YLOTUTH FEE HE PINCH
CONOR BRACKEN LOOKS AT HOW THE RECESSION IS AFFECTING STUDENTS
THE RECESSION has hit Ireland hard, with people nationwide losing their jobs and in some cases their homes. But has anyone stopped to ask how it's affecting the country's youth?
One of the most noticeable things going is money. Lots of young people would receive a weekly allowance or pocket money of some sort. But with the recession a lot of pocket money has been severely lowered, or in some cases cut completely.
Now, I know adults may say that we don't need a lot of money. But if we help out around the house or do certain chores, are we not entitled to it? Also, young people need a certain amount of money so they can go out with friends to social occasions such as the cinema or bowling.
If one couldn't go out with all their friends, it could have a social impact on them and they could feel left out, and depending on their friends they could be mocked or teased. These things could also lead to emotional issues.
With jobs so scarce in the country, many people leaving school after the Leaving Cert are going to study in third level education. With the amount of people applying for courses increasing so much over the past few years, entry points for courses have also increased.
This leaves students in senior cycle of school especially worried, because they might have to score very high points on the Leaving Cert to ensure they get the course they want.
Also students who are interested in certain areas might have to reconsider their options, should they want to stay in Ireland, with the recent drop in the property trade.
Another problem with going to college during a recession is that renting a house or apartment would be very expensive. To rent out property in places such as Dublin, Cork or Galway is quiet expensive, and would probably require a part-time job to pay for it, but even those part-time jobs are hard to find these days.
Another issue that faces the young people of Ireland is the possibility of having to move abroad. Some people may be forced to leave the country with their families in search of work, in countries such as Australia or Canada.
Some people may have to emigrate once they have finished school or university in search of work. The disadvantage of this would be having to leave your home and all of your friends. If you were going to go somewhere in continental Europe, like France or Germany, you may have to learn a new language.
Also if you were to study abroad it would cost much more money to study somewhere like Canada, since you are not a native to that country. But then again, moving abroad could be a life changing, brilliant experience that would stay with you forever.
Another big difficulty with the recession among Irish teens is that work experience and internships are so hard to find. One of the big reasons for this is that businesses are already under a lot of pressure, and even though it doesn't cost anything to take on interns, you still would have to give up time and resources to take them on.
As part of the Transition Year programme, we are required to take on at least one week of work experience. I personally found it difficult to find work, mostly because businesses had little or no time to take on an intern.
Thankfully though I found work experience in the end. With more and more students wanting placements and less and less businesses taking people on, it will be very competitive to get work.
Schools are also getting affected by the country's economic climate, which has a knock-on effect on the young Irish people. Many schools are overcrowded with student numbers rising every year, and schools are finding it hard to get grants to build any extensions that they may need to cope with the intensifying numbers of students.
Students who find themselves studying subjects which require many materials, such as art or woodwork, may find themselves paying extra for the equipment needed due to a lack of government grants.
Life as an Irish teenager growing up in times of economic uncertainty is daunting. Being unsure about what the future will bring is scary.
But at the end of the day, you just have to enjoy your time in school and try not to worry too much about the economy or jobs, because you'll have to face it all as an adult eventually.