The year is coming to end as December is around the corner and carols are playing in cafes. It has been a hectic year with the novel coronavirus outbreak which completely changed the lives of people in the way one works and socializes. This brought a major social dilemma for college students, especially for freshmen who pictured a perfect university dream with fun nights-outs and socializing on campus.
As students mature and begin to get a gist of society, we all dream the “work-and-life” balance where we get the best of both worlds. Youths want to enjoy life and at the same time do well in their work whether it be studies or at an office. However, is this really possible? This has been used as an expression that in reality is nearly unreachable.
The depression rate among Gen Z skyrocketed the past few years. In Korea, young adults gained a bit of hope by trending concepts like “work-and-life balance,” hoping to shape their lives by having fun and earning money at the same time. But in reality, Korea is still one of the leading countries with high suicide and depressions rates. Youth try to sound hopeful, but the truth is that there is barely any positivity due to social pressure.
One could blame the pandemic for disrupting all the plans that they had this year leading up to a failure in their “work-and-life balance.” This connects to ‘corona blues,’ which is the feeling of severe depression due to social distancing and the limitations placed on us amid the pandemic.
Some symptoms of corona blues according to Catherine Powers-James, a psychologist from the University of Texas, includes feelings of sadness, tearfulness, emptiness, negative thoughts, and many more. She mentioned that if you do not feel like yourself and don’t enjoy things as much as before, it could be a sign of corona blues. It was evidently more common for college students.
However, corona blues and the pandemic are just an easy excuse to blame the failures in life. It is commonly said by people today that everyone has a bit of depression in their lives. Depression rates were increasing even before the pandemic but with COVID-19, people found a way to justify the negativity that one had even beforehand. Why is it that in the 21st century, it has become obvious to have depression?
The answer behind the start of depression in society is the social pressure. Young adults are facing society dilemma where society is the one that is stopping them from finding the small bit of happiness and hope in life. One could say that keeping busy by working while studying and socializing is a “waste of time,” and that you will never be able to do everything at once. But this is not true. University students today lack the positivity and hope that you can genuinely balance work and life. It is all because of the image that in order to be “perfect,” one has to give up something else. This has completely crushed the young sprit.
The burden students have on studies make them fear trying new things and appreciate the young life when they can. As a university student myself, I am also trying to find work-and-life balance. However, it is hard because of the perception that as a student, you should only focus on your studies. I believe it is the same for other youngsters. But this should not be stopping us from dipping our toes in new things when we have the opportunity because at the end of the day, whether it is a success or failure, it will always be a meaningful experience.
The pandemic has made drastic changes in our lives and with that, it should also change the mindset of young adults today. We should consider the pandemic a chance for youths to revive the young spirit. If one tries to find the light in their lives, work-and-life balance will no longer be just an expression but an actual framework to try our best to shape our lives this way.