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Best College Towns in America You’ll Be Interested in Moving To

Best College Towns in America You’ll Be Interested in Moving To

Deciding which college to attend is like ordering a latte from a coffee shop: there are many choices to pick from! After you receive your pile of acceptance and rejection letters, you’ll begin to weigh the pros and cons of each university to spend the next 4 or some-odd years to study at. When evaluating your options, you must think about the type of environment you envision yourself thriving in. Most college towns are either located in an urban jungle, suburbia, or no-mans lands (also known as the middle of nowhere). Most of America’s top universities are located in major cities like New York City, Boston and the San Francisco Bay Area. Moving to a large city with lots of people exposes you to new cultures, activities, and events. Here are the best college towns you’ll be interested in moving to in America:

Manhattan – New York, New York

New York City is referred to as the big apple because of the dense population, sprawling city landscape, and the diversity of people, buildings, cultures, and events. Students choosing to move to New York City will have access to historic landmarks to deepen their education like the New York City Library and the Museum of Modern Art. The city also has one of the most active nightlifes in the world with Broadway shows playing nightly in Times Square and lively bars in the Meatpacking district. While cost of living is expensive in New York, you will be living amongst some of the most world-renowned artists, television stars, politicians, business influencers, and dreamers who can help leverage your career after college.

Population:

1,600,000+

Major universities and college in New York City include:

  • New York University
  • Columbia University
  • The Julliard School
  • The New School
  • Pace University
  • Fordham University

Major Landmarks:

  • Lincoln Center
  • Radio City Hall
  • Times Square
  • The Statue of Liberty
  • The Village
  • The Empire State Bulding
  • The Metropolitan Museum of Art
  • Yankee Stadium
  • American Museum of Natural History

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    Image credit: Time Square Caught Napping by Nana B Agyei on flickr 

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    San Francisco Bay Area, California

    Home of the Giants, the San Francisco Bay Area has many parks, museums, and cultural events that will keep you busy during your weekends when you need to take a break from studying. There are many opportunities to jumpstart your career while you’re still taking English 101 because you can intern at some of the most highly regarded technology companies in the world like Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter, and hundreds of other small venture funded start-up companies.

    Population:

    837,000+

    Major universities and college in the San Francisco Bay Area include:

    • San Francisco State University
    • US San Francisco
    • Golden Gate University

    Berkeley, California

    • UC Berkley

    Stanford, California

    • Stanford

    Major Landmarks:

    • Golden Gate Bridge
    • Palace of Fine Arts
    • Academy of Sciences
    • AT&T Ball Park
    • Golden Gate Park

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      Image credit: San Francisco Bay and The Golden Gate by Trey Ratcliff on flickr

      Austin, Texas

      Austin is one of the most lively cities for college students to engage with their professors and colleagues inside and outside of the classroom. Students can attend film festivals, try the latest gastronomy or down-home bbq joint, or attend a concert from talented local artists. Austin also has a growing start-up community for students to engage in entrepreneurship before they graduate college.

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      Population:

      885,000+

      Major universities and college in the Austin include:

      • University of Texas at Austin
      • Acton School of Business
      • Austin Graduate School of Theology
      • National American University

      Major Landmarks:

      • Beerland
      • The Victory Grill
      • Lady Bird Lake
      • Draft House Cinema
      • Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium

      medium_3189889363

        Image credit: The State Capitol of Texas at Dusk by Trey Ratcliff on flickr

        Boston, Massachusetts

        Boston is home to some of the most educated people and institutions in the world. Students can learn from world-renown researchers and network with high profile CEOs and artists. Boston has an active nightlife for students to watch Red Sox and New England Patriot games. When your parents drop you off at the dorm, make sure they don’t confuse their car keys with your khakis.

        Population:

        645,000+

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        Major universities and college in the Boston include:

        • Harvard University
        • Tufts University
        • Berklee College of Music
        • Boston College
        • Boston Conservatory
        • Boston Unversity
        • Brandeis University
        • Emerson College

        medium_4091328042

          Image credit: Boston (Photogra)phy Party by Nathan Lanier on flickr

          Chicago, Illinois

          Midwesterners are welcoming to newcomers and Chicago offers the pleasures of a great metropolitan city with excellent food, shopping, concerts, and sporting events. Students can enjoy the low cost of living in a large city and have access to live theatre, deep-dish pizza joints, and talented thought-leaders from universities like Northwestern and the University of Chicago.

