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"Sacrificed generation": how the Covid has turned the lives of young people upside down


They are a student, a farmer, a comedian ... and the Covid has turned their lives upside down, sometimes destroying their projects and their expectations. Louise,

A student, Léa has to take all her courses at a distance from her small Bordeaux apartment.

Clémence is moving heaven and earth to try to find a job, a few months after graduating.

Maxime, a farmer, suffers from isolation and a certain loss of income.

Bakary, who had landed a permanent contract in the hotel and catering industry in 2019, suffered partial unemployment and was barely earning a living.

While more than 150 personalities launch an appeal in Le Parisien to call for action for young people, eight men and women, aged 19 to 30, confide in their daily lives, made very complicated by the Covid and its social consequences and economic.

"I am on stand-by"

Louise, 24, self-employed

Louise Naudinat may struggle, multiply the phone calls and spontaneous applications, nothing happens.

In her apartment at Porte de Bagnolet (Parix XXth), the young woman of 24, unemployed, spends her time wondering "about her projects and her future".

"It's difficult to project yourself with the Covid, so I can't move forward ...", she breathes.

Arrived in Paris at the start of the 2019 school year, after a diploma in fashion design and model making obtained in Bordeaux (Gironde), she hoped to see the opportunities "multiply" in the capital.

First a salesperson for six months in a thrift store, she decided to quit her job to devote herself to "her" project: that of creating her eco-responsible brand.

She then created her self-employed status in February 2020.


No to a sacrificed generation: more than 150 personalities call to mobilize for youth

“The idea was to offer my services as a freelance, to start making contacts and developing my personal project alongside.

I had a nose, a month later there was confinement!

she quips, annoyed.

The worst thing is that the state aid to autoentrepreneurs depended on the turnover achieved in 2019. But since I did not have any, I was not entitled to anything ... "

She manages to land a six-month mission at Leherpeur Paris, a fashion consulting firm, which she carries out in deconfinement.

Nothing since.

Job offers are becoming scarce and his brand creation project remains on hold.

“I'm on stand-by ... Getting started is already complicated in normal times.

But then, with the Covid, the risk is double, even triple!


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Unemployed, Louise survives thanks to the financial support of her family.

Faced with the lack of perspective, she decided to lower her requirements.

“I didn't want to be a salesperson anymore, but if I don't have a choice… I just want stability.

I have the impression that there is a lot of talk about us young people, but that the help is not coming.


"My best friend is the screen of my computer!"

Léa, 19, law student

Léa is in her first year of law / DR  

She always sees herself as a lawyer or notary.

But for Léa, 19, in first year of law, the studies she dreamed of are far from reality.

“It's very very complicated, blows the young woman, who grew up in Paris until her baccalaureate last year.

I chose to come and study in Bordeaux to gain independence, to meet new people.

I imagined myself working but also partying.

In the end, I saw the opposite.


Instead of evenings with friends or group review sessions, the daily life of the young student is today only punctuated by immense loneliness.

"The lessons are exclusively online and my best friend, day and night, is the screen of my computer," she says with a nervous little laugh.

It's hard to live with but I admit that I am lucky compared to others.

I rent a small apartment with a balcony that allows me to get some fresh air, and my boyfriend, who stayed in Paris, sometimes comes to see me.


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There remains an anxiety which she cannot get rid of.

“At the moment, things are not going too badly, but I sometimes hit rock bottom, have a lump in my stomach with real fits that hurt me a lot because I somatize quickly.

The most painful thing is not knowing when all this will stop and when we can resume a normal life.


This Friday fall the results of the first partial of his promotion.

“They arrive very late and I wait for them with a lot of anxiety.

If I missed them, it will be hard to take.

"After a" weird "baccalaureate, without tests, Lea does not want studies, even successful, but without flavor.

"It cut me off in my tracks!"

Tahnee, 30, humorist

Tahnee had planned to quit her job in April 2020 to devote herself to theater. / DR  

Tahnee was just 30 years old when the ax fell in March 2020: theaters close.

