The Apathy of Youth

As we know, I work at a Students’ Union, and it’s my decision to regret, so I blame no-one.

This week, unions around the country have been holding their leadership elections. We are no different, and part of being a staff member at an SU is always going to be encouraging moody students to take the power into their hands and vote for someone to represent them for 12 months.

So you can imagine how frustrating it is to as “Have you decided who you’ll vote for?” only to be met with “No, I’m ok thanks”.

"What's that? No no, no representation for me. No thanks. I'm ok. I'll just keep whinging about my course costs, and my living conditions, and my tutors, but I'll not do anything so radical as have a say who represents me when those matters are actually discussed"

I think my issue is clear. It’s symptomatic of my generation to have problems and care more about the catharsis of complaining than actually fixing anything. A mindset which was firmly embedded following the apocalyptic swing to the Conservatives during the General Election earlier this year. As one, the leftie youths stroked their manicured beards and said “stuff it, there’s no point trying. Better just whinge about everything via the medium of BBC3.”

This mentality of inaction annoys me, because the beauty of an SU is that it’s a microcosm of political reality, and change is being made every day. It might not be trashing-9K-fees level change, but it’s taking small steps to make actual members of the student community happy, and it’s getting done because people get out of their seats and do something.

Mahatma Gandhi may or may not have said “be the change you wish to see in the world” (I am never convinced that quotes are really real) and that is the message. We can’t all just fall back into our sofas in pathetic heaps of millennialdom – we probably won’t make it out of this century if we do.

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