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EU > Poland > Czestochowa

Dreams and ambitions

Czestochowa, PL (View on map)

Back in the Czech Republic, I was disappointed to find out that the word `ambition` seemed to be looked down on. Thinking about the future in other terms than making money and raising a family almost seemed `not done`. Hoping that Poles will have more elaborate answers to the ambition question, I am asking them today what they would like to achieve in the near future.

Tomek (21):

`I don`t want to go abroad, because I have my friends and family here and I love where I live`
Like the Czechs, and most other Europeans, the Poles seem to plan their future along two dimensions: family and career. Paulina (23) explains that the most common order of priorities is for young people to first complete some kind of studies, then start a family and afterwards think about careers. `Men may think of their careers first, and women are starting to do the same. Without any work experience, they will have a hard time finding a job if they want to start working after having a child. The average age of people having babies is increasing from 20-21-22 a few years ago, to 26-27-28 at present`, Paulina says.

Starting studies
Marzana (18) has not yet come such a long way. She just completed highschool and is now waiting for the results of her exams. Any next steps will depend on the universities she approached. `I submitted my applications to the universities in Cracow and Gdansk. In both cases, I applied for Law and International Relations. I don`t have any particular preference. All four options are equally interesting.`

In the coming five years, Marzana would also like to take some time to travel. `I am interested in going to Lithuania and Ukraine. Both those countries partially belonged to Poland in the past and I am curious to see how much of that is still visible today. Although I don`t have any family there, it feels like I`ll be looking for a bit of my roots there.`

Sandra (19) works in a cinema but would like to start studying at the beginning of the next school year. `I don`t know exactly what I want to study, but I would like to become a hairdresser, so I guess it will have something to do with that. I think I will start on the first of October next year, but I don`t know. I also want to travel and see new countries. I would like to go to Spain, Italy and Greece`, Sandra says.

Damian (20) wants to study environmental sciences, even though it has little to do with the project that will follow his studies. `My parents have a factory that produces stairs and garage doors. I will probably end up working in their firm, but it won`t do any harm to spend some time at university before starting official working life.`

Finishing studies
Piotr (27) has spent the last couple of years working on his professional ambitions and will use the coming five to start founding a family. `I first studied accountancy and all the accrediting exams. I want to go for an international accreditation as well, but after spending so much time on nothing but making a career, I don`t mind to take care of some other areas of life.`

Tomek (21, photo) is studying graphical design. `I have one year left and I don`t know what I want to be next. I would like to stay in Czestochowa. I was born and raised here and I see no reason to move away. I may consider if it proves impossible to find a job here, but I don`t think the situation here is that bad. I don`t want to live abroad because I love Poland. This is where my family live, this is where I have my friends. I only have two international missions: one is to spend some weeks working in The Netherlands this summer, the other one to once see the Eiffel Tower in Paris. And that`s about it. Carpe diem will decide for the rest.`

Kasia (26) is living in Glasgow and counts staying there for the next couple of years. `I am only in Czestochowa to visit my family`, she says. `One other reason for coming back would be to get an architect accreditation. I thought I would be able to get it in Scotland but they don`t accept my Polish diploma. Well, they accept it, but I to pass additional courses to get my diploma properly translated. Since those cost 1,200 pounds each, I may decide to get my accreditation in Poland instead. That means I have to move back for a while.`

Krzystof (22) is currently finishing his studies in product engineering. He is not too sure that his diploma will allow him to find a job. `I may consider working abroad for a year but I have no ideas as to which country would be suitable for me.`

Magdalena (20) is studying political sciences but want to work as a police officer when she finishes. `I don`t have any other specific ambitions for the moment. I do want to stay in Czestochowa even though I am originally from a smaller town in the South of Poland`, Magdalena says. Magdalena knows quite some people who got `stuck` in a city where they originally only planned to complete their studies, but she cannot confirm that it is a regular pattern.

Bartek (21) is first of all concerned about the career as a drummer. `I just got together some people to form a band. We are still looking for a singer. When we have a complete set, we would like to play in some small pubs and have some local fans. Whether we grow famous or not is not very important because we won`t produce commercial music. It will be New Metal in the style of Limp Bizkit and Deftones. First in Polish, but later possibly also in English.` Bartek is also studying marketing but he is not sure about finishing. Finding a girlfriend is also of secondary importance. `Whatever is extra is extra, but for now I am only thinking about music`, Bartek says.

Grzegorz (27) is happy about his career and he will be happy to continue working in the same direction. `I am working as a lawyer and I don`t need to make any promotion in the firm because I am already a partner. My girlfriend is pregnant now so we will have our small family. The only other objective for the moment is to make a lot of money.`

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