Among them, the Comédie des 3 Bornes, a small 45-seat theater in the 11th arrondissement of Paris, where the young comedian plays her first show, "Tahnee, The Other ... Finally!"

", since a few months.

The public is there, the press is starting to talk about her.

2020 was his year.

"It cut me off in my tracks!"

I was starting to reach a different, more unfamiliar audience, to feel comfortable on stage.

Really, I felt I was improving.

I had planned to quit my job in April to devote myself to the theater.

I had to backpedal, tell my boss oh well no, in the end, I'm staying because we risk not playing for a long time.



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Spotted at Shirley Souagnon's Barbès Comedy Club, the young woman, who grew up in Normandy, is invited to participate in Kyan Khojandi's “Sixty 2” program, broadcast last November.

A one-minute lozenge of humor, mini breathing.

Still part-time on environmental education projects, the young woman is currently participating in the Printemps du rire, in Toulouse, which has decided to maintain a streaming program.

“It's frustrating because I worked a lot on this show, I put a lot of effort into being able to make a living from it.

I was thinking of going to Avignon, to break in my show elsewhere than in Paris.

We have to redo all this work but, there, I do not succeed.

I had prepared this jump.

If I don't do it now, I feel like I never will… ”

"Hope to meet again in May"

Maxime, 28, farmer

Maxime, 28, single and childless, suffers from isolation. / DR  

Maxime Buizard is a 28-year-old farmer, engaged as a trade unionist and locally elected in Pithiviers (Loiret).

He suffers from isolation despite his multiple activities.

To be a farmer without giving up his social life, such is the ambition of Maxime Buizard.

A wish widely shared by the new generations of producers, and which guided all the choices of this law graduate who took over the family cereal farm in Egry (Loiret).

“I saw my father sacrifice all his free time, because he was employed next to agricultural work, our 45 hectares not being enough to live on it.

My absolute condition to be a farmer was therefore to make it a full-time job, to have a life on the side, ”explains the 28-year-old young man.


Coronavirus: to face the crisis, farmers are revolutionizing their practices

For four years, the unionist for Young Farmers had therefore converted one hectare to cultivating saffron.

Sold in the form of local products, such as terrines or cookies, in partnership with local artisans, the expensive and rare spice provided it with about half of its turnover.

An activity unfortunately very affected by the health crisis.

To absorb the deadweight losses, Maxime Buizard had to take a loan guaranteed by the State, which he will not be able to repay yet this year.

But it is another "concern" which weighs especially on the morale of this almost thirty single and childless.

"Already in normal times it is not easy to meet people to start a family when you are a farmer in a rural area, but with the restrictions there are no longer any opportunities to meet people of our age", deplores he does.

So for this local elected official inserted in Les Républicains (LR), who sits in the opposition in his town of Pithiviers, hope is a horizon: "a relaxation of measures no later than May, to be able to start meeting again during long spring weekends ”.

"The future is totally blurry and depressing"

Clémence, 27, young graduate

Clémence is struggling to find work because of the economic crisis. / LP / Olivier Corsan  

Graduated in January from ESG Paris, a business school, with an MBA in "e-business and digital strategy" in her pocket, Clémence, 27, is facing an unprecedented situation.

Pandemic requires, its entry into the labor market is very disrupted.

“I dreamed of a VIE (international volunteering in companies), she sighs.

I had put lots of alerts on posts outside the European Union, but all these offers disappeared as the health and economic crisis progressed.


So here she is forced to wait to prove her professional skills: "It's very frustrating, deplores the young woman, originally from Toulouse (Haute-Garonne).

The studies are finished, successful, but the future is totally blurry and depressing.


She tried to "play her network", multiplied the sending of applications - around forty in total - before resigning herself to pushing the door of the employment center where she was offered support with the Association for the management employment (Apec).

The recommendations that are brought to him are painful, but useful.

"I had to review my salary expectations downwards: from 40,000 euros to 36,000 euros per year," says the young woman who now hopes to find a job before the summer.

"Some days, I tell myself that it's unfair and that I belong to a sacrificed generation," she says.

Other times, I convince myself that I am young and that I will know how to adapt.

The digital sector is buoyant, so I remain optimistic.


