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Opinion: What are Squamish youth worried about?

'There is a lot to worry about ­­— affordability, climate change, finding the right career — and this can be a lot for us youth to have on our minds.'
Grant Boguski.

The future can look challenging and difficult for youth. There is a lot to worry about ­­— affordability, climate change, finding the right career — and this can be a lot for us youth to have on our minds.

Affordability alone is among the biggest of worries. How are we going to be able to live here, close to our family and friends, if the cost of living in Squamish is so high? How are we going to be able to make enough money? If it’s not affordable now, how will it be affordable in the future?

Money will always be an issue for some people living in Squamish, but youth fresh out of university with student loans will struggle to pay off their expenses.

What jobs will be available to us in Squamish? With the career that I am planning on pursuing, I will have to look elsewhere for somewhere to settle down. Will I be able to do what I love, while facing competition?

Another challenge that youth face is paying for university in the first place. Some youth don’t have the luxury of having savings accounts with money from their parents to pay their tuition. Some youth also want to have control over their own decisions and expenses without the need for help.

The transition of going to university itself is stressful enough.

Going to university and moving out is like jumping off a dock and into the ocean. The dock, familiar and safe; the ocean, unpredictable and scary. Once you leave that dock, you’re all by yourself and it’s up to you to keep yourself afloat.

Staying afloat in this day and age is a lot more than just keeping yourself above water.

We also have the health of the environment to worry about. We have a lot to do to secure a good future for the environment — it’s now or never. These next decades will have a huge impact on the future of this land, and we need to make a positive impact. That puts a lot of pressure on youth to conserve water, recycle and create eco-friendly solutions for our future businesses. We have no choice but to think about the environment in every decision we make.

We also need to worry about balancing work with life. Relationships are important to maintain, and if you’re working 24/7, they could be your second priority. We need to be there for our parents and older members of our family as well, and provide the support they need – support that they gave us when we were young.

Although we have all these things to worry about, we should still focus on the present and worry less about what might and what could be. We should be focusing on what we are able to do now to prepare ourselves for these significant milestones in our life that are rapidly approaching us.

Grant Boguski is a Squamish teen and member of the Squamish Youth Council.

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