When it comes to deciding where to live after graduation, what are you supposed to consider?
Parents have their opinions; the great thing about Texas is you don’t have to pay income tax.
Your friends think differently; Close to my family, close to my boyfriend, maybe Cape Town?
Your sister wants to make sure that your future families will be close; I swear I won’t steal the name Carter so long as you birth your children close to where I live before the agreed upon age of 32.
Sure, these are my examples, but now that the job search is officially on, and we all have officially read the Forbes list, what factors are most important in deciding our post grad locale?
1. Is there a job for me to do? Probably the highest ranking factor on the list, is that there must be a job. Or at least, the potential for a job. If you are trying to make it in Hollywood or Palo Alto’s tech scene; chances are high you are unemployed- hopefully not for too long. No one goes to live somewhere homeless and jobless unless it is Chicago or San Francisco.
2. Are there other young people?
When a place is trending with twenty somethings it guarantees a few things: Singles, Bars, and Farmers Markets. Its like a magic recipe for attracting twenty somethings; provided they have the aforementioned job. If there are singles, then there is a higher chance of finding someone to date, and it doesn’t matter if you recycle through a few of those someones. If there is a flourishing bar scene, then there is always a place to watch a game, get drunk, and escape your 9-5 any day of the week. Then there are farmers markets. Often overlooked, farmers markets simultaneously signal local flavor and affluence all in one overpriced goats milk soap. Farmers markets mean the collaboration of hippies and farmers what could be better? Farmers markets are also places for foodies, which seems to be a trending qualifier for being a young person these days.
3. What do people do for fun?
Chicago is more of a wine and cheese kind of city when it comes to socializing with the exception of short periods of time when our sports teams are winning. People in the west seem to never be without skis or a story about this one time when they were shooting a parkour video. Then you have the southeast which seems to be having an identity crisis, and New Yorkers who appreciate the arts. What people do for fun, obviously has a direct impact on whether you have friends.
What is not important
1. Politics & Crime
And thats the thing, quality of life, environment and presence of peers is going to trump politics every time. U.S news, Forbes and other organizations will asses cities based on crime, unemployment, the politics. For better or worse, it doesn’t seem like millennials really care. They go to where the jobs, bars, and singles are, and they are going to place a higher priority on quality of life than on whether their liberal neighbor still cares about Darfur. Crime isn’t a highly valued factor, largely due to a young person’s invincibility complex. It’s why people are still coming to Chicago, and why people think this story is funny.
At the end of the day, No ranking list, tax law, or parental advice is going to help you decide where to live. Shameless stereotyping, on the other hand, might.