social media exposure (26%)
Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, VK, online websites and social media are feeding the egos of people, in general. Nonetheless, it seems that young people are somehow going with the flow but with the fear of getting cyber-bullied or persecuted by someone who could blackmail them. They admit that they have active lives on social media, but they are afraid of being victims of possible risks (including kidnapping, fraud, and theft).
Fear of losing basic human rights protection (29%)
Freedom of speech, movement, expression, publication, sexual rights, and much more – they represent the identity of every one of us. It is for this reason that young people find that the possibility of being denied basic human rights (even while moving for study or work) make them afraid.
Fear of being in a continuing war status (43%)
Last but not least: youth are scared by the actual situation which affects the world with the migrants’ crises, the bombing in Syria and Iraq, and many other ongoing conflicts all over the world. Generally speaking, young people would choose to live in peace and move forward positively, not to step back to the hard feelings and destruction of past conflicts. The youth of 2016 do not live in the bitterness of WW2 or other conflicts, and they would avoid such conflicts in the future.
In the end, we can conclude that young people are under pressure thanks to a lot of factors that are a hardship to them, this is true. But never forget that this situation calls for reflection, open debates, and direct explanations in order to be overcome. Silence does not break down the walls of our obstacles; we can only try to remove them by multilateral, joint actions.