I have been working with college students for twenty-five years. Student attitudes change as fads come and go. In some ways, it is difficult to predict how college students will react to change.  In other ways, some changes are very predictable. In fact, some changes in attitude are so predictable, I can even see into the future.

Below is a list of five items where you will change your mind within ten years. I suppose that I can’t guarantee it, but pretty close.

The most important qualities for you in a girlfriend/boyfriend.

How you answer that question now will change fundamentally within ten years. In ten years, you will start asking questions like: “I wonder how much debt she is carrying” or “I wonder how stable he would be as father.”  In other words, you’ll start asking long-term questions. So if you end up marrying sometime soon, you may want to start thinking about the long term questions now.

“I will never put on weight as I get older.”

Oh, yes you will. As your metabolism starts to slow down, it will be a lot harder to keep that weight off.  Ten years from now, you may decide that extra weight is not worth the trouble it takes to get rid of it. Don’t believe me? Look at a random sample of people ten years older than you.  Better start that gym membership sooner rather than later.

Those tattoos and piercings.

I might be proven wrong on this one, since so many folks born after the Baby Boom generation seem to enjoy tattoos and piercings. But it seems to me that college students, eager to get tattoos and piercings, find themselves equally eager to cover them up when they are out looking for a job. I’m just saying…

“I will never be like my parents.”

Similar to the weight issue, oh, yes you will. It’s hard to trump those genes you inherited.  It is likely that you will physically resemble the parent of your same gender. Find a picture of Mom or Dad when they were ten years older than you are now, and prepare to behold the future.

What you spend your money on.

When I was a college student, I spent money on albums (which are now obsolete and antiques). If you look at my album collection, you will see that it abruptly ends in 1987.  That is because I got married in 1986, and my spending priorities abruptly changed.  I don’t know what you spend your money on now. But I am pretty sure that in ten years, you will find yourself spending your money on boring stuff, like insurance. Sorry to break the bad news to you.

I wish you well for the next decade of your life. Enjoy!

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