The title of my illustration, "Jungalow", is a popular Instagram hashtag #Jungalow, or #JungalowStyle. It is a word that combines "jungle" and "bungalow" and is "a comfy home filled with many plants." Houseplants take up a lot of space, but surprisingly, most Jungalows are small apartments maintained by Millennials. The most hardcore gardeners care for their plants like parents would of their children, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Not so surprisingly, maintaining Jungalows has become one of the most popular hobbies among young adults (particularly young women), since more and more Millennials have become trapped in the stagnant job market. However, gardening is usually recognized as an older generation's hobby. Thus, some of the older folks think curating Jungalows is a waste of time and money, especially for a generation that needs to focus "on getting a job". One online article even mentions that Millennials are "filling their homes- and the void in their hearts- with houseplants." But how are young women like myself supposed to cope with not being able to live as the adults we should be, to live without burdening our parental figures anymore? What is particularly wrong with investing so much of our love into our plants? Is it because that the love should be reserved for a person? It shouldn't seem so strange for us to care so much for plants. For a generation isolated for their problems, creating Jungalows is one of the healthiest and prettiest means of coping.
Veronica Tolentino is a freelance illustrator and animator from the NY/NJ area. She tends to think a lot about her generation's existential crises but loves to distract herself with podcasts of good stories. If you would like to contact her, you may email her at firstname.lastname@example.org