The unBothered Youth

By Nicole Kundai Duma

What if we stopped being unbothered? What if we took a stand? What if expressing our true feelings and thoughts was actually COOL.

Nothing is more frustrating than being part of a generation that’s content with where it is…even if it’s in the pits. We – and by we I mean the youth – have been told that we are cursed with failure to succeed in the education system, a lack of employment opportunities, substance abuse, endless partying and sex, family problems and various childhood traumas – among others. We’ve been told that this is our generation’s portion and so now instead of fighting back, we just adapt to what’s been deemed ours.

We grew up being told we were the leaders of tomorrow. I know, that was some great motivation right? Yes. Unfortunately, what we haven’t realized is that tomorrow is now. We’re grown. We’re adults now. We need to start making real life decisions that will define our actual futures and fates. So why are we playing?

Majority of the youth thinks being ’grown’ means being able to make independent decisions – this is usually in line with having fun – the easy stuff. We look and act unbothered because that’s what’s in style. We hear about all these negative connotations linked to our generation but choose to do nothing. Day in and day out we make decisions based on temporary feels despite the consequences because we’d like to believe that we are resilient. YOLO after all. However, we actually are undeniably bothered. We just choose to get in touch with that side of life on the down low, in private, in our minds, during conversations with close buddies – the safe spaces.

For some reason we’ve decided to postpone the future under the illusion that we are giving ourselves more time. This is really just a result of us not wanting to take responsibility of what’s expected of us as we grow older. We’re writing down plans of action for next month and when that time comes and we delay by a day or hours, we give excuses and move the plan to the next month…and so on. Procrastination is having a whole field-day with us.

But to what end?

The current lifespan is pretty low. Zimbabwe for example as of 2022 has a life expectancy of 61,89 years. Clearly not all of us will get to 90. Well, based on conversations I’ve had with people my age – not all of us even want to. So why are we playing? Is the plan to die young without having realized our full potential and purpose?

Delaying life decisions and choices means we are going to have to deal with them all at once. Imagine furthering your studies later on in life – while trying to meet the love of your life in order to settle down and start a family – while chasing the fertility clock – while juggling your career, which by the way, will be at its peak – while taking care of your ageing parents and their deteriorating health – while facing mid-life crisis – with the life expectancy statistics teasing you like the Grim Reaper. There is no way our mental health is guaranteed in such a situation.

School was easier. You had to follow certain rules and schedules in order to make it work. If your grades were at a certain level, you were good. Adulting however, has no formula. You just have this thing called time and a whole bunch of things you need to do. The world has too many requirements. Too many mixed signals. We need to find a way to combine originality and creativity with communication and reasoning even more compared to our parents. Most importantly – we need to start now. There is no escape and sadly, no one is coming to save you. Only you can save you buddy.

No matter how long you have travelled in the wrong direction, you always have the option to turn around. 

~A very wise someone.

Social Media will fill your mind with all sorts of ideas. Initially it was meant to connect friends and family and create relationships. Now, it fosters peer pressure. It – on the negative side – promotes the idea that life is a popularity contest.

According to social media money solves all problems, morals are old school, risking your life is living because you’re an adrenaline junky, every weekend needs drugs and alcohol, dating is in demise and hooking up is the new relational medium. Is this really what you want? Is it helping to make your future easier? Are you even going to get to 60…or are we going to be writing your eulogy real soon? I’m here to drop the manners and tell you that you are wasting your life if you’ve been living for the views and temporary feels.

To achieve great things, two things are needed: a plan, and not quite enough time. ~Leonard Bernstein

I know it looks like we’ve got time. Darn it, even I believed that. But truth is, we don’t. We cannot relive these years. The energy you have now…you won’t have in the next ten or even five years. Let’s make the most of what we have. Let’s put our future into perspective. The best way to do this is to ask yourself – who am I when no one’s in the room? Without the views and judgement – what is it that you want for yourself. Be bothered about it and by it.

We the active. We the creative. We the workforce. We the very educated. We the passionate. We the spiritual. We the woke. We the leaders of today. We the youth.

What if WE were bothered?


15 February, 2023