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Old 08-10-2011, 03:19 PM
 
Location: Columbus, OH
2 posts, read 13,401 times
Reputation: 11

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I am a 20 year old male and would like to move out west in about a year and I think I have narrowed my search down to Colorado. I understand that is still an extremely vast area which is why I am asking for some help from people who have lived in or visited Colorado on where a good place to live would be.
By the time I move i will have completed 2 years of college and will be looking for a city where I can find some work, suitable for an undergraduate college student, and finish earning my degree. I am currently studying environmental science and would like to continue at least somewhat in that direction which is why I think Colorado might be better for me to get more experience in my field (I live in Ohio right now).

Now I would like to live in a city where it would not cost too much to rent a single person apartment. I don't care if it is in the outskirts or in a bad part of town, its the city life and available recreational activities that I'm interested in, not necessarily the quality of my living arrangements. That being said I love the outdoors which is another reason why I am thinking Colorado. I love to ski/snowboard, hike, mountain bike, kayak/canoe, climb, fish, swim, and play sports. However, I also love the city life; going to concerts, walking around downtown, and staying up late so I don't want to live in a city with only outdoor activities.
My ideal city woulld be medium to large in popoulation (maybe even 20-40 minutes outside of a city like that to avoid expensive rent and groceries), have friendly people with an active lifestyle, be in close proximity to somewhere I can ski, bike, hike, and climb (I'm fine with driving a ways to the ski resorts and trails), and also an active city/night life. As far as a job goes I am not looking for anything major or permanent, I just want a part time job that will pay rent and give me a little spending money so don't consider the job market to be a selling point. When I finish school I will move to somewhere else to start my career if a have to. I am just looking to have fun and explore the country.

If you have any other questions, please don't hesitate to ask, I encourage any and all responses. Also if you can think of a place that is not in Colorado that matches some of my criteria let me know please. Thanks for the help!
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Old 08-10-2011, 03:43 PM
 
17,373 posts, read 24,625,888 times
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IIRC from reading many threads, you need to live here at least a year to qualify for in-state tuition, else you'll pay a huge premium. It's a great place to live but there are plenty of environmental challenges in Ohio, and more coming if they drill in the Utica Shale.
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Old 08-10-2011, 04:12 PM
 
2,205 posts, read 3,584,803 times
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Wink Environmentally speaking

Colorado State University (CSU).

That is the short answer, and quite possibly the one you should follow. CSU is located in Fort Collins, which is often rated as one of the more desirable and livable towns in the United States. But the better reason, if you are serious about school, is because it excels in the environmental sciences. The University of Colorado (CU) in Boulder would be another good choice in general, but in checking you'll likely find CSU preferable if studying the environment.

Boulder has the advantage of a lovely campus, with it and the town a fantastic view of the Flat Iron mountains rising up majestically on your doorstep. It is an expensive town, but as you mentioned that isn't as much a factor for any student. It would be a fine place to complete your BA, but.

As with Boulder, Ft. Collins lies along the front range, next the edge of the mountains. Its setting isn't as glorious, but still plenty nice enough. About the same would apply to the CSU campus. But in a lot of respects it is a great town. Easy to get around in, with some older quaint neighborhoods in the northern part of town, near the CSU campus, others as more modern suburbia. All rather nice, with no truly bad part of town. As students in Boulder would have 'The Hill' across from the CU campus for pizza and what not, CSU has the nearby 'Old Town' area with good shops and restaurants.

For the avid outdoor enthusiast living directly in the mountains would be best. But the better schools are along the front range. In several respects Boulder would be preferable to CSU, with the outdoors in mind. Both have bike paths and hiking trails just outside of town, although Boulder arguably with the better and more scenic trails. Most of the closest major downhill skiing areas are in Summit County, with Boulder closer to them as Ft. Collins is just that much farther north. For something more local, the smaller ski area of Eldora, just outside of Nederland, could be a good choice, but again Boulder is closer to it.

But you might take some satisfaction that both towns are more or less equidistant from Rocky Mountain National Park. For some great hiking and wilderness in general you will be blessed to be as close to such a resource. The drive there from Ft. Collins is about an hour, but with best access via US 34, versus US 36 from Boulder, you may take some satisfaction in having what might be argued the more scenic excursion.

Even if not overly concerned with housing arrangements, other than having them cheap, it might still pay to do a little research. As is commonly the case, some apartments in Ft. Collins, and Boulder as well, will be noisy pig sties, and no cheaper than other better options. In either town one can locate apartment complexes near the universities that are convenient in proximity. As far as choosing goes, maybe you want the constant student party scene, so then aim for that and avoid the boring (and quiet). At least in Ft. Collins, and pretty much Boulder as well, there isn't much reason for the student to head out of town looking for cheaper rent. Most apartments will be within these towns, with something in town surely the best choice.

