THE DURHAM 500
By Greg Gottlieb
If you know me at all, you know I’m from Jersey. I like to talk about New Jersey. All New Jerseyans do.
There’s something about some U.S. states that just harbor a great sense of pride among their citizens. I’m not so sure I’ve ever seen a sketch of the state of Delaware tattooed into a person’s back, but perhaps there are one or two hardcore Delaware natives out there. What I can assure you of, however, is that a day’s stroll along a Jersey beach town’s coastline would produce more than just a couple of T-shirts, tattoos and other symbols boasting Jersey pride.
But the land of bagels, Bon Jovi and Bruce Springsteen isn’t the only place you’ll find this. You New Englanders, for example, seem to have a pretty similar proud attitude toward your home states, as well, and for good reason.
But can a justified, healthy love for one’s home become powerful enough that it narrows the horizon of their social, family or professional futures?
Hear me out.
Humans are a lot of things; we’re intelligent, we’re socially-aware, we love to be loved, and perhaps most notably, we are habitual and we are often resistant to change. To that end, I have noticed a trend in our generation’s collegiate graduating classes. I think there is a flawed idea among us — often unknowingly conceived — that the best place for us to settle down, foster a family, and start a career is…here. Wherever we are at that time, wherever we’re used to.
How unlikely of a coincidence would that be?
Considering however many million decisions had to be made over the course of your ancestry’s history for you to reside where you do, doesn’t it seem unlikely that you have landed in the most beneficial geographical location for your successful future as a college graduate?
My point is this: We are lucky to have so many resources of interconnectivity available to us, especially when paled in comparison to some of our parents’ post-graduate circumstances.
A college graduate no longer has to rely on opportunities available locally or heard through the grapevine, thanks to the internet. Employers of all types in all areas of industry use the internet as their primary recruitment tool. Some free third-party websites have software that will scan your resume and connect you to positions you’re qualified for across the nation and around the world.
If you’re a graduating education major who grew up with Seacoast summers and White Mountain winters, what’s to say your dream job isn’t waiting for you with a school district at the base of the mountains of Denver, Colorado—a city with eerily Boston-like business and entertainment districts?
Certainly, there are some legitimate obstacles to picking up and moving after graduation for work. Beyond that all-too-familiar student debt and cyclical unemployment, is that innate human resistance to enduring significant change. But it’s this natural desire to remain in our comfort zone that could be keeping us from achieving true happiness in some areas of our lives.
There’s nothing wrong with loving home, leaving home, nor staying at home. But it would be a disservice to ourselves if we didn’t at least peek around the barriers of our safe havens to get a glimpse of the bigger picture.
Greg Gottlieb is a senior hospitality management major who comments on noteworthy topics in the UNH and Durham communities.