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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

    medium_489862235

      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 April 17, 2019

              10 Essential Soft Skills That Will Help Advance Your Career

              10 Essential Soft Skills That Will Help Advance Your Career

              What’s the secret of professional success? Some of it lies in the mastery of your discipline and all the technical skills you have to carry out your job; but a much bigger part lies in the soft skills list you possess.

              Soft skills are your people or relationship skills—how well you get along with others and your ability to communicate and collaborate—as well as the personal characteristics you bring to the job, such as optimism, a can-do attitude and the motivation to work hard. These skills are not always easy to point out, but their absence can cause serious problems and negatively affect the whole work atmosphere.

              They say that hard skills will help you get the job, but soft skills will help you get along—and get ahead. With that in mind, here’s the top-10 essential soft skills list to help you advance your career.

              1. Communication Skills

              Communication skills are hands-down the most sought-after soft skill that bosses want, and this one ability covers a lot of ground.

              To communicate well, you have to listen carefully, interpret the context of the conversation, express yourself clearly, persuade others of your point of view, check your body language and use an engaging presentation style that won’t intimidate or bore your audience. That’s a big ask!

              Your personality traits can influence the way you communicate with others. For instance, some people get straight to the point and center their arguments around facts and logic; others are cooperative and sensitive to how others feel. Both these approaches are equally valuable but there can be misunderstandings if you don’t understand where the other person is coming from.

              Taking a comprehensive personality test can help you understand why you communicate the way you do and where your blind spots are. It can also help you understand other communication styles is so you can tailor your communication to the person you’re dealing with.

              After all, connecting with your conversation partner is the hallmark of good communication.

              2. Flexibility

              Change is an essential part of any business. Companies need employees who are flexible enough to work with new initiatives, open to new ideas, and generally are able to tough it out when things don’t go as planned.

              Research has found a link between job performance and flexibility over the long term because there will be times when you have to step outside your routine and rise to fresh challenges that didn’t exist before.

              Being flexible doesn’t mean you have to hop into a new task or job role like an expert. Rather, it’s about showing you’re willing to accept new responsibility and learn different things.

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              Bosses look for people who are prepared to step outside their comfort zones and are open to alternative solutions when their first idea doesn’t work.

              3. Being a Team Player

              Working on a team can be challenging but learning to do it well can definitely help you get ahead in your career. Employers look for people who can negotiate, cooperate and manage conflicts with other people to achieve a common goal. That includes the ability to build lasting relationships with customers and clients.

              What makes a good team player? Essentially, it’s someone who knows the goal and knows her role. Employers look for evidence that you know your strengths, your responsibilities and how you can best contribute to the team, then put those skills into action by sharing ideas and communicating in a respectful manner. That’s the definition of being a good team player.

              This is another area where taking a personality test can help you get ahead. When teams work together, each member brings a unique set of skills and qualities to the group. Research has shown that different combinations of personalities affect how teams collaborate and how productive they are.

              Knowing who you are, and how you work on a team, can drive new insights and open the door to better teamwork.

              4. Positive Mental Attitude

              There are plenty of things you can’t change at work, like the people you work with or the fact that the printer is broken again. The one thing you can change is how much you let these things bother you.

              Bosses like people who are calm, rational and upbeat—those who diffuse tensions in the workplace, not get all grouchy and go around slamming doors.

              Studies show that people who maintain a sunny disposition have better relationships at work, are happier in their jobs and make better decisions than those who whine and complain. Some suggest that a positive mental attitude can also make you live longer—which means it’s beneficial for every area of your life![1]

              It’s not always easy to keep a “glass half full” mentality when work is stressful and the deadlines are piling up. But there are some things you can do to help maintain a positive attitude. Laughing at your unfortunate circumstances keeps the work environment positive, and taking “sanity” breaks can help you keep your cool in high-pressure situations.

              Managers look for positive mental attitude in a team member that is ready for a promotion, so it really does pay to keep your cool in challenging situations.

              5. A Strong Work Ethic

              People with a strong work ethic are committed to the role, persevere when things get tough and are inspired by challenge. These people are ambassadors for the organization, and will always be seen as top talent and ideal candidates.

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              If you can exhibit this skill, then expect to be seen as a great candidate, eligible for new opportunities and positions throughout your career.

              Since a strong work ethic can mean different things to different people, it helps to show specific examples of your exceptional work ethic during a performance appraisal or interview. For instance, you might talk about:

              • A time when you persisted in the face of challenges and did not shy away from hard work.
              • How you volunteered to help with projects even though these tasks did not form part of your job description.
              • The networking, workplace learning and skills betterment you’ve undertaken, which shows ambition and drive (people with a strong work ethic have those qualities in spades).
              • How you own your mistakes and never, ever point the finger of blame at others.

