I’ve never been one for the colder seasons. I’m definitely more of a summer person.

Summer, to me, screams ‘endless opportunities’, ‘endless days’ and ‘endless hope’. Truth be told, I often struggle to find any hope in autumn and in winter. The days seem to end only as they’ve just begun, and I, for one, muddle through November and half of December because of the thought that the Christmas holidays are on their way.

Hope seems to be lacking in most places at the moment, not least because COVID is still all around us. It’s strange, however, how September has seen a marked change in tone. From the fuel crisis—which may have been caused by Brexit’s lagging outcomes—to the ever-increasing COVID cases that never seem quite to die off, hope is certainly not the first word that comes to mind for this month, let alone the last year and a half.

It’s easy to see the stories such as the fuel crisis and feel despondent as to what Brexit has in store for us. It’s definitely easy—and, in many ways, very valid—for young people to feel angry, scared, and concerned about their future, a future that now seems a bit cloudier and more isolated than it once was. Personally, I know that all of this has definitely fuelled my anxiety into a higher gear than usual. 

However, I maintain that we must remain hopeful, even when it seems to be the most difficult thing to do. 

Yes, the news seems scary at the moment. No, we don’t have much of a clue as to what the future may hold. But there are so many things that make me hopeful that doom is not necessarily on the horizon. 

The existence of groups like EuroPeers gives me hope that international interconnectivity will not just disappear in a cloud of smoke, leaving us to wonder what it is that we’re supposed to do now. The fact that so many young people still see value in Europe, in being a part of a group like EuroPeers, shows that this generation is fully equipped to deal with whatever it is that may come their way. There is a connection still all across Europe. That is hope.

Furthermore, something as silly as just going on TikTok fills me with hope and laughter. Yes, at 22 years of age, I’m probably too old for TikTok. I accept that! But just going onto TikTok and seeing how young people deal with stressors like the weird historical moments we find ourselves going through right now (Brexit and COVID, to name just two) is proof that not all is lost. Without trying to sociologically dissect TikTok, I believe that this app will bring this generation together and prove that there are even more of us who think as we do. That is also hope.

Of course, it’s very understandable to feel lost, agitated and confused about everything that’s going on in the news right now. But reminding yourself that there is still much hope in this world, even as little as it may be, is a good place to start.

By Caitlin