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Old 06-15-2009, 08:23 PM
 
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I'm a single female, 25 years old, considering going to graduate school in Charleston. I'm deciding between Charleston and Charlotte, NC. I'd like some input from young folks in Charleston. What's the dating life like there for young chickies like me? How's the nightlife? Are people friendly--is it easy to make friends? How's the cost of living? I know this sounds like 20 questions, but I'm really torn about where to go! Oh, and if any grad students have any input, it'd be greatly appreciated! Thanks in advance!
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Old 06-16-2009, 05:37 AM
 
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If you are going to UC it is a great school. I went there for years. If you want action Charleston is kinda dead.
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Old 06-16-2009, 07:12 AM
 
Location: Arlington, VA
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Where are you moving from?

I have several friends that attended the University of Charleston and they all seem very satisfied with their education. I know the school is experiencing a decent amount of growth as they expand their degree offerings. I was in Charleston several weeks ago and there was a decent amount of construction around campus.

It is rather difficult to compare Charleston to Charlotte as they are polar opposites on virtually every measure of comparability. If you're looking for action and a thriving twenty-something scene then Charlotte is going to win hands down. Depending on your field, Charlotte would also offer significantly more employment opportunities after school.

If you seek a small city atmosphere with easy access to the outdoors then Charleston is your town.
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Old 06-17-2009, 06:18 PM
 
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Thanks for replying! I hesitate to say where I'm coming from because I don't want to give people negative ideas about the place--I have nothing nice to say about it! I will say that it is a larger city than Charleston but smaller than Charlotte. The people in my city are not friendly at all--they are very closed minded and very much about sticking to their individual cliques they formed in high school or college. Not willing to meet new people at all! Also, the cost of living isn't that great--I currently pay $645 for a 1 bedroom apartment that honestly isn't the best. And the dating life--terrible! All the men have horrible attitudes and want to date women who are blonde, blue eyed and tan. I have no problem with women like that, but I just don't fit that description. As far as what I like to do, I'm really not a partier type--I'll go to clubs once in awhile, but I do love being outdoos and I also love small things like going to coffehouses and trying new restaurants. What I'm looking for in a city is a reasonable cost of living, a safe environment, a much more open vibe, and opportunities to meet others like myself. Hope this gives a better picture of what I'm looking for! :-)
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Old 06-17-2009, 07:01 PM
 
Location: Arlington, VA
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Well many young adults in Charleston also stick to their individual high school cliques... trust me I see it everytime I go home. It might be somewhat of a challenge to crack the parochial shell of many young individuals in the Kanawha Valley but area residents for the most part are welcoming to newcomers. However, if you are looking for hordes of young singles who are all new to the area, you aren't going to find it in Charleston. Newcomers to West Virginia are more likely to be retired individuals looking for a less hectic lifestyle.

The cost of living in Charleston is reasonable but then again you will make a lot less than your peers in larger metropolitan areas. It all depends on your individual career path.

The city is quite safe but like anyplace else you should just be aware of your surroundings and stay out of the drug trade!

Again, I don't know where you are moving from so I'm not sure what type of culinary experiences you are used to. Charleston has many of the national chains that exist everywhere else along with some rather tasty independently owned places. I find the ethnic dining scene to be horrible but then again I'm used to the DC area where we have large immigrant populations hailing from every corner of the globe.

If you like the great outdoors then Charleston is your town. The city is surrounded by the mountains and many wonderful state parks are within close proximity.

I personally would recommend Charlotte over Charleston for a young person in graduate school but it all depends on individual preferences. Some people like a slower paced lifestyle, others like the hustle and bustle of the city. Good luck with your decision and let me know if you have any other questions.

Last edited by NOVAmtneer82; 06-17-2009 at 07:09 PM..
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Old 06-17-2009, 07:52 PM
 
Location: ɐpɐʌǝu 'sɐƃǝʌ sɐl
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Movinonup13 View Post
Also, the cost of living isn't that great--I currently pay $645 for a 1 bedroom apartment that honestly isn't the best.
Wow, what a bargain!

I don't know where you're from, but it's obviously not southern California! When I left there, I left a 1br/1ba apartment that I was paying over $1200/mo for. Boy, what a difference in the cost of living between some places (which is largely why I moved to Las Vegas/out of California).

