Columbus Is the Place to Live After Graduation, Not New York or DC

This could be you, lining up for pizza with a dozen of your closest friends.

This could be you, lining up for pizza with a dozen of your closest friends.

Admit it: you’ve thought a lot about where you want to live once you’ve graduated from Kenyon. Maybe you’ve been dreaming of life as a Brooklyn hipster or a Hill staffer.

I don’t mean to burst your bubble, but New York City is expensive. So while I’m not telling you not to pursue your dreams of stardom, consider the following: Columbus is the place to be if you’re broke, young and single (or any combination of these qualities).

According to a list on Business Insider, there are few places better to go after your tearful commencement walk down Middle Path:

It might sound like the middle of nowhere, but try telling that to the thousands of Ohio State University students and alumni who call this place home. Ohio State is the nation’s largest college campus, and its imprint is felt throughout this town of 800,000. Columbus seems to have weathered the recession well; prior to that, Columbus was ranked in 2006 as the seventh-strongest economy in the United States, according to Columbus Business First.

First off, Columbus might as well be Times Square when your college town doesn’t have stoplights and getting stuck behind an Amish buggy on Route 229 is pretty common.

Second, Ohio’s capital city is a lot cheaper than moving east would be.  Rent prices are two-thirds lower than in the Big Apple, and 55% less than in the DC area.

That means a much more comfortable living space and some serious going out money.

BI says there are jobs in C-Bus, too:

Social media mavens might gravitate towards Improving Enterprises, a software development firm with offices in Columbus that was named the top place to work in the city in 2012. As for tweeting of a different sort, Columbus is also home to the American Whistle Corporation, the only manufacturer of metal whistles in the U.S.

So if you came to Kenyon for its renowned software engineering and/or whistle manufacturing programs, you’re in luck!

Columbus’ unemployment rate is 6.4%, a full point below the national average (7.4% as of Friday).

At the end of the day it comes down to: would you rather be poor in a big city or less-poor in a mid-sized one? There are valid reasons to chose the former. But failing that, I humbly submit Columbus, Ohio as a great place to spend your 20s.

*In ascending order, the cities that topped C-bus were Durham, N.C.; Salt Lake City, Utah; and Austin, Tex.

** Less realistically you could live in this Chinese replica of Paris.

4 responses

  1. As an alumni, who lives in and loves D.C., I think this is really sound advice. Columbus, Charlotte, Charlottesville, VA (if you’re in the intel or biotech communities) and Raleigh Durham all get rave reviews from my friends. These are of course my friends who are also saving money and paying next to nothing to live in a house by themselves. I’m seriously considering a move to the South for my next job and it’s worth it to look in these cities if you’ve got an applicable skillset.

    • I don’t think I’d advocate Durham, but Cary, and a little west in Chapel Hill are great spots for NC. I lived in each of those cities. Raliegh is cool though, lots of new places and a good vibe. But when you say ‘South’ it really means much deeper, I live in Atlanta… and can’t wait to get out!

  2. Pingback: Adriatico's New York Style Pizza at OSU! - C.E.G. Photography | C.E.G. Photography

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