When I graduated college, I was so completely clueless as to where I wanted to live. I realized that moving back to my home town wouldn’t provide me with a ton of public relations job options and I couldn’t stay in my college town for the same reason. Since I didn’t have a job offer before graduating, I was completely at a loss for what direction I should take my life. I could literally go anywhere.
The way I made my decision actually ended up being very out of character for me. I chose where to live, in large part, because of a relationship I was in and because of convenience. At the time of my graduation, my boyfriend lived in Rochester, NY, which is a mid-sized city about half an hour from my college. I had visited Rochester a ton while in school, so I also knew which neighborhood I’d like to live in. Rent is cheap here in Western, NY and I was able to afford myself a summer sublet thanks to some savings from my part-time college job and money I’d received as graduation gifts. A month in, I landed my current job and I’ve been here ever since!
As I scrambled to figure out my next steps in the final months of senior year, about 10,000 different thoughts and directions passed through my brain. The first thing I thought about was money. I’m not saying that it’s wrong to accept help from Mom and Dad at this transitional stage in life, but I personally knew that I wanted to choose a city where I could support myself on what would likely be a modest starting salary. This cancelled out many huge cities in my mind and got me started researching mid-sized cities across the country.
The second major thing I focused on was comfort. At the time, comfort for me meant being driving distance away from home, near my boyfriend, and near good friends. One thing I will never understand is why personal relationships are so undervalued in the corporate world. While I don’t think sleeping in your parent’s basement until your 30 is a good choice, I do think that getting started on your career with family nearby makes the post grad transition a little easier for some people and is nothing to be ashamed of. This decision was the toughest for me to accept since my mindset was career first for such a long time. Once I accepted that being in close proximity to loved ones at this point in my life was important, I narrowed my search down to cities in New York state.
The third thing I had to consider in making my decision was job prospects. I had interned in Rochester previous summers, knew professors that lived in the area, and had met a few people in the industry at college job fairs, so I thought I may have a better chance of hearing about potential job openings in the city. My Rochester connections actually ended up helping me to land two interviews before graduating. While those interviews didn’t end up resulting in jobs, it was great to be offered those opportunities at all in such a tough economy.
Thankfully, this “where to move” thought process pushed me in the right direction, as I’ve grown to love most parts of Rochester (except winter… I will always hate you Rochester winters..) I lucked out in choosing my post grad city and wanted to share my experience with all of you, but I recognize that not everyone will approach this huge decision the same way!
How did you decide where to live after graduation?