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


Melanie Quintanilla, Wed Editor-in-Chief

The thought of moving out of town or out of state directly after graduation is something that can be scary, overwhelming and most of all, stressful.

So far, about half the students to whom I have spoken said that they are going to be moving back home, while the other half are either moving to another town or out of state.

Two of them are my roommates. They are thinking about moving to either South or North Carolina after graduation.

I was very happy to hear North Carolina was up for consideration because moving there has always been a dream of mine. So I did some research about North Carolina to find which city is the best for new graduates.

Raleigh, North Carolina

Turns out that North Carolina is not a bad state to live in if you are in Raleigh.  The city offers great food, a cheap costing of living and an endless amount of things to do.

Raleigh’s unemployment rate is  4.1 percent as of December, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. That means there is a high possibility that you will be able to find a job. You may also be paid a nice amount. The average salary for people who have a Bachelor’s degree and less than one year of experience is $48,294.

If you are not already packing up your bags or applying to jobs at Raleigh, you might be after I tell you about the cost of living. Can you believe that it could cost you only $605 a month to live in your own studio apartment? If studio living is not for you, a one bedroom apartment ranges from $890 to $1,254. If you are a numbers person and to take the time to do all the math, you will see that only that about 20 percent of your income will go to your cost of living.

That makes Raleigh, North Carolina one of the best places to live after graduation.

New York City

A lot college students say they want to move to New York, New York. Without even looking up information about this area, I instantly knew it presented a blood red flag. I am from Hasbrouck Heights, New Jersey, about 15 minutes from New York City, and I know how expensive it can be.

People always say, “Melanie, you are so lucky to live right next to the city.” While yes, it is a beautiful and amazing place, I do not get the thrill like most people do. The amount it costs just to buy a water bottle  there is outrageous.

However, I can provide some knowledge about the area.

Let’s start with the unemployment rate. According to, the official website of New York state, the unemployment rate is 5.2 percent as of December. This is not too far off from North Carolina’s rate, but the facts get terrifying from here.

NYC has the highest income taxes in the nation, ranging from 7 to 12 percent. It also has the least affordable housing. To top it off, everyday products (such as that expensive water bottle) cost twice the national average, according to Nick Wallace from Smartasset, which is a website that provides information about finances.

The cost of living is nearly double the national average. The reason is housing: A one bedroom apartment ranges from $2,900 to $3,900. For anyone thinking studio apartments much cheaper: The cost of that ranges from $2,000 to $2,900.

If you are thinking about moving to NYC, and you are not a trust fund baby, think twice.