I don't have any information to help you out with your decision, though. I was just looking through the WV forum because we're considering Charleston when we move in the next year or two, and came across your thread. Good luck, whichever you choose!
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Old 06-17-2009, 08:51 PM
 
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Wow, what a bargain!

I don't know where you're from, but it's obviously not southern California! When I left there, I left a 1br/1ba apartment that I was paying over $1200/mo for. Boy, what a difference in the cost of living between some places (which is largely why I moved to Las Vegas/out of California).

I don't have any information to help you out with your decision, though. I was just looking through the WV forum because we're considering Charleston when we move in the next year or two, and came across your thread. Good luck, whichever you choose!
Funny you say that... actually when I was a kid we lived in Southern CA! The cost of living when we were there over 10 years ago was even higher than the cost of living in WV now, it's insane! I totally understand why you left!

You'll be blown away by the prices in Charleston. I'm looking now and one bedrooms are in the $400-$500 range. It definitely seems to be very cost effective to live there!

Thanks for your reply! :-) Good luck with your move!
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Old 06-17-2009, 09:34 PM
 
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Really enjoying all the feedback I'm getting here... thanks to you all! If anyone has anything to add, please feel free! I'd like to get as many opinions as possible :-)
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Old 06-18-2009, 08:36 AM
 
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Movinonup13, I've lived in various parts of the country. I lived in the Charleston area of WV for a long time. It is definitely affordable there and there's plenty of state/national parks around. You could go to Hawks Nest, New River Gorge Bridge, etc. There are also a lot of trails that you can hike on that most people don't know about/don't care about but you'll have to do a little research on those (for instance you can hike a trail near the New River Gorge Bridge to an abandoned coal mine/town).

I can't really say what it's like now because I haven't seen it with my own eyes recently but I can tell you that it's predominantly white and while there is not extreme racism but there is definitely some there (as in many other parts of the country). I'm not sure how the "coffee house scene" is but there's bound to be a couple in Charleston along with a club or two (but don't expect a lot). Charleston isn't a huge place. I always felt like the Kanawha Valley had a small world feel because you have huge mountains on both sides of you. I didn't particularly like it - also the humidity is terrible and I didn't like that either. Personally speaking, if I were you I'd try some place completely different than what you're used to. Why not go to Michigan? They have very cheap rents right now and very good schools. What about Washington State or Oregan? Or even DC or Austin? Why not try some place completely new and different? I'm assuming by your post that you live in the southeast somewhere. Why not try the Northeast, the Midwest, the far west, the southwest or some other place? Heck, what about the University of Hawaii?

I'm not saying that you shouldn't go for Charleston but after having lived in many parts of the country I can say with certainty that each place I've lived has been a good experience. I didn't realize it at the time but looking back, it was good to meet and know people in different parts of the country. Honestly, go live in Northern California or Austin Texas or Michigan or Maine or Hilo (Hawaii) or something. You'll find nature stuff to do in all of them and you'll experience another part of the country. All these places will have the definate "american" feel that you're used to. All your "normal" stores and restaurants will be there. People will speak English. It will feel "American" in all these places yet it will feel very different than what you're used to and while they all have the "american culture" they feel different somehow. Trust me on this, you're missing out on life if you're from the south and you're going to grad school in the south. On the other hand, if you're already from Texas and you are trying to go to school in West Virginia then it makes sense (to me). You haven't even said the state you're from so what do I know?
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Old 06-18-2009, 08:42 AM
 
Location: Macao
12,929 posts, read 19,470,015 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Movinonup13 View Post
I'm a single female, 25 years old, considering going to graduate school in Charleston. I'm deciding between Charleston and Charlotte, NC. I'd like some input from young folks in Charleston. What's the dating life like there for young chickies like me? How's the nightlife? Are people friendly--is it easy to make friends? How's the cost of living? I know this sounds like 20 questions, but I'm really torn about where to go! Oh, and if any grad students have any input, it'd be greatly appreciated! Thanks in advance!
Just IN GENERAL...

I really believe that WHERE you go to Graduate School should also be connected to WHERE you want to live. Mainly because one of the main points of graduate school is to MAKE CONTACTS in your field of interest. So professors often can hookup students with future jobs.

I've made a lot of education mistakes in my life, and one of the main ones is studying in places I had no longterm interest in being in.

So, just saying, if you want to make a new start in WV, than WV is a great place for it...but if you are just looking for the degree and then get as far away as possible, might be better to explore the other options you had as well....just saying.
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