Where to Next? A Guide for the Lost Senior

Work Hard, Play Harder | | March 20, 2016

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As a senior, although Spring brings happiness back to the faces of students in Rochester, NY, it also has some negative attributes, one of which is having to ask the question, “where the f**k am I going next year?” Up until now you didn’t really need to worry about this idea because hey, you would keep coming back to college, right? Well, no. It’s over. The supposed ‘real world’ that you only were familiar with in terms of the MTV reality show is now becoming a very real thing that you need to buck up and deal with—but how, and more importantly, where, are unanswered questions that I’ve been starting to pay a little more attention to lately.

For me, grad school is the next step. Woohoo, yes, congratulations to me—I filled out some online forms, wrote an essay about why I’m great, took a standardized test, and boom, I got accepted to some schools. Yeah, huge deal, I know…anyway, here I am without a damn clue of where to go next year. So, in an effort to appease my parents and make a decision as well as to help y’all to get a better sense for when you too have no f**king clue in the coming years, here’s my unofficial guide of the best (and worst) parts of some popular post-grad locales.


I mean, it’s New York. People go apeshit over NYC for a multitude of reasons. It’s huge, there’s a lot going on and a lot to do, and it finally gives you the opportunity to fulfill all aspirations of making it big. Most importantly, however, you can Seamless pretty much any food to your front door at all hours of the night. Major plus.

On the flip side, it’s hella expensive. We’re talking paying $2000 a month to put up curtains in a one bedroom apartment and call it a four-bedroom. If you’re in the market for a job in finance or business, I’ll stop you right here and say, “yeah man, go for it. NYC is for you and your six-figure paycheck.” If you’re like me and are either going back to school or still haven’t made a plan to make some sort of income, I would encourage you to think a tad smaller in your post-grad city plans.

There’s just something about trying to rationalize paying $16 for a drink at a bar when I’m shelling out over 1000x that amount for grad school that sounds wrong. Lmk if you think it doesn’t, and then please feel free to contact me as I will be happy to take your extra money next year. (Email address below).


I’m from here so I gotta say I’m a tad biased about this city, but it seems like a decent place to set up camp out of college. Prices aren’t as bad as in New York, but then again it’s a city so it’s probably still pretty expensive. Socially, Boston is somewhat tame as a city, closing up shop around 2am most nights, but let’s not kid ourselves, we go to Rochester so you’re probably not used to staying out much later than that anyway.

People are somewhat friendly. Shitty drivers, but hey, so am I, and I think that if you’re looking to go to grad school, Boston would save you some time from trying to play catch up with your friends with jobs who have growing tabs post-work at the ~trendy~ bars in the neighborhood.


Welcome to the capital of these here United States. From what I’ve seen, D.C. is one hell of a city. It has the history, the power, and some pretty important people living all around you. Not to say other places don’t also, but this place isn’t kidding. Money-wise it’s also somewhat absurdly expensive, but if you’re down for dropping 100’s on boozy brunch every weekend, you’ve found your new home.

Honestly, there’s something about just walking by the monuments that makes you feel astronomically smarter and more important. It’s like Lincoln is f**king cheering you on to solve that problem or whatever grad students do, and you’re like, “you’re f**king right, Abe, I’m brilliant.” Idk maybe that’s just me, but whatever that’s how I feel, ok?

Anyway, less crazily, if you’re looking for anything policy, law, or government-related, being in D.C. can set you up with some insane internships that could segue into some pretty sweet government-protected jobs. On a more serious note, age 26 is coming sooner than you think and health insurance is important…or so I’ve heard, so health benefits would be a decent perk.

OTHER RANDOM CITIES (For me: Ann Arbor, MI; New Orleans, LA; Boulder, CO)

Yeah, it would totally be cool to be ~that~ kid from the Northeast who decides, screw conventionality, I’m gonna go far away and see the country! Maybe you even purchase a travel diary that has a quote about “wanderlust” on the cover. You do you, bro. But in all seriousness, moving to a city or state that isn’t as frequented by the general post-grad crowd can have its benefits. 1. It’s often cheaper and you can get a great apartment and still have some extra cash, and 2. You get the chance to have a clean slate and meet an entirely new crop of people.

Whether you want to swim against the current or are really just looking for a new start, it doesn’t hurt to consider somewhere you have never been to (or even heard of before) to start your life after college.

Really, in conclusion I have no clue where I’m going next year. All of these options sound great and have their pro’s and con’s and most would be good places to live. Leaning towards a smaller city at the moment, but I have until April 15th to decide, so really I’m open to any suggestions. Please contact me at mlerner3@u.rochester.edu by 11:59pm on Thursday, April 14th with your input. Or don’t, whatever. It’s a Thursday night so I’ll probably be anywhere but Mex.