Halalan 2022

The Filipino youth is experiencing election stress, and that’s okay

With less than a week away before #Halalan2022, different political camps intensified their campaigning strategies to convert voters, especially those who are still undecided.

However, I have recently observed that many people, particularly us, the youth, have been expressing their anxiety and stress through social media about the national election coming in and how crucial this will be in determining our country’s fate in the next six years.

I have talked to some of my schoolmates and from what I gathered, many of them shared that their levels of worry, fear, and doubts are increasing as the election day draws near. Moreover, some fear that undeserving officials will be given power in the government.

Based on data from the Commission on Elections (COMELEC), 37 million voters are between the ages of 18 to 41 years old, constituting 56 percent of the country’s voting population. Additionally, the rampant misinformation and disinformation propagating at a rapid pace within the digital space majorly contributed to the existing challenges this election has brought to the youth voters.

Manila Bulletin reported that the Filipino youth were among the “most vulnerable to misinformation and disinformation” based on the Programme for International Student Assessment’s (PISA) latest study.

Given the said premises, I think it’s safe to say that the election stress the youth has been experiencing is understandable and justified. And even if the youth sector is not the majority, election stress at this point is normal, and the Western people can testify to it.

A report from the American Psychological Association (APA) revealed that two-thirds of American adults said the 2020 presidential election gave a significant form of stress in their lives, regardless of their political choices.

At the end of the day, what we, the youth, want is to secure a better future for the country and for the next generations to come.

What the youth want is to experience good governance, create a spark toward a radical systemic change, and amplify the voices of the marginalized sectors of society.

And as much as the future of the country is important, the mental health of its “prime movers” is also crucial in making the goal possible. But personally, if experiencing election stress entails a better tomorrow for every Filipino, then perhaps it is all worth it.

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