You can worry about this later, but Ft. Collins is the type of town that students often grow to love - and do not wish to leave. Therefore something of a glut of the educated and talented all vying within what is a relatively limited job market. This probably something the case in Boulder as well, but that town is closer to the greater market of the Denver metro area.

It could be, maybe, that if avidly pursing environmental sciences that your future may answer itself. CSU is not only a good place to learn such skills, but the home of where some of these professionals are based out of.
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Old 08-10-2011, 05:15 PM
 
Location: Sunnyvale, CA
3,901 posts, read 5,298,557 times
Reputation: 1504
Quote:
Originally Posted by samdarland View Post
By the time I move i will have completed 2 years of college and will be looking for a city where I can find some work, suitable for an undergraduate college student, and finish earning my degree.
This drastically limits the physical locations in Colorado. There's only a few places in the state where there are undergraduate colleges: Denver, Colorado Springs, Boulder, Grand Junction, Pueblo.

Quote:
Now I would like to live in a city where it would not cost too much to rent a single person apartment.
Of the aforementioned towns, Boulder is the most expensive and Pueblo the least.

Quote:
I don't care if it is in the outskirts or in a bad part of town, its the city life and available recreational activities that I'm interested in,
The "city life" requirement rules out Grand Junction, now you're left with Pueblo Boulder Colorado Springs and Denver.

Quote:
not necessarily the quality of my living arrangements. That being said I love the outdoors which is another reason why I am thinking Colorado. I love to ski/snowboard, hike, mountain bike, kayak/canoe, climb, fish, swim, and play sports. However, I also love the city life; going to concerts, walking around downtown, and staying up late so I don't want to live in a city with only outdoor activities.
This rules out Pueblo.

Quote:
My ideal city woulld be medium to large in popoulation (maybe even 20-40 minutes outside of a city like that to avoid expensive rent and groceries),
Now you are left with Boulder, Colorado Springs, and Denver. All three of these happen to be within a two-hour drive of eachother.

Quote:
If you have any other questions, please don't hesitate to ask, I encourage any and all responses. Also if you can think of a place that is not in Colorado that matches some of my criteria let me know please.
You can rule out Wyoming and Idaho and Montana because they don't have any cities to speak of.
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Old 08-10-2011, 06:50 PM
 
8,322 posts, read 22,481,894 times
Reputation: 8065
Quote:
Originally Posted by 80skeys View Post
This drastically limits the physical locations in Colorado. There's only a few places in the state where there are undergraduate colleges: Denver, Colorado Springs, Boulder, Grand Junction, Pueblo.



Of the aforementioned towns, Boulder is the most expensive and Pueblo the least.



The "city life" requirement rules out Grand Junction, now you're left with Pueblo Boulder Colorado Springs and Denver.

(snip)


A very interesting take on the OP's concerns ... which completely ignores CSU/Fort Collins as a major player in the educational business/student life/ready access to outdoor activity as well as a fairly active downtown in accordance with the OP's stated parameters ... and well illustrated by Idunn above ...

And while you casually dismiss Laramie/UW as not being a "city" ... I'd suggest that UW could readily fulfill the OP's areas of interest in a good education (at a very competitive cost, too!), reasonable costs of living/student housing, and excellent access to the outdoor activity they want. Like so many other "wish" lists, a bit of compromise may pay off in big dividends for the stronger priorities at hand; an affordable education, job market, decent place to live, and access to outdoor recreation may trump the big nightlife of large cities .... have no fear, OP ... Laramie's students seem to have a relatively good time there when it comes to nightlife and entertainment.

Last edited by sunsprit; 08-10-2011 at 06:58 PM..
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Old 08-10-2011, 07:06 PM
 
Location: SW Missouri
14,851 posts, read 17,990,785 times
Reputation: 18987
Quote:
Originally Posted by samdarland View Post
I am a 20 year old male and would like to move out west in about a year and I think I have narrowed my search down to Colorado. I understand that is still an extremely vast area which is why I am asking for some help from people who have lived in or visited Colorado on where a good place to live would be.
By the time I move i will have completed 2 years of college and will be looking for a city where I can find some work, suitable for an undergraduate college student, and finish earning my degree. I am currently studying environmental science and would like to continue at least somewhat in that direction which is why I think Colorado might be better for me to get more experience in my field (I live in Ohio right now).

Now I would like to live in a city where it would not cost too much to rent a single person apartment. I don't care if it is in the outskirts or in a bad part of town, its the city life and available recreational activities that I'm interested in, not necessarily the quality of my living arrangements. That being said I love the outdoors which is another reason why I am thinking Colorado. I love to ski/snowboard, hike, mountain bike, kayak/canoe, climb, fish, swim, and play sports. However, I also love the city life; going to concerts, walking around downtown, and staying up late so I don't want to live in a city with only outdoor activities.
My ideal city woulld be medium to large in popoulation (maybe even 20-40 minutes outside of a city like that to avoid expensive rent and groceries), have friendly people with an active lifestyle, be in close proximity to somewhere I can ski, bike, hike, and climb (I'm fine with driving a ways to the ski resorts and trails), and also an active city/night life. As far as a job goes I am not looking for anything major or permanent, I just want a part time job that will pay rent and give me a little spending money so don't consider the job market to be a selling point. When I finish school I will move to somewhere else to start my career if a have to. I am just looking to have fun and explore the country.

