To stay or not to stay, that is the question. With graduation just one week away, the question of whether or not to stay in San Francisco is on a lot of the staff’s minds. Even those of us who are not graduating are starting to wonder how feasible it is to stay in the city we live and learn in now. The opinions of the Foghorn are diverse, and the reasons behind them are even more so.
The majority of the staff said they plan to leave the city after graduation. One reason some of us want to leave the city is simple: the cost. We all know that San Francisco is an incredibly expensive place to live in. Some of us have seen friends stay in the city after graduation and – if they don’t already have a job lined up – they simply can’t afford to stay here and “figure things out.” One staff member’s roommate works six days a week at Trader Joe’s just to afford rent. Another friend of theirs works two jobs, at a cafe and a grocery store, to stay here. What’s so crushing about this isn’t just having to work a lot – it’s not having the time nor money to really experience the city. When you have to work constantly to afford rent, your life starts to exist in two realms: your workplace(s) and the overpriced apartment you exhaustedly come home to. On top of this, you start to feel like you’re missing out on all that San Francisco has to offer – the museums, the concerts, the restaurants and more. Yes, while we appreciate the free events in the city, you have to scout them out and plan for them. Why struggle to pay for rent when you could live somewhere else for way less?
Cost was not the only factor in plans to leave the city. Much of the staff grew up in or near the Bay Area. For us, it has less to do with the city itself and more to do with the desire to broaden our horizons. Despite our shared love of San Francisco, visiting the city was a normal weekend and staying in the Bay Area would become stale after a while.
Our image of San Francisco also impacts our decisions to stay here. Some of us see San Francisco as a “stepping stone” to live in larger cities like New York City. In a way, San Francisco teaches you how to live in a big city. Though we are thankful to San Francisco for teaching us about city life, some of us want to explore larger cities outside of the Bay Area.
However, there is a minority of us who want to stay, cost or not. These are folks who want to go into creative fields, like film, and want to stay immersed in San Francisco’s art scene. They are going to try to find any way to stay here and break into the field any way they can. Despite this desire to stay, though, this staff acknowledged that they may have to leave if opportunities don’t arise during their remaining time at USF.
All of us love San Francisco – some claim it as one of our favorite cities in the world because of its unparalleled character. Many of us who want to leave cite our reasons as being a desire to see the rest of the world, not because we don’t like the city. Alternatively, for some of us, the city has become inaccessible from a cost standpoint. For those of us who are graduating this year, we’ve enjoyed our time in the city and are excited to explore what more the world has to offer.