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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Column: As graduation looms, students should look to Tucson for the future

In most of my upper-division classes, the professor will ask if anyone plans on staying in Tucson to pursue a career after we graduate. Cue the scoffs.

A majority of the students will explain how they need a bigger city because Tucson (insert excuse here).

These excuses include anything from the size, location and job market to the lack of ocean and fast-paced, big city vibe.

I admire the high standards that my fellow students have set for themselves and their future lives. However, I think too many UA students are jaded by Tucson.

Living in New York City isn’t going to make your life any better; in reality, spending your twenties in NYC working your first job will drain your bank account and cause your suppressed, deep-rooted, self-esteem issues to surface.

But, you’ll probably get really good at fitting all of your possessions in weird spaces because you share a two-bedroom apartment with five other aspiring whatevers. At least the nightlife is dope.

Now that I’m off my soapbox, I think it’s important that students at UA realize that being successful after college doesn’t mean living some sort of “Sex and the City” dream or hanging out with famous people at 1Oak in Los Angeles.

No offense to anyone who has these aspirations; go for it. But it’s time for students to realize how much potential this city we’re already living in actually has for people our age.

With that being said, Money Magazine just listed Tucson in the top five cities in the country for Millennials.

Gabriela Rico’s article “Tucson named one of the best locales for young professionals” in the Arizona Daily Star this past weekend explained that Money Magazine’s list of top cities was based on “places with populations above 300,000, above-average projected job growth, affordable living expenses and a high concentration of amenities.”

It’s time for our city to abandon our stereotype of being a bunch of retirees or avid hikers.

Tucson is like the cool, low-key cousin of Portland or San Diego. She’s tatted, knows where to find the hippest bar or coffee shop and works at a start-up downtown.

With an abundance of restaurants, an ever-growing art scene and a multitude of diverse cultural groups, Tucson has rebranded itself as a community that can foster the growth of young professionals.

There is something for everyone here.

The UA should have more opportunities for students to explore a future in Tucson, putting an emphasis on staying in town after finishing their degrees by having local business or art and culture fairs on campus.

Our professors should provide resources or contacts to relevant employment and internship prospects in our area.

“Well, Listservs and the Career Fair already do that,” you might say—which is true. But I’d like to hear from my professors why they chose Tucson and why they enjoy living here. It would be nice to have young professionals come to our classes and speak a little about their experience.

Being young is about chasing big dreams, but shows like “Million Dollar Listing” and “The Hills” have given us all really screwed up ideas about what our twenties are supposed to look like.

Don’t waste an opportunity here because the grass isn’t always greener somewhere else.

Well in our case, I guess the desert isn’t always drier?

Follow Trey Ross on Twitter.

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