First School - Then Marriage?
Thinking back to ancient times, and even to the more recent lifestyle of our grandmothers and grandfathers, we can say that families were being set up very early on in people's lives. Young Poles were quick to stabilize their life by marriage, and had children when they were only 18-19 years old. It's noteworthy to observe that these were very often families with many children.
One could analyze the early establishment up of families in two ways: from the perspective of those living in the countryside, and of those living in the cities.
When we look at the first case, we can conclude that the creation of families by young people living in the countryside is caused by the lack of globalization of the countryside, and its lack of "openness" to the new, modernized approach to life. The period Poland was under at the time - small economic development - caused many people to take up this kind of lifestyle. Schools did not play an important part in this equation. At the time Poles usually finished only primary school; in rare cases did they complete secondary school, and only a very small percentage went on to graduate from post-secondary facilities.
The same situation was present in the cities as well. Education was not an essential part of the life of young people because finding a job, and hence safeguarding for oneself and for one's family a decent life, was not as hard as nowadays. Everyone could work and provide for their families the necessities of life.
In the modern days of constant flux and change, and the gradual opening of our country to new markets (which includes job markets), the education of young people willing to take on their first real job is vitally important. That is why young Poles very often decide to finish the appropriate schools, gain additional qualifications, and only then think about starting a family. It's important to mention as well that for Poles the motivation to educate themselves is not only the intent of finding a job and possession of material goods, but also to prove that they can achieve good results in interesting fields, and that they aren't any worse in this from other countries.
The development of the intellect, getting to know new and interesting fields of study is the symbol of the modern Poles. The catalyst for this change in view of the surrounding world is first and foremost the development of the country - both in terms of the economy, as well as in terms of education and domestic and international touristy.
The chance for development in Poland is thus getting increasingly wider, especially since Poland recently entered the European Union, which now gives the ability for Poles to find jobs beyond the boundaries of their home country. Learning, then, especially thing such as foreign languages, is a priority for young people who realize that having the right education, being computer literate, having the ability to project a positive image of oneself are important investments for the future - will bear fruit in the future.
It's not surprising, then, that young Poles, in their constant quest for improvement, do not pay much attention to the establishment of families. An established family, according to many, will be a remote stage of their lives which began after the completion of high school or University. Oftentimes the decision to actually marry is moved forward in time until after the woman and man find proper employment. Such decisions are oftentimes tied to the modern outlook on life which we already mentioned. Poles want to enter their new lives with a certain financial security; enough so that they are able to pay for their own house, food, movie passes, and, in the future, to safeguard for their children a proper living environment.
This attitude towards life is a positive thing since it shows maturity in the relationship. Polish men and women who provide for their own future don't only think about the now, but, looking ahead, will be able to safeguard a plentiful life for their families just like they can for themselves. Thus, Poles are now first trying to get enough education and employment before entering a marriage union.