HomeMoneyLive in the Same Region As Your Alma Mater

Live in the Same Region As Your Alma Mater

There are a lot of decisions that are made for us in our lives without any real opportunity for a decision. Some examples are where we go to school (sometimes we don’t get in where we want) and where we work (especially in this job market, my first job was at the first company that offered me a job).

The choices we do control are often big ones that are made for non-financial reasons (like my decision to move across the country to be with my then-fiancée).

However, all things being equal, of you’re deciding where to live after college, I have some advice for you: stay local. Or at least in the same region.

After graduating from the university of Maryland, I lived in DC for a few years before taking the plunge and moving to the west best coast. In those few years, a couple of my friends got married. For me, it meant a few hours in the car to reach their “destination” wedding in New Jersey.

Once I moves to Los Angeles, I realized just how far I was from many of my friends. As more and more get married, the trips are far less convenient. Now, it means buying expensive airline tickets and deciding whether to bring Lauren along. Costs can quickly rise to $1,000 in travel costs, which is a lot to be spending on a wedding as a guest!

This is my own doing and each time I attend a wedding or reunion I have an amazing time so there are no complaints there, but financially it’s a burden (and sometimes means using vacation days for travel, too).

We saw this with our wedding when we made everyone fly out to Los Angeles. Most of our friends live on the east coast, so it was not a small request. We had an amazing turnout and I’m very grateful that so many people were willing and able to make the trip because I know it’s not easy.

Maybe it was rude of us to make friends in one state and then move away? I think I said the same thing last year about Lauren meeting me on the east coast and then forcing inviting me to come back with her to LA.

You don’t always have the option of deciding where you’ll live, but if you do, I highly suggest staying on the same side of the country because you’ll end up saving a ton of money in travel costs and you’ll be able to go to more of your friends’ events.

Readers, do you live in the same region as most of your friends? Is traveling to events a burden?



  1. I stayed pretty close (within a couple of hours). Many friends did as well but a great many moved out of state (given that I live in Michigan, this isn’t a surprise).

  2. I grew up on the East Coast but went to college on the West (I agree best) Coast. I met my husband, a Californian, at college, and now we’re back on the East Coast for grad school. So we’re forever going to be shuttling back and forth across the country between our parents, extended families, and friends. We’ve probably flown to CA for weddings or other events 2-3 times per year in the last 5 years. Like you said, it’s expensive but worth it. It’s not like many of our friends stayed local to either area, though – they all scattered as well for (more) higher education and jobs. We plan to move back to the West Coast after we graduate, within 1 or 2 moves.

    Where I thought you were going with this post was for employment, not for relationships. Our college has a much stronger regional reputation than national – I rarely encounter people on the East Coast who have heard of it unless they are in science or engineering or were looking at elite colleges when they applied to school. Even though I now attend a national name-brand university, I’m much prouder of my undergraduate education and will be relieved to move back to where more people have heard of it.

    Ultimately though, I think you should just live where you want to live. You will make new friendships whereever you move. The cost of attending weddings is transient. We love where we are now but the southern CA weather is simply unbeatable and we can’t wait to get back.

  3. I have some friends peppered all over the place, and I’ve been doing a HUGE Amount of flying for their weddings over the past few years. there have been a few that were a car trip away, but lots have been out of state, and usually on one of the other coasts (I live in a “flyover” state). I picked a kind-of out of the way area to get married in, so now my friends are coming to that, but there’s a few people who are unable to make it. It does get expensive, but to me it’s worth it.

  4. Yep, in the same situation. Moved to DC in 2005, lived there until 2008, and have been back at least once a year ever since. Nobody got married this year, though, so this will be the first year I don’t get to go! I’m missing my DC friends a TON.

  5. Well, everyone I know from college now lives hundreds of miles away from that area. Everyone is split pretty evenly between coasts and I really enjoy traveling to visit friends as it is a low-key/cheap mini-vacation.

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