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Gen Z: Digital Realities and Mental Health

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Gen Z: Digital Realities and Mental Health

As Gen Z (Generation Z) grew in a world more interconnected than ever, they were able to connect and learn various new things, which would have been impossible in the previous generations. But this has proved to be a boon and a curse at the same time as due to globalization and being deeply intertwined with each other, it also poses certain risks as this new generation is more prone to cyber-attacks, cyber-bullying which can impose a greater mental strain on them.

People have seemed to call this generation soft or otherwise “Snowflakes”, claiming that they get offended even over the slightest of minor inconveniences. But doing this will not solve any problems instead we must look at this critically and try to find out the root cause of this sensitivity and try to validate their points as things they say are true but are dismissed by the older generation as this “New-gen shenanigans”.  Doing so would not only not solve the problem but can seriously impact their well-being. Older people must try to look at themselves in the mirror and think if what they thought to be true and “the way” can be right or wrong.

This current generation that is now growing up is being termed the “Ipad generation”, claiming that all they do is spend time on this device and are inseparable. These practices are sure to bring some dire repercussions in the future but if we talk about Gen Z, they are the “social media” generation who grew up in the growing phase of social media and are now living in the peak time of it.

There are various social media such as Facebook, Snapchat, YouTube, Reedit, discord, and many more but the most impacting for the current youth is undoubtedly Instagram. Teen boys and girls are especially prone to the ill effects caused by this app as they get a sense of insecurity and garner low self-esteem and in some severe cases lead to depression. For some, their life is revolved around how many of their followers viewed their story and how many liked their posts sometimes when the number of people who have viewed their story doesn’t match the amount of likes that they are getting, they start to feel bad about themselves and look at other people and make their current predicament even worse.

They start to view that their self-worth corresponds to the number of followers that they have and actively spend most of their precious time on Instagram while some spend hours going through reels. But some of them have started to know about this bad practice and got out of it but some left with some serious scars.

When asked to define their current mental health or well-being, only 15% of those polled in Generation Z indicated it was outstanding. According to the study, GenZers have reported negative emotions such as tension, anxiety, and loneliness.

This is a significant decrease from a decade ago when 52% of millennials in the same age range stated their mental health was outstanding, according to the research. Furthermore, in 2004, 55% of persons aged 18 to 26, including both millennials and Gen X respondents, reported having great mental health. There are also indications that technology helps younger individuals with access to supportive mental health resources. Respondents from Generation Z are more inclined than other generations to use digital wellness applications and mental health initiatives.

School shootings (primarily in the United States), student debt, joblessness, and even politics all contribute to Gen Z’s chronic stress.  Technology also has a role. Growing up in a hyper-connected society can elicit deep feelings of isolation and loneliness in certain young people. It can also foster a continual drumbeat of bad news stories, a fear of missing out, and humiliation at falling short of a social media-worthy norm.

When it comes to gender and identity issues, Generation Z is more welcoming and inclusive. Discrimination and a lack of acceptance for gender identity or sexual orientation, on the other hand, might still lead to mental health issues. While still in some parts of the world and even in Nepal, people tend to shy away from this topic saying “Hya… Testo Chatake Kura Nagara”, there have also been some healthy and mature discussions related to this. And there is also some need for talk regarding gender identity and sexual orientation and their differences.

Finally, as Generation Z grapples with the potential and problems of an interconnected world, it becomes clear that their mental health is inextricably related to the digital ecosystem in which they live. With the advent of social media sites, particularly Instagram came with both connection and potential harm. While some negotiate these settings with grace and understanding, others wear the wounds of a never-ending quest for social approval.

By: Nhuja Manandhar (Science, G2)

