Berlin commentary Germany Life Stories sarcasm

The ‘Washroom Wisdom’ of German Teens

If you would have a look into German classrooms, you would probably observe that the kids sitting in these classrooms (or at least a large portion of them) don’t participate much. Usually they just sit there, look at the teacher and hope that they can somehow make it through the semester without saying a word and if all works well, maybe even the final grades at the end of the year (70% class participation, 30 % written work) will not be that bad.

Understandably, many teachers and other adults (falsely) believe that their students or children don’t have much going on in their heads. That all is full of annoying teenie stuff, Justin Bieber music and sniffing sherbet powder with the help of colorful straws (yes, I have actually seen this happen. DON’T try to repeat that!).

However, what most grown ups don’t seem to know is that even teenagers who are going through puberty have moments of ‘deep thought’. Sometimes you can see them zone off while they are looking out of the bus’ window, or maybe one’s sister takes ages in the shower because just as the warm water hit her body, the question ‘What is the meaning of life?’ started to make total sense to her and she decided to apply at the faculty of philosophy once she was out of grammar school.

Before Facebook became the ultimate tool for teens to share their oh so philosophical and enlightening views, long before that, they had the habit of writing their thoughts on real walls or better the stalls of washrooms.

So even though the German youth has access to the luxuries of internet nowadays, it has not forgotten what (in their opinion) washroom walls are actually there for and so they continue to express their thoughts in thick and thin Edding markers on the smooth plastic surfaces. My sociology professor would probably call this a perfect example of the frustration-aggression hypothesis.  Here are some examples I stumbled upon while at the library aside from random mobile phone numbers and bff jokes:

“Honey, if you are still thinking whether you are the right one: yes”

Alright, so if you really want him to know this, I suggest you go and tell him instead of turning to vandalism. I doubt he will be running around girls’ washrooms, searching for your handwriting on the doors.

“Sometimes when you come back everything is the same. The streets are the same, the people are the same, everything is the same. And then you realize that the one who has really changed is you.”

Why is there an English text in a  washroom in Germany and why would you write that HERE? But hey, nice start anyway, eh? Way to go, girl!

“Maybe he was one of us, just a stranger on the bus.”

Maybe…but even if it was so, now it is too late to find out.


Washrooms- as it seems, the ultimate source of teenie wisdom.


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