Pick a state, any state
My brother asked me a relatively innocent question the other day: Where will you live after you graduate?
My answer was: Wherever I can find a job.
Probably I should have specified: Wherever I can find a job that I wouldn’t hate to live and that I feel right about moving to.
The downside of wanting to take a very specific type of job upon graduation is that there are very few such positions open at any one time. I would estimate that maybe 30 positions are open a year, in the entire country. So I rather expect to have my living circumstances in large part dictated by the available positions, and not by my own preferences.
Happily, I don’t have huge preferences one way or another about where I live after I graduate. I have this weird antipathy to California, but it’s insanely expensive to live there, anyway. And the South did not particularly agree with me when I spent a month in Alabama (meaning no offense to Becca). But that still leaves upwards of forty states in which I could be fairly happy. I don’t like hot weather, but I can probably adjust if I end up in Texas or Arizona. If I survive a couple of Illinois winters I don’t see that the cold will be much of a problem either. And one of the beauties of wanting to be an academic librarian is that I will, almost definitionally, end up living in a college town, so one assumes there will at least be a decent bookstore.
I have to admit that moving from the bustling metropolis of Provo to the less bustling Urbana-Champaign area has been a bit hard. This is not to say that Chicago doesn’t rather outrank SLC in terms of amenities and attractions, but I wish it was a touch more convenient than 2.5 hours away.
Actually, I saw a job posting in Waltham, Mass. the other day that definitely made me salivate. Boston’s got such a good public transportation system – I refuse to live in a big city that doesn’t – and Waltham’s only 9 miles out of the city, on one of the commuter rail lines. Then I started looking at housing prices and realized that I could only afford to live there (sans roommates) if they paid me about 25% more than most such jobs do. I can dream, at least.