If you have any other questions, please don't hesitate to ask, I encourage any and all responses. Also if you can think of a place that is not in Colorado that matches some of my criteria let me know please. Thanks for the help!

I'd check out Colorado Springs.

20yrsinBranson
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Old 08-10-2011, 07:44 PM
 
Location: Denver, CO
5,470 posts, read 14,391,104 times
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samdarland, which is most important to you right now-- finishing your degree or bumming around? If it's the degree, the question should be "which college/university (if any) in Colorado should I attend?" Deciding where to go to school involves weighing all of the different factors-- quality of the programs and academic reputation, geographical surroundings, lifestyle concerns, family, finances, etc. Unless if you're coming here to study at CU (Boulder), CSU (Ft Collins), or DU (Denver), and the extremely high cost of out-of-state tuition (or private school tuition, in the case of DU) isn't an issue, you're better off staying where you are and finishing your degree at Ohio State. Not saying that the other state schools aren't any good, but IMHO they are NOT worth coming here and paying out of state tuition rates.

If, OTOH, the goal is to bum around/ take time off from school, then you can go anywhere you want.

I would recommend taking a trip out here to visit and explore different areas. First see the state-- and not just the ski resort towns, but the places where most of the people actually live (the Front Range, mainly). Then you'll know if moving here is something you would want to pursue further or not.
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Old 08-10-2011, 08:37 PM
 
17,373 posts, read 24,625,888 times
Reputation: 12746
Quote:
Originally Posted by vegaspilgrim View Post
samdarland, ... you're better off staying where you are and finishing your degree at Ohio State. Not saying that the other state schools aren't any good, but IMHO they are NOT worth coming here and paying out of state tuition rates....
Yes, and there's not a DAMNED thing wrong with a degree from Ohio State.
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Old 08-11-2011, 09:29 AM
 
Location: Columbus, OH
2 posts, read 13,401 times
Reputation: 11
Mike:
I did realize that I would have to pay put of state tuition which is considerably more expensive than in-state. For that reason I was considering moving out to Colorado after my second year of school, in June, and just working for a year in Colo after which I will be considered a resident and then after I have some money and have become acclimated to my new home, I can finish my schooling.
Also, Ohio State is currently where I'm going to school, so of course I agree that there is nothing wrong with a degree form there.

Idunn:
Those were pretty much the two colleges I was considering, unless I decided on a smaller college when I arrived, and both of those cities seem great and fit my needs and desires.

80skeys:
If I decide to take a year off from school to get used to the move I just made, those are the three cities I narrowed my search down to as well. I was never actually considering the other three states you mentioned, although maybe Utah or Arizona, but I think somewhere around those cities would be great if I settle on Colorado. Now I just have to decide if I should live downtown, or a few miles outside of the city where there might be easier access to some of the outdoor activities I am interested in.

Sunsprt:
I agree with you, and Fort Collins is still a potential place for me to move to, however I don't think I want to live in Wyoming. Not that I haven't heard its a beautiful state with plenty to keep me busy, it just didn't seem like a great fit for me.

Vegaspilgrim:
As I mentioned above I don't think I will be going to school for the first year that I am living out there. That is why I am havng trouble deciding where to live because I really can go just about anywhere. As long as I can get a part-time job, enjoy my favorite outdoor activities, and explore the city life, then I will be happy wherever I am, but I need to find the right balance between all of these (keeping in mind I may not have a car and will have to rely on public transportation and/or cabs). I would not say that I want to "bum around" for my first year in Colorado, but I do want to enjoy myself and see what the West has to offer. After tat when I am ready to start school again I will have some extra money hopefully to move to one of those cities that has the school I want to to attend. That is also another reason why I want to come to Colorado is because many of there schools specialize in my area of research, and while Ohio State has a good program, they are not nationally recognized as one of the best. I want to know (if there even is one answer), where some of the best places to live would be if I wasn't in school and I just wanted to have fun and explore the state; the wilderness and the cities.
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Old 08-11-2011, 11:00 AM
 
Location: Sunnyvale, CA
3,901 posts, read 5,298,557 times
Reputation: 1504
Quote:
Originally Posted by sunsprit View Post

And while you casually dismiss Laramie/UW as not being a "city" ... I'd suggest that UW could readily fulfill the OP's areas of interest in a good education (at a very competitive cost, too!),
I doubt someone from Colombus OH would consider Laramie, Wyoming, enough of a city
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