‘We’re always anxious about our grades’

Posters of popular singer Elena Paparizou almost completely paper the walls in Virginia’s room except for some space covered by other artists. Virginia is wearing a tracksuit and is in a hurry to get the interview done so she can watch a film starring Sandra Bullock. She watches a lot of movies, listens to a lot of music and reads books. How she finds the time is a mystery, since she has extra activities every day, like most children of her age in fifth grade. Learning English is already important, so she can get her proficiency certificate before the hard grind of preparing for university entrance exams. She’s also doing Greek lessons so she is ready to study Ancient Greek next year. And she has her hobbies, which also take time: basketball, karate and guitar. All together, they take up an extra two hours a day. She doesn’t like school. «We do a lot of tests. We get very tired. The way our schedule is, we don’t have a five-minute break like other classes do. We’re always anxious about our grades for the tests. You have to distract yourself with other things so you can stand it.»