"We cling to what we can"

Wallerand, 22, fencer

Wallerand Roger is one of the great hopes of French fencing./DR  

At 22, Wallerand Roger (world n ° 35) is part of the new generation of tricolor male foil.

For a year, weaned from all competition, he has suffered the health crisis, as he can: “I saw it short at the beginning, I did not imagine that it would last so long.

I was right around last October.

Since then, I have decided not to think about it anymore, otherwise it will quickly come back and never leave my mind.


During the first confinement, Wallerand admits having found a balance in the family cocoon in Melun (Seine-et-Marne): “It is rather at the social level that things have turned sour.

I found myself facing myself, without even having the opportunity to even go out with friends.

Today, as the announcements change all the time, I feel like I am no longer moving forward and I still have trouble projecting myself into the future.


Fortunately, his passion for his sport helps him to cope.

A resident at Insep (National Institute of Sport, Expertise and Performance), he trains daily with the fencers of the French teams: “The coaches do everything to keep our motivation.

Personally, I am focusing on the 2024 Games in Paris, but Tokyo (in August) also remains a goal.

We cling to what we can.

For him, as for the others, the only selective stage will take place in Doha (Qatar), from March 26 to 28.

"I do anything and everything for a living"

Jonathan, 25, seasonal in the restaurant business

Jonathan led the life of a young freedom-loving person, set on the rhythm of the seasons and of encounters in the four corners of France and the world.

For a year and a half, he lived in Australia, accompanied by his girlfriend.

"It was great but the return to France at the end of March 2020 was a cold shower," launches the young man.

From seasonal, I went to temporary, to do anything and everything for a living ... It's hard.


Upon their arrival in France, the two lovers, aged 25, decide to continue the bohemian life by chaining the seasons, in the mountains or by the sea, as waiters.

The first confinement thwarts their plans.

“We had nothing left.

We lived with our resources amassed in Australia and we got away with it!

At the beginning of the summer, the couple goes to Porto-Vecchio (Corse-du-Sud).

The country is restarting, bars and restaurants are reopening, and the two young seasonal workers are working.


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In the fall, rebelote.

The island of beauty, where the possibilities of working in the field of tourism and catering are legion all year round, lower the curtain.

“Both of us found ourselves unemployed again.

To have the help granted to the seasonal workers, it was necessary to have worked at least 60% of the year, but we were in Australia so nothing ... ”Without any income and the Australian savings squandered, the couple found themselves on the verge of abyss.

So as not to dive in, Jonathan has been going on temporary assignments in all areas: inventories, driver, storekeeper, salesman ... "It's far from what we had imagined ... We are no longer happy, we have the simplest possible life, without unnecessary expense, he breathes.

We feel isolated.

It is time for everything to restart so that we can start moving forward ... "

"We do not put young people forward enough in this country"

Bakary, 28 years old

Bakary, 28, was put on short-time work during confinement.

sacrificed generation / LP / Maïlys Diogo  

“With the loss of 30% of my salary, I was not far from just enough to live on.

Bakary, 28 years old, bac + 5, suffered the full brunt of the health crisis.

After having landed in August 2019 a CDI as a consultant in events and hotel-catering in a large hotel group, the announcement of the first confinement put a brake on his career.

This inhabitant of Villeneuve-la-Garenne (Hauts-de-Seine) found himself, like many in his sector, on partial unemployment during the first confinement.

And several of his entrepreneurship projects were then put on stand-by.

“Not to mention the widespread isolation, which had an impact on my morale.

His priorities have "changed quite abruptly."

He realized that we are projecting too much “facing a tomorrow that is by no means guaranteed”.

Optimistic by nature, he remains confident for the future but displays skepticism about the measures taken by the government.

“The fact that we have a young president could have changed a lot of things.

But shutting yourself up in a bunker to decide when you're not living the reality, that doesn't work.

We do not put young people forward enough in this country.

"Today, after having resumed a full-time work in remote in a reclassification cell, created after confinement, he aspires only to one thing: to be able to work again in the sector which is his, the hotel and catering.

Source: leparis

All life articles on 2021-03-03

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