Living conditions of 16 to 18 years old young people in Germany

By Katharina, Merian-Schule, Freiburg, GERMANY, 1998

I´m a 17 old girl from South- West Germany. The place which I and my family live in is relatively small (2000 inhabitants). It is surrounded by forests. Everywhere you look: fir trees!

The reason why there are so many fir-trees is that people cleared many forests for construction- and firewood. So the original mixed woodland was getting smaller and smaller. Until people noticed- if there are no trees, there won´t be wood! That´s why they decided to plant a new forest as fast as possible. They planted fir trees because that kind of tree grow very. Some people guess that our forest is called „Schwarzwald ( Black Forest)" because of its dark fir trees.

I like living here. If I want to go for a walk with my dog I can go in our forest- and if I want to go in the cinema or in the disco with my friends I can go to the next town not far away from here.

Some juvenil of my age have started a training and already earn money. But I decided to stay at school because I want to continue my education until I´m going to get the Abitur ( German school- leaving examination and university entrance qualification). If you have a good school qualification in Germany you will a bigger chance at the labour market.

I earn money at the same time. I have got a good job as a bar girl in a restaurant on weekends.

I need that money to buy bus tickets for my way to school, clothes, presents (because there is always some birthday...) ...

I save the rest of my earned money for my driving licence which is quite expensive in Germany (2000 DM!).

What I´m going to do after school? Maybe I will apply for a place at an art academy or I want to make a training in jewely shop.-I´m not sure...

Today it looks like our generation has less hope for a nice future-

But nobody can discourage me!