“Instead of calling this COVID generation a ‘lost generation,’ the term ‘welcome generation’ is more suitable. Because instead of fearing change, this generation says welcome and keeps walking forward.”Kim Seok Jin, BTS Member
The 76th UN General Assembly’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) session last September 20 in New York gave us a new term to remember. The world’s current most famous boyband, BTS, from South Korea graced the event with South Korean President Moon Jae In. The 7-member boy group delivered a powerful message of hope amidst the pandemic.
BTS leader RM said, “People in their teens and twenties today are being referred to as ‘COVID’s lost generation.’ That they’ve lost their way at a time when they need the most diverse opportunities and must try new things. But I think it’s a stretch to say they’re lost just because the paths they tread can’t be seen by grown-up eyes.”
RM’s statement was followed by member Kim Seok Jin’s sentiments about the “welcome generation.” The “welcome generation” coined by BTS member, Kim Seok Jin, became viral moments after his speech… and this term struck me too.
The Welcome Generation Never Surrenders
The message gave new hope to this generation. That, despite all the problems and hardships this pandemic brought for the past year, this generation has the positive mindset to overcome the challenges thrown their way. Though a lot of people lost jobs due to the pandemic, this welcome generation has the capacity to overturn the downfall to their advantage through creative means.
Millennials were born intrinsically motivated. The drive that millennials have, especially those born in the 90s, allows them to push through hardships. With the rise of technology during their age, millennials are able to make use of this advantage during the pandemic. Thus, bringing new and positive ways to offset the pandemic’s restrictions and lockdowns. Thanks to this technology, people can still talk and meet despite the distance.
While the Millennials grew up during an economic boom, Gen Z had to face a recession. This lead Gen Zers to grew up more pragmatic and realistic in various life situations. Additionally, Gen Z can easily adapt to changes, which also allows them to enjoy a flexible economy. This flexible economy provides Gen Z the freedom they crave while working for their passion.
How can the Welcome Generation Survive the Pandemic?
Since there is no clear sign as to when this pandemic will end, people of all ages need to be prepared for anything that may happen. Whether it becomes better or worse, readiness is a mighty sword we can wield anytime.
With several stocks crashing such as those in the travel and tourism industry, the Welcome Generation should take advantage of this and be wise in their investments. Since not all people have the knack for the stock market, other investments like properties and innovative businesses can be considered as viable options too.
Some who want stability over employment should apply for jobs that have a work-from-home setup. Unfortunately, this setup can also lead to burnout and feelings of seclusion. However, given the current status and restrictions of the pandemic, we should adapt to this normal for now. We can still meet a lot of people through online jobs. I, for one, have been a freelancer for several years now and I talked to several people in a day, albeit, virtually. Nonetheless, I am enjoying my job as a writer.
Mental health should also be a factor for the Welcome Generation to survive this whole endeavor. Mental health is so crucial that it should be one of the top priorities. Due to the isolation and limited contact, many have suffered from depression, while some turn to vices. Whether you or a friend of yours is feeling this, make sure to have someone to talk it over with. A strong support system is needed at this time.
Additionally, I believe that it all boils down to adaptability. To survive a situation, no matter what it is, one needs to be adaptable and resilient to change. As Seok Jin said, we must not fear change. Instead, we need to welcome it so that we can have the strength and the proper mindset to walk forward. This simple message from the BTS member has been a source of my personal strength… and I hope it does for everyone too. Changes are bound to happen. So rather than resisting it, might as well greet it.
Prepare for the Future
Even if we survive this pandemic unscathed or with scars, let’s not slack off! After all, walking forward requires movement. Yes, we can rest when we’re tired and weary. But, let’s not stop at one point alone. Let’s think of what the future holds and the possible what-ifs we might face. Let’s not forget that the world experienced several virus outbreaks during the 20th and 21st centuries. The 1918-1919 Spanish flu, for example, claimed 50 million lives. Current COVID deaths as of this writing are around 4.7 million and counting.
Thus, ensuring that your future is well taken care of gives you peace of mind at an early age. There are many questions we need to ask ourselves, some of which are:
- How do I imagine my future?
- Should I invest in long-term care insurance?
- Where do I see myself 20-40 years from now?
These questions may be simple, but these can make a huge impact on how our future will turn out to be. However, let’s also not forget to enjoy our present too. Though we are currently living in a state of a pandemic, we still have to enjoy every day and treat it as a blessing.
We honestly do not know what the future will bring until it slaps something on our faces. That is why we should be vigilant enough to secure our future. From making feasible plans to taking actionable steps in achieving a goal, we all need to walk hand-in-hand regardless of race, age, and gender. We must always remember that all of us are made equal regardless of social status, physical attributes, and everything in between.
For this world’s Welcome Generation, be brave. Lead the way. Do not lose your dreams. All of you can shine even during the world’s darkest time!