Why don't I miss any people
The Right to Miss: Why Young People Don't Feel Heard
It doesn't take much for a shit storm. "I haven't been partying since March, before that I was somewhere three times a week. That's sad, because I actually need it, I have to rely on it, and I really don't have to go without it," said a young woman named Ida in an article in the "Heute Journal" about the renewed lockdown in Germany. Nothing more was necessary. For days there was scorn and anger on Twitter and Facebook. To celebrate? As a basic need? Unheard of! "First World Problems" are that.
In this way, worries and wishes that seem unimaginable or banal are quickly stamped. In a pandemic, only one thing should apply, to quote the writer Thomas Bernhard: "It's all ridiculous when you think of death."
But it's not that simple. Just because you don't understand a feeling doesn't mean it isn't serious. When Ida says she needs to party, she doesn't say it because she is afraid of cold alcohol withdrawal. She is afraid of being alone.
Hardly any contact, a lot of stress
A concern that worries many young people at this uncertain time, as can be read in the following logs. Even during the summer easing, many people reduced their social environment to the most important people and did not visit their family members at risk - for fear of accidentally picking up the virus somewhere. And now, in the second lockdown, the government is using the word "curfew" for the first time, making it clear that not only parties and concerts, but also leisure meetings are off the table for the next few weeks.
"The corona measures increase the stress level in young people," says psychologist Johannes Achammer. "Especially at a young age, social exchange is extremely important. And that is again massively restricted." In addition, the lack of the enormously important physical contact over a long period of time is a psychological factor that is too often underestimated.
The psychologist says the effects of this increased stress level should not be underestimated. In individual cases it could lead to anxiety disorders and depression. That is why he calls for more empathy: "Older people can always fall back on more experience that young people do not yet have." That should also apply to communication.
It is not about questioning the necessary measures. It's about being heard, understood and taken seriously with your needs. Everyone has a right to be missed - even if it's just missing a party.
20 years, student at the applied science
"I miss my circle of friends the most. I have a very busy schedule during the week, with university, commitment and work. And the social balance on the weekend is not there at all. Many people complain that we boys just want to drink and party - but that also has an important social component. It just helps me clear my head when I can dance to Beyoncé on Saturdays.
Even before the lockdown, I reduced my social contacts and only met my closest friends, and then only outside.
In addition to partying, I mainly miss physical contact. I'm just more of the hug person, and that doesn't work. If you live alone or in a flat share where you can't get it and can't touch anyone for weeks, that's terrible.
Lockdown is always tough, whether it comes in spring or autumn. The numbers have made it necessary, so I'm fully behind them. But one must not ignore the psychological stress, even for young people.
We have been excluded for a long time. A lot also went wrong with the school measures because the pupils were not listened to. And of course you notice that quickly in such a population group, and you don't feel represented in the way you actually want it to be. But it is also logical that we are not the priority.
When this is all over, I want to study abroad, go partying, hug people without really having to worry. Just being relaxed, that's what I'm looking forward to. "
21 years old, nurse
"What I miss most is that I can't just go out. I have a large group of friends, we all like to be together. Now we can no longer meet anywhere together.
I'm just a person who likes to go out - or who likes to go to festivals. As a student you are constantly on the schedule - university, study, exams - and you rarely get out of your bladder. And partying is just a valve to just let off steam.
Of course, we think first of all of the elderly. We all know that we have to protect high-risk patients, we wear masks, we keep our distance - as a nurse, I do. On the other hand, I find it bad what we have to listen to: "The youth just want to drink, they just want to go away", although the people who make such comments often do not know what they would have felt and done in our situation .
During the first severe restrictions, I wrote my bachelor's thesis and therefore had a high level of stress. Meeting my friends usually helps me with this - but that was only possible to a limited extent. Sure, you can see yourself on a screen at any time, but that's not the same.
We especially do not express our problems to the elderly, because then proverbs come as an answer - and the accusation that we do not pay attention to those in need of protection. Of course we do. But we mustn't forget ourselves during this time either.
Most of all, I'm looking forward to the first festival when it's all over. Just celebrate my bachelor's degree, even if the last exam was a while ago. "
25 years, concert organizer in online marketing
"I think the thing I miss most is seeing my family. I haven't visited my grandma since January because it's important to me to keep my distance.
For me, a lot more has changed socially, because my job alone no longer allows me to socialize with people as I usually do. I work for a concert promoter in online marketing, and I miss the concerts and festivals. I got my dream job and can still work, but there is no fulfillment right now because I'm just sitting at home. I used to be away in the evening at least five days a week, professionally of course - not at all now.
I have few people I see regularly, not in lockdown anyway. There are no flat share parties, so there are no opportunities to meet new people. And that's a good thing. I don't want to meet someone I shouldn't have met, then infect them, infect their grandmother and she dies.
I still believe that we have a right to miss celebrations. Of course these are First World Problems, I still have food on the table every day. But these joys in life are not for free, although for me it's not even all about them - our industry has come to a standstill and there are a lot of jobs attached to it.
I do believe that we young people play a subordinate role in this pandemic - and rightly so. We are affected personally, but not health-wise. We shouldn't be the most important part of this debate - but neither should we be forgotten.
Most of all I'm looking forward to the first festival: hanging out with a beer on the campsite and being happy with strangers that we can be here. "
24 years old, law student
"What I miss most is hugging people - or smiling on the streets or the Viennese Grant in the subway. I feel like I'm in a bubble, like being isolated, even from strangers, even if I'm not that person who loves all people. I miss the university. To sit next to someone you don't know in a lecture, to exchange ideas and thereby rediscover new facets.
Over the summer we were often on the Danube Canal, that was no longer possible lately, not in lockdown anyway. And in the bars we weren't so comfortable with the regulations either, although it was the only way to save this industry. And when we have met, then only with the same people so that we can keep the circle as small as possible.
But renunciation is everywhere. I don't see my parents that often, my grandparents even less. These are usually all things that will help you get your life together and reduce stress. Only those are now falling away. And at the same time the stress does not decrease.
Of course there are bigger problems, for example we don't go to war. But still, these are problems that should be taken seriously. After a certain time in lockdown, thinking nothing is simply no longer possible.
After that time, I'll hug my grandma and meet all of my friends. And I'm looking forward to the pressure dropping. No more comments that you now have more time to study. We should do more ECTS because we are at home while everything around us falls apart. "
17 years old, schoolgirl
"I think I'm one of many who misses out and social contact with friends without feeling bad about it. Before the lockdown, it was still the case that I reduced my social environment to the most important people in my life have.
I also give the answer to older people, but the reaction is usually not very understanding. Then it means that I should rather pay attention to the risk patients and see the economic chaos behind them - which we do anyway. We know that it's not primarily about our health and that consideration is important - that's why we don't break the rules. Nevertheless, we have a right to say that we are missing certain things that we used to take for granted and have therefore become important to us.
There is also the reaction that they understand that part of our youth is being lost with it, but that these measures have to be implemented - and we understand that too. The graduation ball has been canceled and we don't know whether we can go on a graduation trip next year. But I don't understand to accuse ourselves of being selfish just because we want to make the most minimal social contacts.
We play a subordinate role because we don't have a major health risk. But precisely because we are restricted to pay attention to other people, we should be asked for our opinion more often and attention should be paid to our well-being.
After all this time, I'll be leaving really smart. Without moral difficulties, without hesitation, it will be great! "(Thorben Pollerhof, November 7th, 2020)
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