Amidst all the distressing news, it's been heartbreaking to read about a young actor having taken her life, due to worries about her career.

Along with the health, economic & humanitarian crises, we must talk more about the mental health crisis this pandemic is causing.

Even pre-pandemic, Gen Z young Indians have struggled with mental health, especially due to career-related stress & anxiety.

It's because as a society, we have put tremendous pressure on our youth to succeed, while never having any conversation about what happens when you don't.
From an early age, the focus is always on achievement, never on the task itself. You either succeed, or you try again until you do.

If you are a 'topper', your face is plastered on hoardings and appears in newspapers, and if you are not, you are compared with all those who are.
There is nothing worse than not succeeding, and so, we've even romanticised the struggle to 'make it', even if it takes years and drains you mentally.

Everyone is told to chase their dreams and goals, but there's literally no support system in place if you don't achieve them..
The word 'failure' has the most negative connotation, to the extent that even the fear of a failed career in the future leads to the tragic loss of young lives every day.

Not everyone can achieve their dreams, and that's okay! As long as there is life, there will be more dreams.
Every one fails at something. Most of us fail at everything before succeeding at something, & even that success is contextual. Because the goalpost to success keeps shifting.

We need to be okay with failing. There's much to learn from it, especially the perspective it gifts us.
If you are a young person who has lost a job or are anxious about your career, please know that you are not alone in what you are facing or feeling.

This is a terrible time, and *no one* will hold it against you for not 'achieving' something. So don't hold it against yourself!
There's a lot of time ahead of you, and a whole life to go after your dreams, and face both tremendous highs and lows, in things expected and unexpected. Even if it takes longer, you will find joy, love, happiness, contentment, & a lot of it may have nothing to do with 'success'.
Take it all one step at a time. You *will* be okay.

In the meantime, if you are sad or lonely or anxious, or feel you are without purpose, talk to someone. Reach out to your family, friends, or a counsellor/therapist. There is no shame in asking for help. Don't fight it alone.
And if you are a parent reading this, please reach out to your child and tell them that you won't judge them for not getting the perfect job, designation, degree or role, in this pandemic, & otherwise. The young need to know that their lives are worth far more than their careers.
Please stay safe, everyone <3
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