Many Florida A&M students may be in a rush to leave Tallahassee immediately following graduation, but some alumni decide to stay and make Tallahassee home.
For some, such as Sharonda Wright, a political science graduate from Enterprise, Ala., staying in Tallahassee was unplanned.
When I graduated last year, I didnt think Id still be here today, Wright said. I wanted to move to (Washington) D.C., but finding a job out there is hard. The cost of living is higher than it is in Tallahassee, and I still have my job here.
Wright, like many college students, left her hometown to come to college. She planned on leaving after graduation, but less rent and a steady job kept her here.
Im still looking for jobs with my degree in D.C., Wright said. Im just waiting for a call back because I dont plan on moving back in with my parents.
According to an article in Tallahassee Magazine, only five percent of Tallahassees college graduates stayed and pursued careers after graduation for various reasons in 2008.
Sherrod Bolden, a 2012 graduate who manages Banfield Pet Hospital, said hes staying in Tallahassee until he is accepted into veterinarian school. He feels living in town is more affordable.
Since the economy has declined, the cost of living has more of an impact than some graduating students may realize. Many companies are cutting employees in large numbers to save money, so finding jobs may also prove to be difficult.
Im not financially stable to move to a bigger city, like Atlanta, or live somewhere that isnt a college town, Bolden said. Staying in Tallahassee for the time being is more convenient for me.
Many alums still live with roommates, which makes living more affordable. Some alumni find living in Tallahassee easier while theyre working and saving to provide a better life their children.
Christopher Glenn, a psychology graduate from Atlanta, has a 3-year-old daughter who lives in St. Petersburg, Fla., while he is here working two jobs. According to Glenn, his choice to stay in Tallahassee hinged on making sure he can provide a better future for his child.
Its hard being so far away, but I make it work, Glenn said. I have two jobs, so Ill work nearly four weeks straight, then Ill request a few days off from work to travel and see her. Its easier for me to live and work in Tallahassee since the cost of living is more affordable.