The purpose of the present study was to investigate adolescents' orientation towards the future (e.g. expectations and fears, their content and timing) and its relationship with the life conditions perceived. The developmental conditions set in the socio-economic context perceived by an adolescent are evaluated from the point of view of their significance for realization of the conception of individual's future.The study was carried out in three stages in the period of systemic transformation - between 1991 and 2005. The total number of 180 adolescents, aged 16 to 18 participated in the study. The main techniques were an essay on the subject 'Me and my future' and the psychological conversation on threats perceived by young people in the surrounding reality. The results contributed to the psychological knowledge on significance of the process of transformation of socio-economic system in Poland for the formation of adolescents' orientation to the future and indicated the tendencies of changes in the cultural prototype of development in the life cycle.