So, graduation is quickly coming up and you’re deciding what to do next. Should you stay local and try to snag a job on or near campus or uproot and go somewhere entirely new? It’s a tough choice to make, especially right after spending four years or so in the same place. While staying near your college may seem like a great idea to keep in touch with friends and stay in your “safe-zone” of familiar sights and events, it can be refreshing to try something totally new.
If you’re considering both options, here are a few pros and cons to help you make your final decision on whether to stay or move away from your college town after graduation.
PRO – YOU ALREADY KNOW THE AREA
One of the biggest pros of staying in your college town is that you already are super familiar with the area. You know where to shop for groceries, what parts of town to avoid after dark, and where the best place is to get coffee with friends. After spending four or more years in the same area, you totally know the ins and outs of the town and don’t really have to worry about adapting.
CON – YOU ALREADY KNOW THE AREA
On the other hand, one of the most exciting things about graduating and moving on to the next stage of your life is the opportunity to go to new places and experience new things. If you’re stuck in the same place, doing the same things, and seeing the same people, you may miss out on this experience. By going somewhere new and unexplored, you open yourself up to opportunities to learn new things and meet new people who you otherwise would not have had exposure to.
PRO – YOU ALREADY HAVE FRIENDS IN THE AREA
Staying local to your college town does mean that you’ll already have friends and colleagues in the area. Whether it’s underclassmen that you were close to or a college professor that mentored you, having people that you know nearby can really help you feel secure and comfortable as you transition after graduation into your full-time career.
CON – YOU ALREADY HAVE FRIENDS IN THE AREA
Similar to the knowing the area con, having local friends that you already know can cause you to miss out on significant opportunities to meet new people and expand your horizons. Staying in your college town can limit what you are exposed to in terms of ideas, thoughts, and activities as well as whom you meet and befriend along the way.
PRO – THERE ARE JOB OPPORTUNITIES ON AND AROUND CAMPUS
Another big pro of staying local to your college town is that there are typically plenty of job opportunities on and around the campus. Whether you’re thinking of becoming a college professor or continuing to work with your favorite college sports team, this is a great opportunity to get some exposure to a career in a familiar place with familiar faces.
CON – YOUR JOB OPPORTUNITIES ARE LIMITED ON AND AROUND CAMPUS
Even if you go to a big school with a full college town around it, you may find that your job opportunities are pretty limited after you graduate. Many big schools do have plenty of options on-campus for work, but if you were considering going into a different field, you may find yourself commuting or having to switch to something local to support yourself. By moving out of your college town and going to a new location that you know will have opportunities for you in your career path of choice, you’re opening the door for further success down the road.
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