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Old 11-28-2007, 09:20 PM
Location: Denver, CO
5,610 posts, read 21,953,741 times
Reputation: 5410


I have a few questions here for fellow natives of Denver (or other Colorado Front Range cities), of any age. 1. Have you ever lived anywhere else? 2. Have you ever consider moving anywhere else? 3. If you were forced to leave Colorado, but had to live in another major city, which one would it be?

Here's my story (if you care to read it):
I am really mixed up right now. I've been temporarily living in the Phoenix area while I've been going to college for the last few years. I'll be graduating in May-- less than six months away, and I still don't have a clue what I'll be doing or where I'll be living. I've been going to school on a full ride scholarship, so I have no debt, and I also have a 4.0 gpa. However, I'm graduating with a useless degree (English) that doesn't lead to any jobs. As of right now, I have a blank resume pretty much, other than a few temporary retail jobs. There are a lot of things I've ruled out that I DON'T want to do (teaching, journalism, law school, or retail management), but I can't decide what it is exactly that I DO want to do. I've been leaning towards real estate development (not the evil kind... I think infill, urban redevelopment projects, and well planned, contiguous suburban development are cool-- not leapfrogging sprawl), but I'm not dead set on that particular industry.

One plan I came up with is to try to get into a one year master of finance program-- DU and CU Denver (not CU Boulder) both have one-- so I could at least get some business education to supplement my undergrad degree. The thought was this would open me up to a wide range of entry level jobs, beyond just sales positions (which I don't think is my true calling). CU Denver's program consists of part time, night classes, which doesn't really solve the problem of what I do during the day. This would be the most affordable option for me, because I could get in-state tuition, but I'm not sure if CU Denver's Business School is that great. DU's program I think can be full time or part time, but it is horrifically expensive-- $61,000 for a 1 year program! I don't want that kind of debt for a school that much people across the country have never heard of. Then I keep hearing from people over on the education forum, that unless if you go to a top business school, it isn't worth it. There's only a limited number of schools that even offer a master of finance program, and they generally aren't ivy-league schools-- maybe a step below. The best schools that offer it are places like Wash U in St Louis, U. of Illinois, or Vanderbilt U.

I doubt I would enjoy living in the midwest or south or east coast. California is too crowded, too fast paced, and too expensive. I love the Western US, and I could continue living in Phoenix if I had to, but I would much rather live in Denver. I was born and raised there (SE suburbs), 3rd generation native, and my family is there. Since I've been away for a few years, I realize just how much I love Denver and Colorado every time I go back to visit my family. I realize a lot of things I didn't really appreciate growing up. If it was just a one year thing, I could tolerate living in a different region. Thing is, companies from the region of the business school are going to go there to recruit. I've heard if you went to Wash U or U Illinois, you'd probably end up getting a job in Chicago. I've heard if you go to Vanderbilt, expect to be eventually working in the south after graduation-- Atlanta, possibly. If I go to the Master of Finance program at U Arizona, I'll probably end up right back here in Phoenix. I want to have a successful career, but I don't want to live just anywhere and everywhere.

So, for the Denver natives (ok... we'll throw in LONG time residents too-- like 20 years or more) on this forum, let me ask you: Is Denver worth going out of your way to live in? Or should I just suck it up and end up wherever the wind blows? What do you think I should do in my situation? I know that nobody can tell me what I should do as a career, but does anybody have any pointers?
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Old 11-28-2007, 09:31 PM
Location: Foot of the Rockies
90,377 posts, read 111,940,913 times
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OK, long term (27 yr) resident here. Are you sure CU-Boulder doesn't have a program for you? My nephew got some sort of finance degree at Leeds. It was a combined bachelor/master's program, which wouldn't do you any good, of course. He then got a job in Denver, now has one in Pittsburgh (his idea). I"d talk to them.
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Old 11-28-2007, 10:47 PM
13 posts, read 46,006 times
Reputation: 18
Hi vegaspilgrim -
I have a situation that is similar to yours, and have been browsing these forums over the past few months. I grew up in the Denver area (Littleton and then Parker) and have been attending college near San Francisco for the past few years. I'm finishing my degree this December and am in the process of applying to law school, so I'm asking myself similar questions about where I ultimately want to attend law school/live.

I think Denver is much more liveable than the Bay Area, which really isn't that great (traffic, housing, attitudes). I actually prefer the climate in Denver, as I can't stand the many rainy and overcast days here in the Winter and enjoy occassional snow. Also, having worked in Downtown Denver last summer (and commuting during rush hour), I don't think I-25 traffic is that bad. I also appreciate so many things about Denver when I come home (namely the constant sunshine, nicer people, crisper air, and the sweeping views of the Rockies).

To answer your question about whether Denver is worth it to go out of your way to live in....For me, it is. Whether I attend law school out of state, which I would only do if I get into one of the top-10 law schools, or go to CU, I will definitely be looking to work and live in Colorado. California has been a wonderful place to go to school and, in the future, will be a great place to vacation, but I just prefer the Colorado lifestyle for day-to-day living.
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Old 11-28-2007, 11:43 PM
Location: Governor's Park/Capitol Hill, Denver, CO
1,536 posts, read 5,766,580 times
Reputation: 1131
As a Denver native, 41 years of living here, of course I would say that you would need to live here. I travel to Phoenix every other month and would not live there over Denver. We have the four seasons with three of them at extremely comfortable temps. More sunshine then anyother state, including Florida and California. Our downtown is the 10th largest in the country and growing. Plus, it is actually a livable, workable and easy to find entertainment type of downtown. Unlike larger cities such as Houston or Phoenix, which die at night. The pleople here are friendly and we have the most college educated citizens per capita in the country. I travel significantly for work, all over the country but would never live anywhere else. Some folks hate the cold or the snow, but hey, wait a day or two and it will change. 65 yesterday, snow and 20s today, then 50s tomorrow. There is a reason the DNC is coming here next year, we are the place to be!
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Old 11-29-2007, 02:10 AM
163 posts, read 739,339 times
Reputation: 84
Can I break the rules and answer real quick....? Ok, then.