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Memorable Trip To Japan

Travelling is one of the most effective ways to recharge your energy. Visiting new places makes you realize there is more to the world than what you have seen and experienced, and what you will ever be able to see during your lifespan. Traveling is a pleasurable experience, but sometimes it may not be up to one’s expectations. I believe every person should at least once in their life should have a memorable vacation, be it good or bad, and mine was three years ago, in Japan. During the spring of 2019, along with my parents and I traveled to Beppu, Japan for my sister’s graduation ceremony. It was a two-week trip that had excited me for a long time. Traveling overseas had always been my dream and the ride to Nepal’s international airport was an amazing start. We arrived in Fukuoka, Japan, after eleven cramped and uncomfortable hours in the congested seats of Korean Airlines. This experience was an amazing platform to learn bout the parallels and differences in culture and lifestyle between Nepal and Japan. The variations in airport facilities were easily noticeable. The airport was so huge that one could easily get lost. Moreover, the language barrier became an issue when my mom left her glasses on the airplane’s seats. After the checkout procedures, we met my sister at baggage claim and took a bus to Beppu City, where my sister lives. The roads were smooth as butter surrounded by greenery, and the buildings were so tall that it strained our necks to look at them. For a fortnightly trip, we had a lot of plans to enjoy the trip fully. On the second day, we planned to go to my sister’s university, Ritsumekan Asia Pacific University, and her workplace, Suginoi Hotel. I was blown away by the large classes, but even more so by the sophisticated restrooms. From her college, we had a magnificent perspective of the city, and we took a lot of pictures. We were able to stroll barefoot on the streets because they were so clean. I concluded that Japanese people do not litter to maintain the country’s integrity and cleanliness. On the fifth day, after the graduation ceremony, we had a flight to Tokyo. Beppu was already stunning, so we couldn’t imagine how stunning Tokyo would be. We took an express train ride from the Narita airport to Tokyo city, as the city was far from the airport. On our way to the hotel, we even saw elderly people playing football and exercising in the park. Once we figured out where the hotel was and where the nearest McDonald’s was, we were able to adjust fast. The journey to Tokyo was planned to last a week. Although Japan is said to have a low crime rate, this does not indicate that it does not occur. But I’m happy to report that we felt safe the entire time we were in Japan. I explored many shrines, stores, and restaurants during my two weeks in Japan. I visited several shrines, including Yasukuni Shrine, Asakusa, and others. Walking through the Asakusa Shrine in a Japanese kimono was a unique and unforgettable experience. I can’t leave out the welcoming and friendly locals we’ve encountered. We took most of the public transportation accessible to us. We had to rush to the train station every day, even though it was only a 5-minute walk from our hotel. On the train, there is also a strict social code to follow. Taking a call on the train is considered impolite. However, texting is OK. Giving up your seat for the elderly or a pregnant lady is also courteous, and this applies here as well. Tokyo is one of the busiest cities I’ve ever visited. The busiest place was the Tokyo Crosswalk in Shibuya. At peak times, thousands of pedestrians scramble across what’s believed to be the world’s busiest crosswalk. Its popularity is easily explained. Tokyo was the ideal fashion capital in Japan for someone who loves fashion. The pink cherry blossom trees or Sakura as the Japanese call it, were spectacular to view during our visit. Mt. Fuji, a volcanic mountain, and the gorgeous, vast sea, with ships strewn around, were even more breathtaking. The experience is certainly one of the most satisfying feelings you’ll ever have in your life. Along with the opportunity to spend time in such a vast city, full of adventures around every corner, excitement in everything you do and see, the wonder of the technology you’ll get to play with and experience, and the rich culture you’ll see and learn about. When I said in the beginning, that travelling might sometimes not be as expected, I thought of the time when we missed our flight back from Tokyo. The gate to our flight got closed right in front of my eyes and I was standing helpless because I did not speak Japanese and my sister had not reached the gate. Unfortunately, we had to spend a night at the airport which made me realize that Japanese people work on time. Going on an exploration of a strange city brings together a wide range of emotions. Fear, worry, excitement, and joy are examples of emotions. The sensation is difficult to describe in words. It’s a sensation that must be experienced to comprehend. I used to love Japan because of its anime and video games, but now I’m drawn to its ancient culture and modern civilization. I’m excited to come back when I’m in college. By: Reshika Tandukar (Management, L2)

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Keeping World Safe From Nuclear Weapons

The development and existence of nuclear weapons have been a subject of intense debate throughout history. With the unprecedented destructive power, it is crucial to understand and evaluate the complex issue of nuclear weapons and safety. Nuclear weapons, in general, refers to the destructive equipment that is constructed based on the concept of nuclear reactions.  The origin of nuclear weapons can be traced back to the early 20th century when physicists discovered the immense energy released during a nuclear reaction. The Manhattan Project during World War II led to the destruction of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. It marked a turning point in the history and advancement of nuclear weapons. Nuclear weapons, created with a good motive, have become the means to appease a sense of revenge and violence. Many countries today are seen inappropriately making use of such weapons. Today, even a single nuclear bomb has the power to destroy the whole world and the evil impacts it brings along are even more dangerous. From the loss of lives and property to the spread of innumerable diseases, it affects the natural cycle of the environment. Not only that, it also degrades the layers of the geosphere and stratosphere. Therefore, we all need to be aware of the threats of nuclear weapons and the terror they can unleash globally. Positively, leading countries have signed peace treaties and non-violence-related conventions. They have been practicing disarmament and several forces are working to prohibit the occurrence of any great devastation through nuclear weapons. The International Atomic Energy Awareness (IAEA) has also been making efforts to neutralize the harms that can be brought about by nuclear weapons. Despite these efforts, the terror of nuclear weapons still prevails. We all need to work to protect the world peace and human rights. Experimenting and exploring is fine but don’t let that steal the world’s peace.  By: Atimsha Upreti (Science, F2)

