U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > General U.S.
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
View Poll Results: What Would You Rather Be?
I'd Rather be a Big Fish in a Little Pond 9 27.27%
I'd Rather be a Small Fish in a Big Sea 24 72.73%
Voters: 33. You may not vote on this poll

Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 07-08-2008, 10:21 PM
 
Location: Polish Hill, Pittsburgh, PA
30,251 posts, read 67,427,470 times
Reputation: 15908

Advertisements

As a 21-year-old most of my elders continually try to encourage me to leave Scranton/Wilkes-Barre (pop. 551,000) in pursuit of "bigger" and "better" things in my life. I don't exactly consider myself to be an academic standout, but I can agree that in my chosen career path (public accounting), I would have a much easier time locating suitable employment opportunities in a larger metropolitan area than I would if I choose to stay here in my own more intimate area of Pennsylvania.

I realize that as a very ambitious and goal-oriented person who also wishes to run for political office someday that I may very well become an example of a "big fish in a little pond" in that I'm going to have my professional endeavors hampered by a glass ceiling due to the diminutive size of my city. I could very easily relocate two hours to my east or south to New York City or Philadelphia, respectively, but then there I'd just fade into obscurity living a dull existence as a "small fish in a big sea," where any personal successes are overshadowed by the many others who are vying for competition for the same position.

What would you rather be? Would you rather be the "top of the heap" in a smaller, more intimate setting, or would you rather be a "Joe Nobody" in a bustling environment? In other words, do you want to be King of Podunk or an unrecognized part of the huddling mass?
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 07-08-2008, 10:25 PM
 
Location: Polish Hill, Pittsburgh, PA
30,251 posts, read 67,427,470 times
Reputation: 15908
I suppose I've finally come to the realization that I'd rather sacrifice my own potential professional successes in order to provide my family with a slower pace of life. My lower salary here in a smaller city will be mitigated by lower housing prices, lower taxes, and generally lower to average other expenditures in order to afford me the opportunity to live comfortably. Through all of my social networking online, at work, church, college, parties, etc. I feel as if I now "know" a few thousand people in my area---the very same people who can attest to my personal character and who would be willing to elect me into a leadership position in the future in order to drive our city into a new era of prosperity. Will I be widely-recognized? No. Will I care? No. I simply think that there are more important things in life than "keeping up with the Jones's" and trying to play this worldly game of "Dog Eat Dog."
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-08-2008, 10:48 PM
 
5,772 posts, read 13,747,463 times
Reputation: 4583
Pond, lake, river, sea . . . rather than either of the choices presented, I'd prefer to live in whatever body of water really felt like home, then swim around wherever I wanted to and not give a flying doughnut what the other fish thought.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-08-2008, 10:53 PM
 
Location: Polish Hill, Pittsburgh, PA
30,251 posts, read 67,427,470 times
Reputation: 15908
Quote:
Originally Posted by ogre View Post
Pond, lake, river, sea . . . rather than either of the choices presented, I'd prefer to live in whatever body of water really felt like home, then swim around wherever I wanted to and not give a flying doughnut what the other fish thought.
Simply awesome words of wisdom! How many of us are more concerned with keeping up appearances and worrying about what others think of us than we are about making ourselves feel truly happy? I can rattle off dozens of major moments in my life that were ruined by my compulsion to wish to live up to the standards of others. We should all live to make everyday good 'til the last drop, regardless of what others think. I'm going to run outside tomorrow and shake my weenie at a squirrel in front of the neighbors and see what happens! (Okay, so maybe THAT is a bit drastic! LOL!)
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-08-2008, 11:32 PM
 
Location: Parker, CO
1,086 posts, read 2,744,726 times
Reputation: 1780
What have you got to lose? The moving vans go both directions. If you move to a big city and realize it's not for you, then go back to Scranton. Don't go through life wondering "what if." You're young and this is the time to step out on your own and take a chance.

If the fast paced lifestyles of Philadelphia or New York don't suit you, maybe you should consider moving to another major city that is a little bit slower paced, but that still offers the urban environment you are looking for. There are tons of major cities in the U.S. that are great for raising a family.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-09-2008, 12:41 AM
 
Location: Denver, CO
5,608 posts, read 20,743,009 times
Reputation: 5348
I'd rather be a medium sized fish in a medium sized pond. In my opinion, medium-medium large sized cities (ranging from around 750k to 3 million, although some would argue even 3 million is far too big) offer the best combination of plenty of career opportunities (especially if you're flexible as to exactly what industry you go into) while still having reasonable "quality of life." For me, a city like Omaha, NE or Albuquerque, NM would be the smallest sized city I'd be interested in living in, and a Denver, CO or San Diego, CA would be getting towards the upper population threshold. Right now I'm temporarily living in LA (in a one year MS in Accounting program-- your future competition, SWB ), the second biggest city in the US, and I've already figured out that giant mega-city life just isn't for me. I'm going back to Denver as soon as I graduate. The way I see it, medium sized cities offer 80% of what mega-cities offer, but at less than 50% the cost. The only thing you're missing is that extra edge, that extra pizzazz. I'm not some edgy, hip person anyway, so I could care less about that stuff. I believe in working to live, not living to work. Giant, expensive mega cities have that equation flipped around backwards.

