sofia portrait
»Since June I have been working in two restaurants and for a year previously I worked as a volunteer in Poland. In the summer, I gave a course for children at the University. My mother has lost her job, but found a new job again.
When I came back from Poland, I was at my parents house in Coimbra for a month, but I wanted to get away as quickly as possible from home and I've been looking for any opportunity. My summer course wasn't profitable enough for the rent, therefore I work in restaurants on weekends. I earn 30,00 euro plus tip during a shift lasting from 19:00 to 4:00 o'clock in the morning. During the week I get 20,00 euro per shift and in a week I earn about 150,00 euros if it goes well.
Since summer I have been doing this work. If one is studing a degree without job prospects, one is forced to work at the same time. As an artist I would like to draw comics. When I was in Poland, I learned the Polish language and saw that there are no fees to study.
I'm lucky that I'm financially supported by my parents and of course I put my own needs on hold. It doesn't matter what kind of work I am doing. The work in the restaurant is fun to me, one can speak English, French and sometimes also Polish there. My friends are all gone abroad to work and I'm also thinking about it.
It's sad that the government is investing in our training, and in the end we are forced to leave the country. The news on TV frightens me and I'm trying not to become scared. When my mother lost her job, we didn't know at all, what would happen, but now she works in an office.
I talk a lot about the crisis with my grandfather and of course, politics is responsible, but in my family, no one goes out to vote anymore. But it would be hypocritical, if we wouldn't admit our own responsibility too. I don't trust any politician. I would like to travel and go to Asia, my dream destination is Japan.«
— Sofia, 23 years, studied art and is currently working in two restaurants
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