Building their own nest

There’s no place like home … once you figure out where home is.

Every year graduating seniors are confronted with this very problem. Although employment is a major issue, the decision of where to take a job and begin their adult lives depends on how close to or far from home graduates want to live.

For many students home means starting their adult lives in their hometowns, surrounded by parents and old friends.

“My family and my girlfriend are here,” Robb Lindgren, McCormick ’00, said. He moved to Minneapolis where he is now a technical consultant for Andersen Consulting. “It’s nice to come back. A lot of my high school friends are still here.”

Returning to a familiar place can also make the transition into adulthood less nerve-wracking.

Lauren Fletcher, Weinberg ’00, took a job as an human resources analyst with Sprint Publishing and Advertising in Kansas City, Kansas, which is close to where she grew up.

But she has been involved with the company before.

“I interned at Sprint for three summers and I really felt comfortable here,” Fletcher said, who lives in Overland Park, a Kansas City suburb. “I’m close to my family, but I am moved out and on my own. And, the cost of living is a lot less here.”

Moving to a less exotic place can also make the financial transition to adulthood easier.

“We live in a nicer apartment for less (money) than other ‘trendier’ neighborhoods,” Carissa Wright, Speech ’00, who lives in Logan Square, just west of Chicago. “We’re in a neighborhood that is reported to be ‘up and coming.'”

However, others may want to move away to a new place and live in different surroundings. Graduates may want to change the pace of their lives and try something new. Change, too, can mean adjustments.

“Oh my God!” was the response of Jenny Jones, Weinberg ’00, who now lives in the Lakeview neighborhood of Chicago. She is an intern with the Environmental Protection Agency in Chicago. “I am from a small town where there’s not much going on, and I wanted to live in a big city. (But) the shock I had (in rent differences) between living in a four-bedroom apartment with three people in Evanston and moving to a one-bedroom apartment in Chicago. Prices are really high (in Chicago).”

Valerie Brown, Speech ’00, understands the sentiment. She moved from Nebraska to San Francisco to work for Starcom Worldwide as a media associate.

“I live on Yoplait yogurt,” Brown said. “In my little town in Nebraska, yogurt … costs 56 cents. In Chicago, yogurt was 64 cents. In San Francisco, at the Safeway, yogurt is 93 cents! It’s little stuff like that that really surprises you.”

Still, Brown went into the move with her eyes wide open.

“I could have picked to work in Chicago or San Francisco,” Brown added. “I really liked Chicago, but I had done that, been there. I was comfortable in Chicago, but I was afraid if I stayed, I would never leave. It was time to try something new. I was excited about coming to California,” Brown said.

“(Besides being a great city), there are so many places where you can go: Tahoe, L.A., Berkeley, San Jose … “

And Brown has no regrets about her choice.

“I really like the place where I am living,” Brown said. “The people are awesome, and I have a nice quiet place to come home to.” nyou

Weinberg sophomore Beth Ferrari is an nyou staffer.She can be reached at [email protected].