I have lived my whole life in Northern Ca and right now live in Sacramento. I am also real familiar with Northern Nevada and Vegas.... that's me.

Or should I just suck it up and end up wherever the wind blows?
That's what I want to answer. I say NO, don't just suck it up and go where ever the wind blows you. unless that's exactly what you want....to wander.

But if you really love Denver and realize that after being out and seeing other places, go there, absolutely. Life is too short to settle for some place that you don't really want to be just because you feel like you need to be for your career. I mean, then you're just a slave to your job....it's your life!

I am looking at moving to Denver myself because it looks to be the city that has everything I want in a place to live. I grew up here in Northern Ca and it's what I know, most of my friends are here, family, all that. But I've realized that sacramento is kinda lame, and I don't wanna live somewhere that I'm not excited about and don't love. Fortunately I'm in a business where my job goes with me and I can do it anywhere. But you're just getting started so same for you really, you can pick where you want to start.

So there it is, my opinion, live where you really want to be. You can make it anywhere, and if you love it there you'll be much more likely to be successful!

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Old 11-29-2007, 11:49 AM
592 posts, read 2,091,123 times
Reputation: 287
I think Tim hit it on the head.
The greatest thing about moving around is seeing what else is out there and knowing what it is you miss. " Don't worry , be happy !"
When I was your age , many, many years ago, I had no idea what I wanted to be when I grew up,(still don't) I only have a two year degree.( never think your 4 year is useless !!!, it will come in handy even if your job has nothing to do with it. Never dought this !!!) My life has been a great adventure. I have had great failures and losses and great peaks , I now have a great family and a great job. I think my good fortune has a lot to do with attitude, and being happy is part of that. I have moved to other things when others thought I was nuts for leaving the great thing I had, but I was unhappy, looking back, I did the right thing.
My free advise, check out being a realtor or get a job, perhaps even a lowly entry level job, at some real estate development firm. Learn about that field and see if it is something you really could like. If not go to the next thing. Always leave an option to go back to school when you figure out what it is you want to do with your life. Even when you are old, like in your thirties.
Just 2 cents from an old Colorado native who spent many years wandering around in Wyoming.
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Old 11-29-2007, 04:16 PM
Location: Denver, CO
5,610 posts, read 21,953,741 times
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I want to personally thank all the responders so far-- pittnurse70, sterlingj, DenverAztec, Tim Currie, and Wyomiles. I agree that life is too short to live in a place where you really don't want to live. It's not that there aren't other nice places out there, or that Denver is perfect, or the be-all end-all of all places to live. San Diego has better weather (well-- according to most people. Some might disagree). Dallas and Houston are cheaper and have more jobs. Las Vegas has better nightlife. New York has more billionaires, more international prestige. Aspen and Vail are right in the mountains-- rather than a distance away on the plains. Wyoming has less pollution, less crowds, and more wide open, undeveloped spaces. I'm well aware that Denver isn't perfect. But when you live somewhere, you have to take the good with the bad. The thing is... name any other city, such as Phoenix, or the cities I just named above, and I can think of SIGNIFICANT drawbacks-- things that ruin the overall package deal.

There are certain people on the Colorado forum on city-data.com who hate Denver and think the place is a living hell, the next LA. I'm sure Denver was very different back in the 1950s, way before I was born. However, I think there's still a special unique feeling there, I don't know exactly how to describe it, but it feels like a special place-- like you're in a special club or something. That's why I wanted to ask the natives and other long time residents, just to make sure I'm not the one who's crazy.
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Old 11-29-2007, 04:42 PM
Location: CO
2,746 posts, read 6,501,532 times
Reputation: 3643
I was born in Colorado; my grandparents immigrated and settled here in 1906. I left for college in the '60s, lived in every time zone in the country along the way, in big cities and small towns, suburbs and resorts. Finally came back home 25 years ago to raise my family; my kids were born here too. No place else ever felt as special as Colorado. Follow your heart.
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Old 11-29-2007, 06:04 PM
Location: Governor's Park/Capitol Hill, Denver, CO
1,536 posts, read 5,766,580 times
Reputation: 1131
Here are some pictures I shot of what you will not find elsewhere, and why I love it here! Hope this helps.

My High School:

My Junior High School:

Incredible amount of history and historic buildings!

Fantastic Modern Sturctures:

Easy access to nature:

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Old 11-29-2007, 06:25 PM
Location: Las Flores, Orange County, CA
26,343 posts, read 88,408,970 times
Reputation: 17667
Originally Posted by vegaspilgrim View Post
There are certain people on the Colorado forum on city-data.com who hate Denver and think the place is a living hell, the next LA.
I can't remember reading one post from someone who hates Denver on City Data. On the LA forums there is at least one person per page of threads.
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