As the six of you who read this blog know, I’ve been accepted into the Ph.D. program in philosophy at
There are, of course, pros and cons associated with going to
- Climate. I’ll still be living in the South, which is not something I’m in love with. I admit, I don’t miss the harsh winters of my hometown
, but I’m not overly keen on the humidity that comes with living in the South. I can only imagine that living in Salt Lake City will be worse, even if it is only 4.5 hours from where I am now. The average summer temperatures in Florida Tallahasseearen’t very different than in , but I suspect the increased humidity will make it feel a ton worse. The winters are slightly warmer than Atlanta , so they should be very nice. (Oops, I guess that should go in the pros section.). Of course, with the climate also comes the gigantic bugs—bumblebees that look like flying eggplants, cockroaches that could tackle a small child, etc. I’m still not thrilled about them. Atlanta
- Geographical Location (climate issues aside). It would have been nice to live somewhere closer to home. I really liked the idea of being able to drive home for Thanksgiving, Christmas, and other special occasions, which would have been possible had I gotten into UC-Riverside. Now the chance of seeing family is greatly reduced. Melanie and I were kind of spoiled during our first year in
, when we happened to have a lot of family and friends visiting us. I think that time has passed, so if we’re still on the opposite side of the country from our family, the visits will be very few and far between. Sad. Atlanta
- Cost of living. Rumor has it that
is pretty expensive. When Melanie and I first moved to Florida Atlanta, we were shocked at the difference in prices out here compared to . And not just in obvious things, like rent. Milk, vegetables, and just about everything else costs lots more here than in SLC. When we complained about this to some of our newfound Salt Lake City Atlantafriends, they told us that they moved here from Florida, and so from their perspective, had good prices. Now, it’s possible that Atlanta Tallahasseeitself won’t be as horrible as other places in Florida, but chances are it will be at least as expensive as Atlanta, and thus still a lot more expensive than . I’m coming up on two years in Salt Lake City , but I still get mad when I go to the grocery store. I expect this will continue in Atlanta . Tallahassee
- The limited strengths of the FSU philosophy program. FSU has a great program for what I’ve been focusing on in philosophy so far (see the pros section below), but their strengths aren’t quite as diversified as other schools to which I applied. Part of me fears being limited in the areas of philosophy that I can study in depth, and I think other schools would offer me a greater opportunity to branch out. Not that I won’t get a well-rounded education at FSU. It’s just that my interest in, say, philosophy of religion will remain largely unexplored, simply because FSU is unlikely to offer anything other than a survey course in this area.
- The strengths of the FSU philosophy program. The main reason I applied to FSU is because they are considered the second best program in the world when it comes to the main area of philosophy that I’ve been studying so far—action theory, which includes the topic of free will. They also rank among the top 25 or so philosophy programs when it comes to certain areas of ethics, which is a secondary interest of mine. Beyond philosophy, FSU’s overall reputation is a noteworthy one. U.S. News and World Report apparently gave FSU “Tier One” status, and FSU appears on a handful of “top 100 American universities” lists and on at least one “top 200 universities in the world” list. Many of their academic programs are ranked among the top 25 for public universities nationwide.
- Living in a “small” town.
Tallahasseeis much smaller than , a fact I’m very excited about. With a total population just shy of 160,000, Atlanta Tallahasseeis even smaller than ! It will be the smallest city I’ve ever lived in! And that appeals to me, because I’ve found Salt Lake City to be rather daunting. I look forward to living somewhere where I can feel comfortable getting to know the whole city, feeling like I can take ownership of it in its entirety rather than just the few streets I happen to drive down everyday. I want to feel like I live in Atlanta Tallahassee, not just like I live in an apartment that happens to be in . In Tallahassee , it sometimes feels more like the latter. (Well, not like I live in an apartment in Atlanta , but you get my point.) Tallahassee
- Being on a traditional campus. Actually, I have mixed feelings about this. I think it will be neat to finish out my college student experience at a more traditional university, to have that kind of community and ambience. But I admit, it’s been kind of fun to go to a school at
, where the philosophy department is located on the 11th floor of a skyscraper, which gives it a very modern, businesslike atmosphere. Nevertheless, it will feel more college-y to spend my days on a traditional campus. I’ll enjoy walking around a more peaceful setting, feeling like I’m at an institution of higher learning and not just walking around downtown. Landscaping is going to be an exciting addition to my graduate school experience! (In fact, from photos I’ve seen, there may even be palm trees! How funny!) Georgia State
- Proximity to
. Not that I plan on coming back to Atlanta in particular, but it will certainly help when it comes to moving. Granted, loading up (and unloading) the moving truck is the hardest part of a move, but given that Melanie and I will once again be moving with a newborn (thankfully a slightly older newborn this time around), it will be nice not to move all the way across the country. 4.5 hours in a U-Haul is manageable. Spending a week in a U-Haul … not so pleasant. So, that’s yet another perk. Atlanta
When all said and done, I’m very excited. It’s taken a few days for it to really sink in that this is real and not just something that might happen, but the further in it sinks, the more excited I get. As a final note to any family and friends who are reading this, we should be living in
Note: A decent amount of information in this post was taken from various Wikipedia articles, including but not limited to those on