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Old 11-10-2018, 12:43 AM
 
Location: Reno, NV
1,551 posts, read 715,055 times
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I'm specifically talking about towns dominated by the presence of a university - State College, PA; Bloomington, IN; Iowa City, IA; Lawrence, KS; and so on - not larger cities like Columbus, OH and Austin, TX that may have grown up around colleges but still have their own separate identities.
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Old 11-10-2018, 04:48 AM
 
21,196 posts, read 30,388,339 times
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I loved it and plan to return to one as soon as I can. There's an energy about living in a major college town that's difficult to place a definitive finger on that is unparalleled elsewhere. Maybe it's the density of a population that's always thinking versus the traditional city where people are going through the same motions day in/day out...not sure, but regardless it's definitely more stimulating. If worrying about sticking out like a sore thumb as being older, not so much in my opinion. If you consider there's folks working as faculty, in administration, in healthcare professions at the affiliated medical center (in many instances), researchers, other key support staff and the multitudes of non-university employed who provide services to the community...there's plenty of company. Lastly there's a sense of community for "outsiders" that doesn't automatically come if moving to an otherwise random small tow where you'll most likely never breakthrough the status of being "not from here". College towns tend to embrace people from all walks of life and from all over the country/world into their community, which I find a very attractive attribute.
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Old 11-10-2018, 12:38 PM
 
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Absolutely loved it. Normally have very strong and steady economies, low crime, high paying jobs. Iowa City is a fantastic place to live after college and into your adult life. Good schools, terrific healthcare, lots of cultural things going on, very progressive and involved community. Lots of young energy as well.
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Old 11-11-2018, 12:53 PM
 
Location: Oklahoma
6,868 posts, read 6,197,101 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kyle19125 View Post
I loved it and plan to return to one as soon as I can. There's an energy about living in a major college town that's difficult to place a definitive finger on that is unparalleled elsewhere. Maybe it's the density of a population that's always thinking versus the traditional city where people are going through the same motions day in/day out...not sure, but regardless it's definitely more stimulating. If worrying about sticking out like a sore thumb as being older, not so much in my opinion. If you consider there's folks working as faculty, in administration, in healthcare professions at the affiliated medical center (in many instances), researchers, other key support staff and the multitudes of non-university employed who provide services to the community...there's plenty of company. Lastly there's a sense of community for "outsiders" that doesn't automatically come if moving to an otherwise random small tow where you'll most likely never breakthrough the status of being "not from here". College towns tend to embrace people from all walks of life and from all over the country/world into their community, which I find a very attractive attribute.
Good take. I've always found the college towns give you a lot of the perks of a much bigger city without the headaches such as traffic, crime, and crowds. Another thing I enjoyed is there are a lot of like minded people in college towns per capita than in a bigger city. They are easier to meet and easier to get together. In a big city you might meet somebody and they live 30 miles away from you in the same metro. In a college town they will be close enough to get together easily.

The only thing you have to do in a college town as an adult is avoid living in the student ghettos, but many Universities have older upscale neighborhoods in the area around the University that are wonderful.
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Old 11-11-2018, 12:54 PM
 
Location: Greenville SC 'Waterfall City'
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I wouldn't want to live in a small college town if I didn't go to college there or didn't work at the university.
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Old 11-11-2018, 02:22 PM
 
Location: Reno, NV
1,551 posts, read 715,055 times
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Originally Posted by eddie gein View Post
Good take. I've always found the college towns give you a lot of the perks of a much bigger city without the headaches such as traffic, crime, and crowds. Another thing I enjoyed is there are a lot of like minded people in college towns per capita than in a bigger city. They are easier to meet and easier to get together. In a big city you might meet somebody and they live 30 miles away from you in the same metro. In a college town they will be close enough to get together easily.

The only thing you have to do in a college town as an adult is avoid living in the student ghettos, but many Universities have older upscale neighborhoods in the area around the University that are wonderful.
I know what you're talking about, and it's especially the case in smaller cities. I moved to Reno almost a month ago, and it's only within the past couple days I've started meeting people I have anything in common with (it took finding the right club to attend). Most of the locals seem kind of unworldly, insular, and closed-minded compared to the people I'm used to meeting in big cities.
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Old 11-11-2018, 03:19 PM
 
Location: New York, NY
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I lived in University City (right near Penn and Drexel's campuses) when I was 24, and it was great. The sheer amount of amenities within easy walking distance was great. Restaurants, bars, stores, etc. were all within a few minutes walk. It was a bit strange though when you felt older than everyone else around you at the age of 24.
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Old 11-11-2018, 09:09 PM
 
Location: Chapel Hill, NC, formerly DC and Phila
8,574 posts, read 12,677,294 times
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I'm not that fond of it. If you are not part of the university, it can feel like you are a second-class citizen. Everything really revolves around the university, such as local government decisions, traffic, etc. The downtown and the housing that is walkable to it are both centered around college students. And once past college age, who really wants to live around college students and shop at college stores?

I'd much rather find a town that is dense, walkable, and educated in its own right, without a large university at its central core.

I do agree that a college town has its advantages, and if it were a choice between a college town with the amenities that come with it and a town in the middle of nowhere with nothing to do, I'd definitely pick a college town. But if it were between a dense, livable, walkable town without a college versus the same in a college town, I'd pick the former one without a doubt.
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Old 11-12-2018, 05:35 AM
 
21,196 posts, read 30,388,339 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by michgc View Post
I'm not that fond of it. If you are not part of the university, it can feel like you are a second-class citizen. Everything really revolves around the university, such as local government decisions, traffic, etc. The downtown and the housing that is walkable to it are both centered around college students. And once past college age, who really wants to live around college students and shop at college stores?
Chapel Hill (where you live) is an outlier, and know having lived there myself for several years. Other college towns like Durham NC, Ann Arbor MI, Davis CA, Amherst MA, Boulder CO, Champaign-Urbana IL, Norman OK and Knoxville TN (to name a few) all do a pretty decent job of mixing demographics in a centralized core.
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Old 11-12-2018, 06:00 AM
 
Location: Brew City
4,230 posts, read 2,514,792 times
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I grew up in a college town. Town population 31,000 student population 17,000. I had a great time growing up there because even though it was a small town the university provided enough entertainment and other offerings than a town that size should have. With that comes an outsize influence on the town though. At least half the city is dedicated to the college.

My mom worked for the university (along with half the town) so we were very comfortable on campus. You could tell the kids whose families weren't involved with the campus. It really was like a two-tier system with the townies.

That said, just a warning, I'm a woman and it was VERY easy to 'party' with a college in town. No party was going to turn high school girls away. Neither were any of the bars. Especially because my friends and I knew most of the owners.

My inlaws still live in that town and complain about the noise CONSTANTLY. And they live on the "residential" side of town. Plus everything is converting to rentals. 6+ teenagers living in houses spreading into formerly quiet parts of town. The petty theft and vandalism is much higher than most areas.
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