The experience of people leaving college and making their way into the real world shifts about once every 10 years or so. What we’re doing right now is so vastly different from our ‘04 postgrad predecessors that it’s hard to even compare it. Similarly, I’ve been spending a lot of time recently wondering what it will be like for people in their mid-twenties around, say, 2024. I’ve come up with some theories.
1. Everything Will Be Cheap
Wages in this country might be stagnant and the bulk of our age group might be underemployed, but there’s no denying that our spending-power-to-quality-of-life ratio has increased. Sure, you might have been able to afford a down payment on a house right out of school 30 years ago, but think about what that house probably didn’t have: efficient air conditioning, luxury shower heads, comfortable beds, a dishwasher, an automatic ice maker…the list goes on. So yeah, you might be living in what’s now considered a “dingy” apartment, but it’s probably a hell of a lot nicer than what your parents had back in their day. That goes for everything, like cars, clothes, and technology. Everyone our age has a device with a TOUCH SCREEN that calls, texts, maps your location, pulls up porn, and finds food. You know how long ago it was that touch screens were just total sci-fi? Not that long ago. Now they’re a staple. Expand on that for another 10 years and you’re looking at a pretty nice lifestyle, no matter your income level.
2. Work Dress Codes Will Be Nonexistent
If you had told people a decade ago that it would be commonplace for many corporate environments to not only accept but encourage casual dress on a daily basis, people would have laughed you out of the building. It’s more common than not, I’ve found, for people to wear jeans basically every day. Hell, my last job let me wear shorts and that was a large, publicly traded company. If casual dress is becoming more common now, where will we be in a decade? Pajamas every day? Can I show up in a robe and no underwear to keep the breeze going down below while I make my calls?
3. Dating Will Be Mostly Online
Online dating has grown exponentially in the last several years. Even when I was in college, I got some weird looks when I told people I had an OkCupid account. Now, people not only have that, but they also have Tinder. These apps and websites aren’t just for dating anymore, either. It’s almost like a game now–posting bad Tinder conversations and pictures, debating the analytics of swiping left and right. And that’s just for this app that hasn’t been around too long. Think about how crazy the technology will be for dating in 10 years. There will probably be some sort of algorithm that just naturally matches you to the person in your vicinity who’s exactly what you’re looking for. Say you’re at a bar and you want a one-night stand, but with someone who’s fun, shares your taste in music, is open to possibly entertaining a casual relationship, and is within your attraction range. Your device will just immediately find that person for you and the chemistry will be instantaneous. Will it kill some of the intrigue? Maybe, but it sounds a hell of a lot easier than what we’re doing now.
4. Student Loans Will Be Bananas
The student loan market will crash. That’s just a fact. How big it will be and how much it will affect the rest of the economy is yet to be determined. But no matter what, the whole student loan world will be completely different 10 years from now. Maybe student loans will dry up, tuition will plummet, and more people will pay for college as they go. Maybe tuition will stay high and fewer people will be able to go to college. Maybe colleges will become more specialized and focused on industry-specific training, as opposed to holistic education. Who fucking knows? The point is, if you think the loan situation we’re in now is bad, I’m willing to bet it’ll be even worse and more confusing for the next round of kids.
5. More White-Collar Jobs Will Be Remote
Maybe worrying about what we’ll wear to work is stupid, because by then, a lot of postgrads will probably work from home. More and more, companies are realizing that it’s simpler and cheaper to allow certain employees to work from wherever they want, as long as the work gets done. As technology improves, there will be that many more jobs people can do anywhere. This means everyone will spend their day efficiently getting work done, talking to friends, and watching porn, all while not wearing any pants. It will be a fucking utopia, and everyone my age will hate the generation after us for getting that luxury. In fact, that’s probably the common theme. By the time the next group of people become postgrads, people my age will be old enough to start grousing about how shitty, lazy, and entitled they are. Circle of life.