It’s officially been one full week since 2020 began.
Personally, I have a lot of hopes for this coming year.
I’m starting new classes and a new job.
And I turn 20.
As I rang in the new year a week ago, I didn’t know that things would be the way they are now. I don’t really think that anyone’s expecting to read about Iran in an opinion column that’s supposed to be about youth, but indulge me just this once.
It’s relevant, I promise.
Young people are constantly accused of being detached from the real world and plugged into social media instead.
However untrue that statement may be, the connectivity that young people have to the world at large means that we have more connectivity to global issues, and more awareness of their consequences.
This is why things like memes or even just regular posts on social media managed by young people tend to reflect current events.
So when Donald Trump decided it was a good idea to blatantly provoke Iran by assassinating Qassem Soleimani in a drone strike that also killed four other people, young people went online.
Social media’s been flooded with memes and posts discussing and even joking about the possibility of war. Humour is an easy way to deal with fear.
People my age have grown up taking history and social studies in school. We know that war and conflict disproportionately affect young people.
We grew up learning about wars, about the draft, about people who are the same age as us who were thrown into conflict.
And now, people are wondering– is it our turn?
I don’t have an answer to that. I don’t think anyone does. I’m doing a political science degree and even my professors have been mentioning the possibility of war.
As for what would happen to Canada if Iran and the United States went to war, I don’t know. Like I said – no one knows.
It’s that lack of assurance about the future that’s got young people talking about what’s going on. Everyone’s on the edge of their seats.
I’m brought back to a specific memory– a page in one of my social studies textbooks in high school that had a photograph of a newspaper from the 1930s in which a Canadian reporter was wondering whether or not Canada was going to war. It’s really alarming.
I don’t want to have to write about this, and I find myself saying this a lot in my articles lately. But I never thought I would have to write about it, either.
However, since my column is about being young, I feel obligated to write about issues that concern young people.
In the one week that it’s been 2020, all I’ve talked about with other people my age is the possibility of war, and the wildfires that have been ravaging Australia.
It’s been an interesting year so far.
I still have hopes for this year. I’m still excited for my new job, and I’m still excited for my new classes. There are a lot of things I want to do with my friends, and I’m excited for that.
It’s only been 2020 for one week.
I really like to hope that it can only get better from here.
Marlowe Evans is a student at the University of New Brunswick from Maple Ridge who writes about youth issues.