It has been six months since I took charge of my independence again and got my first flat after university.
And since then I have been reading plenty of articles (mostly London centric) about how young people today are stuck at home with mum and dad or struggling to afford to buy a property.
Frankly all I hear is people whining about how their affluent lifestyle in the south isn’t granting them the same access to opportunities as it used to.
I truly believe that the hype around the “rent generation” is starting to escalate into not necessarily being about social mobility and the ability to afford a property but more about the social class divide which is still looming large over North and South.
As someone who was born in the south this is a hard conversation for me to have because I have been fortunate to have food on the table, a roof over my head and a good education.
But as someone born in the South this didn’t mean I was brought up my entire life with a wealthy family who lived in London (note – my grandparents, from my stepdads side, lived in the south of London until I was 10, but it certainly wasn’t a grand home), a summer home in the country and being part of an affluent neighbourhood.
My mum and stepdad struggled when I was younger. They had to work incredibly hard to provide me with the opportunities I have been lucky enough to have in life.
I have never taken anything for granted because of the inspiration that their dedication gave me.
Sometimes I stop for a moment and reflect back on how lucky I was.
I didn’t go to private school but I went to a decent comprehensive (And by the way comprehensives are the only way to go to give your child a rounded upbringing, just my two cents)
When we had moved up to Lincolnshire when I was eight years old, I started to be able to enjoy outings with my parents and experiences with friends that we couldn’t afford when we lived down in Brighton.
And this is why it bugs me that the rent generation actually just seems like the entitled generation who expect their first job in London to pay enough for them to afford a house of their own (which hasn’t been true for sometime now because of wealthy individuals inflating the property market)
We need to challenge ourselves to be more sustainable in how we live our life.
The first job you get doesn’t have to be where everyone else works (i.e London).
We have some incredible opportunities on our front doorstep in the local communities we are already a part of and the jobs we can get in our hometowns are not to be shunned.
The future of British society depends on us not creating a larger social divide and instead uniting to foster communities across the entire country where the barriers to entry are low and prosperity is high.
The more we focus on demanding more from government in way of housing subsidies in the south, the more time we waste not being able to revive the economy in the North.
It is a sad state of affairs. We shouldn’t be so focused on living the high life in the south of England.
But for many young people, this is the only way they see themselves being deemed successful.