BREAKING NEWS: I am officially a homeowner. Last Friday, my boyfriend and I closed on a condo in Allston. So, it’s official – Boston is my new and permanent home!
I’m originally from a small town outside of Seattle, WA. For college, I went to Berkeley, CA. Since then, I’ve lived in San Francisco, New York City, and Somerville/Cambridge (MA). Never did I imagine that I’d end up in Boston, yet here I am.
Here are my two cents about life and school in Beantown.
In terms of picking a city for law school, I think there are two very important things to consider: (1) cost of living and (2) activities.
Before moving to Boston, I lived in NYC and I absolutely loved it! I had a closet sized apartment in the East Village; I had social engagements almost every night; but, holy cow, was I strapped for cash. NYC is an incredibly expensive city; I had to take on a second job and I just scraped by. I considered staying in NYC for law school, but I was already living paycheck to paycheck and being on student loans sounded nearly impossible. So, Boston seemed like a good alternative – still close to NYC, so I could visit my friends, but much more wallet friendly.
I also knew I wanted to live in a city. I like having restaurants, bars, and activities right at my doorstep. But, let’s be serious, as a law student you will enjoy maybe 5% of what Boston-metro has to offer. Most of your waking hours will be spent elbow deep in books, briefs, and Lexis Nexis. A friend recently confessed that she hadn’t seen any of Boston in our two years here – she only knows the 1/4-mile Commonwealth Avenue corridor between her apartment and the law school.
So why the emphasis on activities? When I actually do have free time or feel like procrastinating, I want things to be easily accessible. If I have to travel an hour to get to nearest movie theater or nice restaurant, forget about it.
Although, funny enough, one of the worst parts about Boston is how hard it is to travel short distances. For example, my commute to school is about 2 miles and takes me 30-45 minutes on public transportation; 10-15 minutes by car. My commute to work in Cambridge (about 4.5 miles) takes over an hour on public transportation! BUT, within a 15 minute walk from my house, there are over a dozen restaurants/bars, a movie theater, a TJ Maxx, and an Urban Outfitters. A few other nearby highlights? Boston Marathon. Fenway Park. Charles River. Tall ships in the Boston Harbor!
Looking beyond the city limits, there is an amazing plethora of things to do. The general location of the city Boston is quite possibly my favorite part about living here. I go to Vermont 4-5 times a year for skiing, hiking, camping, apple picking, hippie watching, beer festivals, and delicious cheese. Surfing in New Hampshire. Camping on the beach and island hopping in Maine. Fresh lobster and oysters EVERYWHERE. And of course, the ever amazing Cape Cod. And, if the great outdoors aren’t for you, NYC is 4 hours by car/bus/train and 1 hour by airplane.