In your case, SWB, it's not so much the size of your metro area that's the problem, it's that you're living in an economically depressed area. I think as long as you are able to squeak out a decent living in Scranton, stay there and make it work. But if you find you can't even make a living there as an accountant (ie-- can't get a job), then you may have no choice but to move on. Personally, I think you should give Omaha a second consideration. From everything we know about you, it could end up being that Omaha might be just your kind of town.

Last edited by vegaspilgrim; 07-09-2008 at 12:52 AM..
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-09-2008, 02:05 AM
 
5,772 posts, read 13,747,463 times
Reputation: 4583
Quote:
Originally Posted by ScranBarre View Post
Simply awesome words of wisdom! How many of us are more concerned with keeping up appearances and worrying about what others think of us than we are about making ourselves feel truly happy? I can rattle off dozens of major moments in my life that were ruined by my compulsion to wish to live up to the standards of others. We should all live to make everyday good 'til the last drop, regardless of what others think. I'm going to run outside tomorrow and shake my weenie at a squirrel in front of the neighbors and see what happens! (Okay, so maybe THAT is a bit drastic! LOL!)

Oh geez, your suggested manner of displaying independence could scare the poor little squirrel! Not to mention maybe getting you arrested, and possibly scuttling your political career before it even begins.

Okay, now to be serious, your recognition that the public exposure method for celebrating your personal independence would be "a bit drastic" tells me that you understand what I was getting at. I would not suggest that anyone tromp on the rights of others in the name of self-expression, or that it's okay to bully people, be a boor, or be offensive, and then try to excuse this behavior by saying you don't care what others think. Neither does a policy of living the life that works best for yourself ensure that you'll avoid dilemmas like higher pay and greater availability of jobs in a setting which in other ways would not be your first choice for a place to live. The key is to decide the best resolutions for life's dilemmas and difficulties on your own terms.

What set off alarm bells in my head about the original post was the part where you said your "elders" had been "suggesting" a course for YOUR life. Anything they say, as well as anything any of us say on this thread, is just a suggestion for you to consider in terms of what would work best for you. My point is not to suggest that anyone should become a hermit, a bully, or a misanthrope, or drop out of society and flout the rules of civility, but to propose that scrounging constantly for the approval of others is no way to live. What brings you real fulfillment is the way to go.

Sort of reminds me of a favorite quote, by Emerson, which goes approximately: Do not go where the path may lead. Go instead where there is no path, and make a trail.

Food for thought.

Last edited by ogre; 07-09-2008 at 02:41 AM..
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-09-2008, 02:28 AM
 
583 posts, read 1,141,448 times
Reputation: 323
Quote:
Originally Posted by ScranBarre View Post
I suppose I've finally come to the realization that I'd rather sacrifice my own potential professional successes in order to provide my family with a slower pace of life. My lower salary here in a smaller city will be mitigated by lower housing prices, lower taxes, and generally lower to average other expenditures in order to afford me the opportunity to live comfortably. Through all of my social networking online, at work, church, college, parties, etc. I feel as if I now "know" a few thousand people in my area---the very same people who can attest to my personal character and who would be willing to elect me into a leadership position in the future in order to drive our city into a new era of prosperity. Will I be widely-recognized? No. Will I care? No. I simply think that there are more important things in life than "keeping up with the Jones's" and trying to play this worldly game of "Dog Eat Dog."
Seems like you answered your own question here. It all depends on how far your ambitions go and what will make you happy. You are the only one who knows this.

If your ambitions go very far in politics for example, then you will have no choice but eventually try yourself in a big pond (a very big pond even). Doesn't mean you can't start with the little pond (especially in politics), but just don't get disappointed once you have to jump from the little pond into the big pond and all of a sudden you are no longer a big fish. If you are able to handle this and learn how to grow in a big pond then you'll be ok.

You can also start out as a small fish in a big pond and learn how to become a big fish if this is important to you. If you don't make it to the big fish and end up a 'medium' fish in a big pond then you can always move to a small pond and all of a sudden you are a big fish - a pleasant surprise. On the other hand getting used to being a big fish in a small pond and then moving to a big pond can lead to some disappointments.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-09-2008, 04:24 AM
 
167 posts, read 458,089 times
Reputation: 91
It really depends on how much you interact with the larger environment that is your city. For example: If you have manager qualifications, and you'll just do any old job you can find, like being a lowly receptionist in New York, and take advantage of what the city has to offer, then great. But if you don't do and see all the things you can there, then you might as well go to Smalltown, Tennessee, and be a manager of a company.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-09-2008, 07:12 AM
 
Location: WA
4,246 posts, read 7,848,982 times
Reputation: 2364
Quote:
Originally Posted by ScranBarre View Post
I suppose I've finally come to the realization that I'd rather sacrifice my own potential professional successes in order to provide my family with a slower pace of life. My lower salary here in a smaller city will be mitigated by lower housing prices, lower taxes, and generally lower to average other expenditures in order to afford me the opportunity to live comfortably...
You're 21 years old and you're thinking like a 40 year old. GET OUT OF SCRANTON NOW WHILE YOU CAN. Experience new places. Travel, go see new things. Go live in a big city, a small city, a city in the desert, a city abroad, anywhere but Scranton. Don't think about marriage, kids, taxes, mortgages etc. until you've lived a little. You can always come back to Scranton when you're ready to settle down. No 21 year old should resign themselves to a single location. The best things in life happen to you when you get out of your comfort zone.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:

Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > General U.S.
Similar Threads
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6.

2005-2019, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 - Top