Natali Gaprindauli, 16, Kvemo Alvani

„I often hear that youth is the best period of life since it is okay to make mistakes because you are young. We learn from our mistakes and achieve personal growth. We are free to do anything, turn our dreams into our goals and create a desirable future.

But I think it is more challenging than pleasant to be young because you have many problems. It is challenging because you worry about many things. We have to make a decision that determines all our future life. Take, for example, choosing a career. Young people are not well aware of their goals. We do not know what we want and what we need. Our taste and views change from day to day.

Sometimes I say that I like this career and I would like to pursue it…whenever people ask me what I am going to study and I answer, “Law”, they look at me as I were a visitor from another planet. “Why do you want that? You will not be able to find a job in this field. You have no chance, it is too difficult, you will not succeed, think of something that is simpler, to make sure your efforts will not go down the drain and you have a salary too”. And I think, “Maybe she is right?” “She is more experienced than me, maybe I should really choose something else?”

You need to be ambitious, hardworking and purpose-oriented to succeed in any field, but this is rather difficult to do in the country, which is heading to an unknown direction. There are many problems in Georgia but in this particular case, I am concerned about the education system, which has a number of weaknesses that need to be addressed. Because of lack of opportunities here, many Georgians continue studying abroad and never come back. It is difficult when you do not see any prospects for the country development. It is difficult that unlike people around you do not look only to the present and are not satisfied with positive sensations of the day. You worry about future, you worry that you will make a wrong decision, which will be followed by a wave of problems. For example, you will not find a job, will not have income, will not be able to gain a foothold in society and will become burden for someone else.

Let alone future, young people face this problem even during school years. In other countries young people of my age can study at school and work at the same time. I have a feeling of protest because this is impossible in our country. Adolescents here do not have any opportunity to get used to working. Even though we have a desire to help our families and earn our pocket-money, we cannot work. This is more painful, when we see that boys do not face any problems in this respect. Unlike girls, boys find jobs very easily if they have a desire to work, especially in a village of a patriarchal country. Some relative may not like that you work as a waiter in some café because s/he thinks that you should not do that at your age. To tell the truth I do not care much what others think in this respect. I would work with pleasure if I find a vacant position of a waiter but unfortunately there are no jobs available. Generally there are no jobs available for girls in villages. The situation is different with respect to boys. They easily find jobs if they wish to.

This is why it is a challenge to be young in Georgia. When you live in these conditions it is hard to think about professional development and financially secure future, without thinking of running away from this country. However, I am happy that I am concerned about the problem of education and I has not been discouraged by other people to study. If someone else has found a job why should I not be able to do that? The more you study the more you would like to know.“