After dominating last weekend’s Grammy’s, Adele’s time in the spotlight has never been brighter. Her honesty and willingness to accept the realities of life make her an artist who clearly separates herself from the pack. In a way she represents the shift that young people’s mentalities have had thanks in part to the economic climate.
When I first entered Keene State College in the fall of 2008, the mood of young people was overwhelmingly optimistic. The campaign of Barack Obama was serving to help energize young people and encourage us to think of a better world, one very different from the world we lived in. The songs on the radio, such as MGMT’s “Time To Pretend” and M.I.A.’s “Paper Planes,” spoke of the drive to experience life and live without care. We had a feeling that we had turned a corner and were about to enter a new future. The change was palatable. The feelings of endless possibilities and boundless potential were quintessential. Unfortunately, they would prove to be fleeting.
As my career here at KSC continued, the harsh realities of our current economic political climate began to set in. We soon realized that the things we so desperately wanted in the fall of ’08 were still very much out of reach and that very little, if anything, had changed at all. Despite this, feelings of wanting something new and different were still prevalent and dominated the cultural landscape; however, these feelings no longer were backed by boundless optimism but by cautious pessimism.
The struggles of the past three years have shaped all of our young lives and may very well end up being the thing that defines our young generation. However, having been dealt this harsh taste of reality, we may very well be more equipped to take on the challenges of the future head on. This may be the training that is needed, and that those in Generation X lacked. If we do not face adversity and failure, how will we learn how to thrive?
Although this harsh taste of reality may end up being a good thing, our thirst for authenticity still remains. We still desperately seek something real, something honest, the same wants and qualities that led us to be so enthused by President Obama four years ago and have left us so disheartened today. This is what makes us cheer for teams like Butler, athletes like Jeremy Lin, or artists like Adele, because they represent authenticity and pure talent, something money just can’t buy. This is why the brutal honesty and raw talent of Adele is a great example of the state in which young people in America are feeling today and what we still hope to achieve.
Jordan Posner can be contacted at email@example.com