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Hello, City: The 10 Best Places For New College Graduates

If you're a college fifth-year senior or an extremely tired and frustrated graduate student wrapping up a master's thesis or dissertation this month, then take heart: you are about to enter the worst job market since the 1930s. Happy graduation! Now let's look for a place to live.

Apartment Guide has the 4-1-1 on the best cities for new college graduates being pushed into our post-Lehman Brothers economy. Here are the ten best places to move if you're young, most likely single and carefree, and ready to live life to its fullest:

1. New York, New York

2. Washington, D.C.

3. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

4. Seattle, Washington

5. Minneapolis, Minnesota

6. San Francisco, California

7. Chicago, Illinois

8. Las Vegas, Nevada

9. Portland, Oregon

10. Denver, Colorado

Hey, if you can make it there then you can make it anywhere, right? Apparently, today's typical college graduate isn't as enthralled with the prospect of big city living, however, because Apartment Guide finds 42% of impending college graduates plan on packing up the dorm room or creaky, old apartment and moving to a "more quiet suburb" after graduation, where they will NOT be renting a studio apartment, thank you very much.

Fewer than one-third (31%) say that it'll be bright lights, big city for them once they become alumni who refuse to answer the phone whenever the college calls again seeking another donation. God bless caller I.D., huh?

But back to the topic. Who knew that today's college graduates are so boring? The world is your oyster and you go to...the suburbs? Seriously? And studio apartments are fabulous when you're young and you don't have any furniture except for a futon and your older sibling's cast-off end tables and lamps. Or the Lack table you bought at Ikea that doubles as a dinner table and/or server rack for your computer hardware. Maybe you decide to rent a city apartment or a house that you share with a few friends or weird roommates. Trust me: weird roommate stories will last you a lifetime, and they'll never get old like you will. Ask any 40-something and they'll tell you that those were the good old days, man.

Let me put it this way, college graduates: are you 22 or 42? How can you make your lives extraordinary when you're sandwiched between strip malls and HOA subdivisions? Oh, the monotony. Do you want to look back on your 20s and remember cruising between suburbs past another strip mall on a Friday night and stopping in at Bed, Bath and Beyond to look at spoons? No, no, no! You'll have plenty of time to play "what makes this strip mall any different from the other ones?" in your 30s and 40s, only you might have a teething baby in the car seat who won't fall asleep anywhere but a moving car. So you won't be looking at spoons anytime soon. I swear, youth is wasted on the young.

Face it: in this economy, your career path is going to suck for at least the next ten years, so you might as well make your off-hours fun and exciting -- and that isn't as likely to happen in suburbia.

Luckily, more than three-fourths (80%) of college students Apartment Guide surveyed are willing to "move to the city where they found a job as opposed to the city they most wanted to live." Yes kids, follow the jobs. Like my Great Depression-era father used to say matter-of-factly: "You have to go where the work is." So true. Besides, relocating for a job is far better than moving back in with your parents. In suburbia!

Listen to your adopted Aunt Chris* when I tell you to cut the apron strings, tell your nervous, overbearing parents that you'll call them on Sundays to check in, and GET OUT THERE and make some memories. In a hip, fun, preferably urban area with other young people, if possible. If you can make it there, then you can make it anywhere. Tough it out, and see where it goes. Scraping by and pulling yourself up by your own bootstraps builds character, and fast. And someday your stories will never, ever get old.

* Instead of sending a birthday card to show you care, you can just click on an ad.


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