Their youthful exuberance is missing

Cost of living pressures and trying to balance work and study are taking a huge toll on young people, a new study has found.

The Monash Centre for Youth Policy and Education Practice (CYPEP) has found that 45 per cent of Australians aged 18-24 often feel like they are ‘missing out on being young’. The challenges young people face involve four main areas: finances, work, education, and long-term planning.


Those who felt they were missing out on being young included:

  • 69 per cent who often worried about having enough to eat;
  • 60 per cent who often experienced financial difficulties;
  • 51 per cent who were unemployed;
  • 50 per cent who were unlikely to stay in their current accommodation; and
  • 55 per cent who felt that it was unlikely they would have children in the future.

One of the report’s co-authors, Andrew Leap, said, “This report has captured the constantly changing and challenging dynamics young people must endure to survive, thrive and experience ‘being young’.


“It exemplifies their resilience and optimism despite the lack of institutional support. But most importantly, it guides decision-makers to move forward and support future generations to prosper from the perspective of young people.”


The young people surveyed also said there was insufficient or barely enough government support in the following areas: mental health services, education, and employment. These also contributed to their feelings of missing out on being young.


Director of the Monash Centre for Youth Policy and Education Practice, Professor Lucas Walsh said the report highlights how young people must be at the centre of this discussion about how they can be better supported.


“Young people, locked up during the pandemic, navigating a hostile employment environment and upended studies, have told us they have missed out on being young. They’ve been denied key life-experiences during a critical period of development in their lives,” Professor Walsh said.


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Source News & events – Monash University


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