Great opportunity for change in small cities

Here in Bloomington-Normal, it seems most students move away unless they work for one of the insurance companies in the area once they graduate. Working for State Farm offers great benefits, and that’s not the only place in town that has wonderful opportunities. However, unless a student has a job lined up, many don’t want to move home because they want to be treated as adults.

According to a study by Apartment Guide, more than 30 percent of college students moved to big cities last year. Quite a few ISU students are from the city of Chicago, but many are from around the state. But how many of them move home for a job?

Moving to big cities makes sense on many levels, as does staying in Bloomington-Normal. It is easy to apply for jobs here and then interview, and it can also be easier to find a place to live since students can go look at apartments whenever they have a little bit of free time. On the other hand, big cities draw the idea of bright lights and golden opportunities. If they’re bigger, they have to have more job options, right? And the idea of the American Dream may be in the back of some of these students’ minds.

Don’t get us wrong – there is nothing wrong with moving wherever you want to live. But this Editorial Board would also like to point out that moving to big cities and getting jobs there can be expensive, yes, but more than that, it affects smaller cities. Chicago is the largest city in Illinois, but Aurora, Rockford, Naperville and Joliet are the other four cities with the largest populations in the state, according to Unless a person receives a job in one of those cities, most students will probably avoid moving to those with negative stereotypes, like Rockford and Aurora. Naperville may draw some students, but likely only those who are already from the area, considering the high cost of living there.

Rockford’s economy is going downhill, and others probably are as well. One reason some people avoid moving to areas like that is the number of crimes. Rockford had 2,205 violent crimes reported in 2013, according to the Rockford Police Department. But the truth of the matter is that Chicago has more dangerous crimes happen more frequently simply due to the vastly larger population.

That is not to deter anyone from living where they want. But people won’t even apply for jobs in areas where they don’t want to live. It is inevitable because it would be completely pointless. But learning about other areas and not getting super invested into living in one area could potentially help those other cities in the state that are struggling. Rockfordians have expressed that they want to draw more young adults to the area in the latest effort “Transform Rockford.” In order for this to even happen, young people need to consider these areas as locations to move, work and grow in the future. If more cities in the state do well, this Editorial Board believes that the entire state could improve, which would help everyone.

Simply, just don’t get set on moving off to a big city like Chicago. Consider other areas that could use improvements and be a part of that change, if at all possible.

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