What's it like being a 20 or 21-year-old in Hong Kong now
Most 20 to 21-year-old Hongkongers are either taking a gap year from university because of the pandemic or currently taking internships, while those who have graduated into the coronavirus era have been struggling to find steady employment. Many have moved back home with their parents, and some are taking this time to pursue their passion and hone their skills.
John Maguigad, 21, amateur theatre actor: "The current climate puts a lot of pressure on us to maintain or find a job or to finish school. A lot of the people I know have no time for themselves because they're overwhelmed with work. The pandemic had put life on pause and gave us a little breathing space to rethink, but we still face the challenge of dealing with change and uncertainty.”
Brian Pin, 21, photography student: “I am taking a gap year right now because of the pandemic. If my life is in a normal situation, my life would be: attending school every day and maybe having a part-time job. Being stuck in Hong Kong is so stressful for me.”
Carlotta Traverso, 20, fashion student: "In Hong Kong, we didn't really have to deal with any lockdowns and strict restrictions. Venues were still relatively open as opposed to when I was in London where I felt like I was just stuck in my flat. I came back to the city in March 2020, and it was such a relief to be here. I was still able to enjoy myself during summer and even went out at night when the clubs reopened. We could dine out and even head to the beach."
Harmony Yuen, 21, student, editor of Ourself Zine: “I recently graduated and I’m going to grad school this September. But apart from my studies, I also run an independent magazine called Ourself Zine, a publication for and by the queer community in Hong Kong. We started this project to create a more optimistic representation of the LGBTQ+ community in the city and share the stories of LGBTQ+ youth, shedding light on our relationships and everyday experiences. For some of my peers, they are taking masters. Some are continuing with their internship from their undergrad years. But, from what I know, almost none of them are got a full-time job.”