One piece of advice that some of us students hear from parents, teachers and mentors is to not let friends or a significant other decide your life plan. That cautious attitude is sometimes offered at the end of high school, when we’re told to shy away from choosing our college based on where the majority of our friends are going.
So, as we start to consider life after USF, does this advice still hold up in a post-college context?
A majority of us at the Foghorn believe it is necessary to take our relationships into account when making post-graduation plans. Whether these connections are romantic or platonic, it is important to consider who and what you rely on to help you get by.
Most of the Foghorn believes that by moving away after graduation, you may be preventing your relationships from evolving in the future, weakening those once-important connections. A job in another city may be more rewarding, but maybe your friends’ support is what helped you through your current job and, when you move, your new job may seem that much more difficult.
On top of that, some people feel a stronger sense of purpose in maintaining loving relationships than they do in maintaining a flashy career.
While it’s risky to put all of your eggs in one social basket, and it’s difficult to move to a new place and start from zero, it’s also important to acknowledge how much of an impact the presence of your friends and loved ones have.
There is a small minority on the Foghorn staff who believe that friends or significant others should not have any impact on your post-graduation plans whatsoever, because what ultimately matters is you and your goals.
In general, it’s unhealthy to depend entirely on other people for your happiness and future plans. Just as you are making decisions for your future, so are your friends — it’s entirely possible that you could choose to stay because your friends live here, but then your friends decide to leave. If you let your social network keep you in one location, you’re closing yourself to potentially incredible opportunities.
Also, in most cases, this wouldn’t be your first time making this “big life” choice. Many of us came to USF without knowing anyone, but managed to find our footing and form deep and meaningful connections here. Considering this, there’s no reason why we can’t do the same after college.
The decision ultimately depends on where your priorities lie. Some people get bored with staying in the same place for too long, and find more purpose in their work than in their social relationships. Other people have a lot more trouble adjusting to a new location, and find the prospect of having to establish a whole new social network more daunting than exciting.
Just because one person you know was able to make the transition and move to the other side of the country doesn’t mean it will fit you.