Seniors on the Go: A Look at Where and Where Not to Live After Graduation


Melanie Quintanilla, Editor-in-Chief

Graduation is a little more than three months away for seniors and there are a lot a decisions that need to be made and questions that need answering before we receive our diplomas and say our farewells.

The one big question that keeps our brains up at night is “Where will I get a job?”

Not only do upcoming graduates have to quickly find an answer to that question, but they also have to keep finances in mind.

On average, according to The Institute for College Access and Success, a Misericordia University student is $36,349 in debt upon graduation. Out of all the graduates, 86 percent who get a diploma will be in some debt.  So before being able to find an answer to that dreaded question that lingers in our minds, we have to figure out where we are going to live and how we are going to afford it.

Some students are offered jobs and end up moving to that location, but  many students move back home with mom and dad. Around 36 percent of graduating seniors in the U.S.  plan to move back home for at least a year or more after graduation, according to That leaves the other 64 percent of graduates to fend for themselves.

If you are anything like me, you will be one of the 64 percent who cannot or will not move back home. Students might have many reasons for this reluctance from wanting to be independent to not wanting to live under parents’ house rules. Some may want to travel and start their own lives.

If it is a one of those choices, or maybe even a combination of all three, you are in luck because I am here to provide you some pointers on different states and cities that are the best and worst possible places to work and live at straight out of college.

I will start with the positive side of things and profile a city in which graduates can most likely make it.

One best city to live in is:

Cincinnati, Ohio

On a scale from one to 25, Cincinnati was ranked as SmartAsset’s best place to live after graduating. Not only is it affordable, it also offers many job opportunities. The unemployment rate is  4.7 percent as of August, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.  The rent typically paid for a one bedroom apartment ranges from $800 to $900.

As of January, the average salaries for people who have earned bachelor’s degrees range from $39,674 to $110,538 depending on the job, said PayScale.

In addition, about 20 percent of Cincinnati’s population is made up of 20-year-olds, which is the fifteenth highest for youth populations in the U.S, SmartAssest said.

Overall, if you are thinking about moving nine hours away from Misericordia, Cincinnati, Ohio is the place for you. You will be among people in your age range, most likely find a job, and hold on to it. You will also be able to afford it.

Now it is time to move on to the negatives, which may be a positive thing if they serve as warnings.

Here is one of the worst cities to live in:

San Francisco

Have you ever wanted to pack your bags and move across the country? Well, you may have a reason to because San Francisco, California, is one of the top places to set up housekeeping. This city has a low unemployment rate around 2.8 percent, so the odds are in your favor. The median annual earnings for residents with bachelor’s degrees is $68, 439, according to Sreekar Jasthi and Laura McMullen from However, the living is very steep: 27.8 percent of that paycheck will end up going towards rent.

A general rule of thumb is that your rent should not cost more than 28 to 30 percent of your monthly gross income. If you want to move directly into the city, a single bedroom apartment will cost around $3,000 to $4,000 a month, according to author Meghan Demaria from Refinery29. However, the perks of living outside of the city will cost you about $1,000 less.

Overall, the chances of landing a job in San Fransisco are high, but you may not be able to afford it on your own. Make sure you’re saving your pennies and buddy up with a roommate (or six) if you want to make that move.