              For help with building a strong work ethic, check out these tips: How to Build a Reliable Work Ethic

              6. Public Speaking

              Who’s terrified of public speaking? Pretty much everyone, since public speaking is America’s number one fear, ahead of death at number five and loneliness at number seven.

              Yet, according to Warren Buffett, mastering this one skill you could increase your personal value by 50 percent.[2] That’s huge!

              If you’re not natural at public speaking, you’re in good company. Buffett had to work hard to overcome his stage fright and once dropped out of a public-speaking course before it started—because he was afraid of public speaking! He eventually realized that he needed to build up his confidence by just doing it; over and over in front of small groups.

              For a more structured approach, Toastmasters International teaches public speaking and leadership skills through a variety of pathways. Membership of this non-profit looks good on your resume but the real payoff will come when you can put your newfound skills to use on the job or in the interview room.

              Or, you can check out this advice: The Ultimate Public Speaking Tips to Hook and Impress Any Audience

              7. Integrity

              From a manager’s point of view, the two integrity skills that will set you apart are:

              • Always doing what you say you will do
              • Owning an error instead of minimizing or hiding it

              …even when no one is around to check up on you.

              There are lots of people who have climbed the ladder without scruples, but they are not the people who others trust, respect and support when promotion time comes around.

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              Behaving with integrity is a safe and consistent way to enhance your reputation and achieve your professional goals.

              8. Managing Your Time

              Phone calls, texts, Slack pings, meetings, huddles, side projects, multitasking—we are busier today than any generation before us. There’s no denying the workplace is an incredibly distracting place to be.

              A lot of us have traded effectiveness for busyness which we wear as a badge of honor, both as a proxy for productivity and to show our value to the company. But what bosses want, what they really, really want, is someone who actually gets stuff done on time.

              Time management is not merely the art of being on time, but of managing your time so you focus on the projects that really matter and add value to the business. This means prioritizing well, sticking to schedules, delegating, and not getting distracted by tasks that are easier to perform or less important. It means planning ahead and learning when it’s appropriate to say no.

              Time management can be a tough skill to maintain, but not a difficult one to pick up. Monitor your actions for a few days—how long do your tasks take to finish? What’s interrupting you? What causes you to lose focus? Once you have the answers to these questions, you can set a schedule for yourself to make sure you’re spending your time wisely and this valuable asset is never wasted.

              These 20 Quick Time Management Tips to Super Boost Your Productivity are also great to try.

              9. Assertiveness

              In any workplace, you typically will find people with the following conflict styles:

              • Passive: Those who go out of their way to avoid conflict.
              • Passive-aggressive: Those who express their negative feelings through actions rather than words.
              • Aggressive: Those who respond to conflict in a hostile and rude manner. These people get their opinion heard but they won’t make any friends in the process.
              • Assertive: People who stick up for their rights while still respecting the rights of others.

              Managers look for assertiveness above all other styles because it allows decisions to be made without conflict or alienating people.

              How do you use this information for yourself?

              It starts with understanding your personality so you can anticipate how you will react when conflict arises and address your own shortcomings. Then, you can start influencing the team for top results, and securing your own career advancement in the process.

              Learn how to be assertive and gain respect:

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              How to Be Assertive and Stand up for Yourself the Smart Way

              10. Creative Thinking

              LinkedIn recently analyzed over 50,000 skills that employers search for when looking for candidates to find out what skills are currently in demand.[3] Taking the number-one slot on the 2019 soft skills list was creativity: the ability to solve problems and think outside the box.

              Creativity is about bringing fresh, and sometimes unorthodox, ideas to the table. This helps companies to innovate, and companies that do not innovate will not survive very long.

              How do you showcase your creative thinking skills? The golden rule is to participate.

              Be brave and share your ideas during group brainstorming sessions. Volunteer to run a society, networking event or recruitment drive. Ask “what if” questions: “What if we add this information to the client welcome pack?” “What if we eliminate step 3 from the process?”

              These activities demonstrate that you’re prepared to go beyond “business as usual” towards creative problem solving—an ability that will serve you every day, all throughout your career.

              You can learn to unleash your creativity power:

              What Is Creativity? We All Have It, and Need It

              Final Thoughts

              The good news? Every item on this soft skills list can be learned. Although you may feel lacking in certain areas, taking an inventory of your strengths and weaknesses will allow you to focus in on the areas that you’ll benefit from developing.

              So take an inventory of your personality, skills, and talents. This will give you a baseline for your communication style, attitude to change, conscientiousness and more. You can then identify your weak areas and develop strategies for improving your team-building, assertiveness and conflict skills.

              The better news? The effort is worth it. Developing your soft skills opens the door to a new job or a promotion, and helps you succeed once you get there.

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              Featured photo credit: Rachael Gorjestani via unsplash.com

              Reference

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