          Population:

          2.7+ million

          Major universities and college in the Chicago include:

          • University of Chicago
          • Northwestern University
          • Purdue University
          • DePaul University
          • Roosevelt University
          • Columbia College Chicago

          medium_13934859360

            Image credit: Chicago Skyline by memories_by_mike on flickr

            Ann Arbor, Michigan

            Ann Arbor is the 5th happiest city in the United States according to the Daily Beast. The citizens of Ann Arbor are reputable for their hospitality and value for education. Students will enjoy local craft fairs and festivals in addition to coffee shops to study at when its below zero degrees during the winter.

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            Population:

            117,000+

            Major universities and college in the Ann Arbor include:

            • University of Michigan
            • Concordia University–Ann Arbor

            medium_64398051

              Image credit: Muffler Shop by Ross on flickr

              Consider Your Values and Interests

              When you consider which town to move to for college, consider your values and interests. If you like to be around a lot of people and events a large city will be the best choice for you. Otherwise, a smaller town with less distractions might be more up your alley. In either scenario, consider your social and long term career goals since both of those factors have a major impact on your college experience. Photo credits:

              Main Image credit: Twinkle Eyes… JH Images.co.uk on flickr

              Featured photo credit: Twinkle Eyes, jhimages.co.uk via flickr.com

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              Last Updated on February 11, 2021

              10 Secrets of Making Every Presentation Fun, Engaging, and Enjoyable

              10 Secrets of Making Every Presentation Fun, Engaging, and Enjoyable

              Not a lot of people are good at public speaking. You could even say that virtually everyone needs to get some practice, and preferably good guidance, before they can learn to stay calm when facing a room full of people. Having all eyes on you is an uncomfortable experience and it takes time to get used to. However, even if you can manage to control your stage fright and stay focused, it doesn’t necessarily mean that your presentation won’t put people to sleep. This is usually the case with long presentations on a very dull subject, with the presenter speaking in a monotone voice and dimming the lights to play a PowerPoint presentation.

              You have to work hard to develop the right skills

              If you want to be remembered and actually get people engaged, you need to make your presentation fun and enjoyable, without coming off as corny or desperate to please. I know, it doesn’t sound that easy at all! A good presentation during a promotional event or given to an important client can be a game changer for your business, so it is easy to get stressed out and fail to perform all that well. Luckily, giving an interesting lecture is something that can be practiced and perfected. There is plenty of advice out there on the topic, but let’s look at the most important aspects of giving a memorable and fun presentation.

              1. Make your presentation short and sweet

              With very long, meandering speeches you tend to lose the audience pretty early on, and from then on out it’s just a test of endurance for the few bravest listeners. Not only will people’s attention start to drop rapidly after sitting and listening to you talk for 30 minutes, but you also risk watering down your core ideas and leaving your audience with little in the way of key phrases and important bits of information to take away from the whole ordeal. Famous speakers throughout history have known the importance of condensing the information by using well thought out sentences and short phrases loaded with meaning.

              JFK’s famous: ”It’s not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country,” expresses so much in very few words and gets the audience thinking. Ancient Spartans, for example were famous for their quick, dry wit, often demolishing their opponent’s argument with a single word or phrase. You’ll want to channel that ancient spirit and be as concise as possible when preparing your presentation.

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              2. Open up with a good ice breaker

              At the beginning, you are new to the audience. There is no rapport, no trust and the atmosphere is fairly neutral. Even if some of the people there know you personally, the concept of you as an authority on a particular matter giving a speech will be foreign to them. The best way to encourage a warm and friendly atmosphere is to get some kind of emotional response out of the audience right at the beginning. It doesn’t matter what emotion it is, you just need to connect with them on a more personal level. It can be shock, curiosity, laughter, knowing smirks, nervousness – whatever gets them out of that initial feeling of indifference. There are different kinds of effective ice-breakers, but generally speaking, the most successful ones utilize one of these tactics:

              • Joking
              • Tugging on their heart strings
              • Dropping a bombastic statement
              • Telling an interesting and relevant anecdote
              • Using a metaphor or drawing comparisons

              You can make a small, self-deprecating comment, stir the presentation one way and then suddenly surprise the audience, use sarcasm, open up with a short childhood story that taught you a lesson, quote a famous person and elaborate on it from personal experience, use an inspirational anecdote or hit them with a bit of nostalgia. Just remember to keep it short and move on once you’ve gotten a reaction.

