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Hail and candy bouncing off my fedora. The trucks honk, and standing on the open containers, thousands of seniors from the upper secondary schools, abis, across Helsinki scream, throw candy and swill cider and beer down their throats on Thursday afternoon while cruising along the city centre. They are wearing costumes and masks, hiding their true identity; today anonymous, part of the colourful mass, next month participants of the intense competition where the highest score in the matriculation exams is at stake.

Scoring high in essays of mother tongue, the second language, religion, geography, psychology, philosophy . . . and getting their algebra right in mathematics could be the very key to become a Doctor of Anything.

A careful examination of the sheets of various slogans flapping in the wind at the side of the trucks offer insight into the world view of our Hopes of the Future.

“A nerd today, your boss tomorrow,” one banner says.

“The force is strong with these ones,” says another and here’s one more, “You can always retake a class, you can’t relive a party.”

Me and my colleague Morgan captured the key slogans in pictures. Surprisingly many were in English.

Picture: Tony Öhberg for Finland Today

Picture: Tony Öhberg for Finland Today

Picture: Tony Öhberg for Finland Today

Picture: Tony Öhberg for Finland Today

Picture: Tony Öhberg for Finland Today

Picture: Tony Öhberg for Finland Today

Picture: Morgan Walker for Finland Today

Picture: Morgan Walker for Finland Today

Picture: Morgan Walker for Finland Today

Picture: Morgan Walker for Finland Today

Picture: Morgan Walker for Finland Today

Picture: Morgan Walker for Finland Today

Picture: Tony Öhberg for Finland Today

Picture: Tony Öhberg for Finland Today

Picture: Tony Öhberg for Finland Today

Picture: Tony Öhberg for Finland Today

Picture: Tony Öhberg for Finland Today

Picture: Tony Öhberg for Finland Today

Picture: Tony Öhberg for Finland Today

Picture: Tony Öhberg for Finland Today

Picture: Tony Öhberg for Finland Today

Picture: Tony Öhberg for Finland Today

Picture: Morgan Walker for Finland Today

Picture: Morgan Walker for Finland Today

Picture: Tony Öhberg for Finland Today

Picture: Tony Öhberg for Finland Today

Picture: Tony Öhberg for Finland Today

Picture: Tony Öhberg for Finland Today

Picture: Morgan Walker for Finland Today

Picture: Morgan Walker for Finland Today