Until recently, Sophie and Moritz hadn't believed that their graduation ball would take place.

Her year and a half were shaken too violently by the pandemic.

The two spent their senior years more or less in a state of emergency, Sophie also fell ill with Covid-19 on her eighteenth birthday.

The corona outbreak and the consequences represent a turning point, especially for this generation, from which the two former students of a humanistic high school in Frankfurt have not recovered for a long time.

The fact that “an incredible amount comes together this year”, as Sophie explains in a three-way conversation about growing up, is almost depressing for the young woman.

Sandra Kegel

Responsible editor for the features section.

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The impression is not deceptive, because so many new things come together in this phase of life: coming of age, leaving school and thinking about your own future can certainly make you ponder.

For the eighteen-year-olds there is also the fact that they are allowed to cast their vote in a federal election for the first time.

They take the civic task amazingly seriously.

Now that the election is imminent, this is your most pressing issue: Who do I vote for?

And on what basis do I make my decision?

The pressure to get it right

She feels a pressure, "yes, a real fear to get it right," says Sophie, describing her current state of mind. From conversations with others, however, she knows that many of her age are like that. There can be no question of the political disinterest of the youth, as it was last seen in the 2017 election. On the contrary. “Our generation is extremely politicized,” believes Moritz, who after sixteen years of Merkel sees the country at a turning point: “Now it depends, because now we have it in our hands. We will decide on September 26 which path we will take as a country, as a society. ”Election day could hardly be more important.

About 60.4 million Germans are allowed to determine the twentieth German Bundestag. Due to demographic developments, this is fewer than in 2017, and therefore fewer under thirty-year-olds will be able to vote, while there are more eligible voters from the so-called boomer generation than four years ago. The 2.8 million first-time voters like Moritz and Sophie only make up about 4.6 percent of the electorate. It quickly becomes clear in the conversation that the two Frankfurt debutants are all the more meticulous in their preparations when they read election programs, get more information than usual in newspapers and websites or ask the polling machine as if they wanted to gain weight.

As they both say, they were politically socialized at school rather than at home, which research has known for a long time, according to which the so-called tradition transfer, i.e. the political orientation of children towards their parents, has noticeably decreased. In the “PoWi” class in particular, they analyzed the programmatic orientations of the respective parties, report Moritz and Sophie. And now find that, unlike this more academic approach, the practical test primarily demands compromises and concessions. Because in case of doubt, choosing one party also means confirming parts of the program that may be at odds with your own convictions.