              3. Keep things simple and to the point

              Once you’re done warming up the crowd you can ease them into the core concepts and important ideas that you will be presenting. Keep the same presentation style thoughout. If you’ve started off a bit ironic, using dry wit, you can’t just jump into a boring monologue. If you’ve started off with a bang, telling a couple of great little jokes and getting the crowd riled up, you have to keep them happy by throwing in little jokes here and there and being generally positive and energetic during the presentation. You need a certain structure that you won’t deviate too far from at any point. A good game plan consists of several important points that need to be addressed efficiently. This means moving on from one point to another in a logical manner, coming to a sound conclusion and making sure to accentuate the key information.

              4. Use a healthy dose of humor

              Some of the best speeches and presentations in the world, which have been heard and viewed by millions, all feature plenty of humor. No matter the subject, a great speaker will use natural charisma, humor and beautiful language to convey their points and get the crowd excited about what they are saying. A great example of building rapport with the audience through the use of humor is Barrack Obama talking about the government building Iron Man.

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              It is silly and fun, and absolutely not something that you would expect from a man in a position of power speaking in such a serious setting – and it’s exactly why it works. The more serious the situation and the bigger the accent on proper social behavior, the harder your jokes will hit.

              5. Try to tell a story instead of ranting

              Some people can do all of the above things right and still manage to turn their short and fun little presentation into a chaotic mess of information. You don’t want your speech to look like you just threw a bunch of information in a blender in no particular order. To avoid rambling, create a strong structure. Start with the ice breaker, introduce the core concepts and your goals briefly, elaborate on the various points in a bit more detail, draw logical conclusions and leave your audience with a clear takeaway message. You want to flow naturally from one part to the next like you are telling a big story chapter by chapter.

              6. Practice your delivery

              Standing in front of the mirror and practicing a speech or presentation is a technique as old as mirrors – well, come to think of it, as old as human speech, since you can see yourself reflected in any clear and calm body of water – and that means that it is tried and true. The theory is incredibly simple, yet the real problem is actually putting in the effort day in and day out. Work on your posture, your tone of voice, accent, pauses between sentences and facial expressions. The most important thing is to talk slowly and loudly enough to be heard and understood clearly. Many famous speakers, such as Demosthenes and King George VI, overcame speech impediments through hard work.

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              7. Move around and use your hands

              Although you won’t instill confidence in your project if you are very jittery, moving around erratically, not knowing what to do with your hands and making fast movements, standing dead still can be just as bad. You shouldn’t be afraid to use your arms and hands when talking as it makes you seem more passionate and confident. The same goes for moving around and taking up some space. However, try to make slower, calculated and deliberate movements. You want your movements to seem powerful, yet effortless. You can achieve this through practice.

              8. Engage the audience by making them relate

              Sometimes you will lose the audience somewhat in techno-babble, numbers, graphs and abstract ideas. At that point it is important to reel them back in using some good, old-fashioned storytelling. Make comparisons to events from everyday life that most people are more than familiar with. By making things look simple, not only will you help your audience get a better understanding of the subject by enabling them to visualize the information more clearly, you will also draw a connection between you. After all, you are all just regular people with similar experience, you just happen to be performing different roles at the moment.

              9. Use funny images in your slides

              Although slides are not really necessary at all times, if you do need them to make your point and present your information more effectively, it’s best to liven them up. They say that facts aren’t always black and white, and your presentation should reflect this. Add a bit of color, make the information stand out and use an interesting animation to switch from slide to slide. You can use the slides to add some more humor, both in terms of the text and the images. An image that is used to elicit a positive response needs to be funny within the context of what you are discussing. For example, if you are discussing the topic of authority, an image of Eric Cartman from South Park in a police uniform, demanding that you respect his “authoritah,” is a nice way to have a bit of fun and lighten things up.

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              10. End on a more serious note

              When all is said and done you will want the audience to remember the core concepts and keep thinking about what you have said after the presentation is over. This is why you should let things naturally calm down and end with an important idea, quote or even a question. Plant a seed in their mind and make them think. Let us turn to Patrick Henry for a great way to end a speech: “Is life so dear or peace so sweet as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death.”

              As you can see, there is quite a bit to learn when it comes to giving a good presentation, one that is both memorable and fun. Be sure to work on your skills tirelessly and follow in the footsteps of great orators.

              Featured photo credit: Austin Distel via unsplash.com

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