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Old 12-30-2008, 12:54 AM
Location: Fort Bend County
2,524 posts, read 5,059,217 times
Reputation: 2152


Hi everyone, I'm about to complete my undergraduate career & go for my M.A.T. (Master of Arts in Teaching). I have four graduate school options & one of them is at BU. I'm originally from Tulsa, OK & have spent four years in a small college town in Texas & I am ready to venture out!

This is a little off the wayside but do you think Boston has the best options for an unpretentious, open-minded black woman who is 21, single & ready to mingle? Is Boston kind to southern folks? Thanks for your input!

PS-a bit about me:
-majored in English & Professional Writing, wanting to teach at the Secondary level
-not a HUGE partier, not big into drinking but I LOVE to dance!
-personality: somewhat traditional with a modern twist, very friendly, animal lover, love traveling, hanging out w/ friends & family & I love to volunteer!
-always wanted to venture out of TX eventually (born in Oklahoma, raised in Texas)
-finances are not a HUGE issue for me
-not EXTREMELY picky about dating (ie-as long as they have a university education & goals, open to dating men of diff. backgrounds, etc.)

Thanks a lot everyone & hope this didn't bore you to tears
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Old 12-30-2008, 10:32 PM
5,772 posts, read 13,723,327 times
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Greetings from a fellow English major (though I'm one of those returning adult students, an old geezer euphamistically referred to by colleges as "non-traditional," and I concentrate in creative writing rather than professional). Well, let's see, would Boston be the best fit for you? Truthfully, I can't say for sure. The schools you are considering, and how they fit your career goals, are really the most important consideration. As for which school is located in the place that would fit you best as a home for several years, it depends on the places you're considering, and on those subtleties of personality--in both the person and the place--that make certain places just the right fit for certain people, and other places feel a little off to the same people.

What I can say is that your description makes you sound like a friendly person who will probably get along well with people anywhere. Boston does have a reputation for having people who are rude, or cold. Like so many stereotypes, this one is a bit more complicated than what people might tell you. On the surface there is some truth to Bostonians' reputation for aloofness. In general, when you're out and about in public in Boston you don't automatically make small talk with everyone you encounter throughout the day--something that would probably take some getting used to for a Southerner. However, you will encounter all kinds of individuals, many of whom will be plenty friendly and outgoing. I also find that people get very friendly in more intimate settings, such as a quiet restaurant or a neighborhood coffee shop or low-key bar. In places like that you are likely to have some friendly interaction with the staff--especially if you get to be a regular customer--and often with other customers in the right bar or coffee shop. The main thing that would take some adjustment for someone from your background would be to get used to the fact that people in Boston do not automatically engage in chit-chat with everyone they encounter while waiting in line at a store, or riding on a bus or train. Of course as a student you would have the opportunity to socialize with other students, who generally seem to be a pretty friendly bunch, in any city or town.

How will Bostonians treat a Southern girl? Well, you do have to be realistic about the fact that you could run into the occasional jerk who would automatically look down on you some because of your background, or the occasional ignorant person who just does not know much about the world beyond his own neighborhood, who will really kind of believe that Deliverance must look familiar to you, or will assume that people go swimming outdoors in Dallas in January. Honestly, you could encounter that kind of ignorance occasionally. For the most part though, well, maybe you'll get the idea if I tell you that my mother was from NC, moved to a suburb of Boston as a young adult, and used to have people she encountered in public around the Boston area be charmed by her Southern accent--"Where are you from? I LOVE to hear you talk!" That kind of thing.

A lot of it has to do with you, in terms of both the general demeanor of Bostonians and the way they're likely to react to a Southern girl. The more friendly you are, the more friendliness you will receive in return, even in this city known for the reserved attitude of its people. The more you're able to be easygoing about differences in background, the more people you'll encounter who will find your Suh-thuhn-ness charming. If you're a real wallflower, or don't adjust well to differences in local attitudes and culture, then you might find Boston difficult. I'm getting a good feeling about you from your initial post, getting the sense that you're likely to get along well with people pretty much anywhere. If that's the case, then I'm thinking that you would find grad school in Boston to be a good experience.

Okay, a few more things to keep in mind:

You say that cost is not a great consideration, but keep in mind that Boston is one of the more expensive cities in the U.S. in terms of housing costs and overall cost of living. Just be sure you know how expensive this city really is before assuming that cost is not too much of a factor. If you can provide some info on your preferred living situation--in the city, in an inner suburb, roommates or not, car or not--people here can give you an idea of the approximate costs you would be looking at.

Of course the weather is different than you're used to in Texas. I'm sure you know that, but just a reminder.

You say you're now in a small college town. Have you lived at some point in one of the larger cities in Texas? If not, it would almost certainly be an adjustment to live in a large city for the first time. Just be aware. If you have lived in the Houston or DFW metro areas, then you know about cities that size, but you'd want to keep in mind that Boston is a very different kind of city than those two, with classic old buildings, a much higher population density, and a compact layout where almost all the city amenities are packed into one relatively small central area. Overall, I see that as a plus because of the convenience of getting to almost any place you want to be in town by walking there or taking a subway ride, but it is different from what you would be used to if you've lived in a sprawling Sun Belt city.

But then, hey, you say you want to experience someplace new and different. The best thing you can do is keep seeking as much information as you can about the details of the places you are considering, then trust your instincts about which place seems like the best fit for you. I hope the info I've offered will get you started in getting a picture of what Boston is about. Best of luck to you as you continue your education.

Last edited by ogre; 12-30-2008 at 10:45 PM..
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Old 01-01-2009, 10:42 PM
Location: Fort Bend County
2,524 posts, read 5,059,217 times
Reputation: 2152
Thank you very much ogre for your response. Lots to think about
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