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Season 2 Episode 1: Alpha, Halloween, Vaping and SLAY!

Season 2 Episode 1: Alpha, Halloween, Vaping and SLAY!

Youth Culture

Huzzah! We are back for season 2 of Youth Updates and we are delighted that you are joining us! Over the next few months, we’ll be hearing from some different voices and guests as well as discussing our usual three topics per drop. And of course, word of the month is back too!

POP CULTURE: A Fresh Batch of Year 7s

This year’s slew of year 7’s that entered secondary schools across the country are on the cusp of two generations. Some say that they are the tail end of Gen Z and some say they are the first of Gen Alpha to enter youth work, with varied thinking on whether Gen Alpha’s are officially born in 2010, 2012 or generally the early 2010’s. Either way Generation Alpha is on its way and it’ll be interesting to see what characteristics set them apart from Gen Z.

To put it into context, current Year 7’s were born in the same time period as the final Harry Potter film, Adele’s infamous ‘Someone like you’, Kate and William’s Royal Wedding and Steve Jobs’ death.

HOT TOPICS: Hello Halloween.

We are firmly in Autumn territory with October well underway and have entered what some now refer to as ‘spooky season’ where Halloween is fast approaching. Halloween’s origins go back to 500 BC when the pagan celebration of Samhain where it was also believed that the veil between the world of the spiritual and the physical was thin.

Many of the trends we see young people follow track back to this original time of year. For example, the celts would wear masks because they believed it helped to avoid being recognised by ghosts and carved faces into pumpkins to ward off evil spirits. These things that were once fuelled by fear are now used to celebrate it.

Most young people simply see Halloween as a time to hang out with their friends, have fun and not be excluded from something going on in the wider culture. Plus, many may have engaged with Halloween since childhood, thus holding nostalgic memories too. Whilst dressing up as film characters, eating sweets and hanging out with friends aren’t inherently bad things in themselves, it’s important that young people are aware that other things such as Ouija boards, tarot cards and films about possessions or celebrating evil historical figures may not be the best way for them to have fun this year.

ISSUES: Vaping

The use of e-cigarettes and vaping is on the rise, and with the health implications still not fully discovered there are many people concerned about this. 10 years ago there were around 800,000 users, which has now risen to 4/3 million with 39% of adolescents saying they’ve tried e-cigarettes.

Like many things, such as traditional smoking or drinking, many young people get involved in a social capacity or as a coping mechanism and, whilst technically illegal to sell to under 18s, there are many teens using them.


Word of the month

Slay = ‘to do something spectacularly well, especially when it comes to fashion, artistic performance or self-confidence’

Eg. ‘She slayed.’ ‘You are slaying today’ or simply, ‘SLAAAAAAAAY!’


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