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Making Each Day Count

An average person lives around 27,375 days. That’s all we get if we’re lucky. “Twenty-seven thousand three hundred and seventy-five.” At first, I thought it didn’t seem like a lot of time, but how many days do we remember anyway? Most days pass unnoticed, unremarkable, and unmarked. A day passes in a blur. So many of mine did. They were lost in wandering in schools, procrastinating, and maintaining schedules. It felt like my life was becoming a series of forgotten days. Everything was saved for later. Living my life spontaneously? Later. Traveling? Later. And studying? Later.  So, I asked myself “Why do I save everything for later?” It was because I had no confidence at all. I was very afraid and always thought of what might go wrong and what people would think about me—and being vulnerable? Being vulnerable is very scary. For most of my life, I have always been a people pleaser so I often think about the different characters I play in everyone’s story. I am a hero in some. A bad guy to others. But I realized that none of it has to do with the person I am. The lens that others view you through is colored by their upbringing beliefs, and individual experiences. Some people see your bright personality as endearing and others see it as annoying. Some might think you’re weak and emotional while others might feel safe being around you. Some people will think you’re rude and selfish and others might respect the way you stand up for yourself and again, none of it truly has anything to do with who you are. In those twenty-seven thousand days that you get if you’re lucky, you have endless dreams to follow, thousands of places to visit, meet tons of people, make a lot of memories, and most importantly chase your passion. So, if you’re not confident about taking action now, what I’d suggest is to pretend. You can pretend to be outgoing, pretend to be a leader, pretend to be disciplined, pretend to be obsessed if that’s what you’ve always wanted. Do not be worried about not knowing who you are because that’s exactly who you are. A person; trying new things, exploring, creating, evolving, and figuring it out. And this is your first time living a life, so don’t be afraid to make mistakes. Remember, there’s no guide to life; everything you do is a choice, not a rule.  I’ve stopped trying to control the way others view me because I simply can’t. I’m fine with being misunderstood because it is a part of my nature. I let them be wrong about me because they can only understand me as deeply as they understand themselves. I have no authority over how other people view me so I might as well just go on with living my most authentic and joyful life making each. day. count. So, if you’re not happy now then change. shift gears, and take a chance because later is not guaranteed. life is not meant to be lived later so always look for a moment. A moment to create, explore, try, learn, and have fun. Try to collect a moment every day because in finding those moments, days will never blur. In those moments, you’ll surely find yourself.     By: Anushka Subedi (Management, B2)

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The Imperative Of Climate Action: Human Impact And Responsibility

Climate refers to the average atmospheric conditions of a place over a long period. There are different types of climatic conditions all over the world. Some places are hot, some are cold, and others have a moderate climate. While climate change is essential for our ecosystem, continuous and drastic changes can harm it. In today’s generation, climate change is occurring drastically due to human activity. According to scientific research, climate change began in the late 19th century due to human causes. Activities such as smoke emissions from industries and factories, improper waste disposal on land and water, soil deforestation, and rapid depletion of natural resources for quick production of goods have contributed to climate change. The main gases responsible for climate change are CO₂ and CH₄ (methane), emitted from factories and industries. Due to climate change, our planet and its inhabitants have suffered harm. Gases like CH₄, CO₂, and SO₂ have been damaging the ozone layer in Earth’s atmosphere, allowing harmful radiation from the sun to enter the Earth’s surface. This has led to a drastic increase in temperature, causing glacier lake eruptions and rising sea levels due to ice melting from UV rays exposure. Climate change has also exacerbated poverty, hunger, and environmental pollution. Scientific research predicts that between 2030 and 2050, approximately 280,000 people will die due to the effects of climate change. To prevent the further spread of diseases caused by climate change, urgent action is necessary. We must strive to mitigate climate change by reducing harmful gas emissions and promoting afforestation. It’s crucial to raise awareness among the public about the causes and consequences of climate change through organized efforts. Both the government and citizens must play a vital role in addressing this issue to prevent innocent lives from suffering and death. Not only humans, but innocent animals are also dying due to climate change. Acid rain, floods, landslides, skin burns, and drastic temperature increases have harmed humans and animals. Many wildlife species have become extinct due to melting ice, greatly impacting the environment and sea levels. In conclusion, we must do everything we can to combat climate change. Though it’s a slow process, it’s not impossible; thus, we must give it our best effort. By: Aniska Shrestha (Science, C1)

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