I think that I’m basically done with Arizona. I’ll be getting my associates degree in liberal arts at the end of this year, and my plan had been to transfer to ASU to study sociology. But the more I looked, the more I realized that they are not, perhaps, the best school in the nation for that, or any, subject. The best in the country for sociology is Berkley, but since I’m not a billionaire, I can’t afford to live in the Bay Area. What’s the second best school? Universtiy of Wisconsin in Madison. The only Arizona school even in the top 20 is in Tucson. I didn’t see ASU listed in there at all.
Madison also has more liberal politics, more reasonable summers (though winters that are, by my standards, horrible because they exist), and it looks like it’s big enough to have all the amenities of a large city but not be so big that one can get overwhelmed. It’s within easy travel distance to Milwaulkee and Chicago, which is nice because there’s a Doctor Who convention in Chicago every year. And, of course, Wisconsin is the Badger state and the UW-Madison’s team are the Badgers. So there’s that.
The cost of living is a bit higher in Madison than in Phoenix, but on the plus side the unemployment rate is substantially lower (4.8% vs 10%), and as I’ve learned lately, finding work these days is hard enough without being in a place where 1 in 10 people are jobless. I also wouldn’t know anyone there, though one of my best friends has family he visits there from time to time and another friend is majoring in a subject where UW-Madison is the 5th highest ranked school, so he might be tempted to join me on my little move.
Nothing is written in stone on this whole thing yet. I’d say I’m extremely likely to wind up moving in June of next year, but I’m not 100% sure at this point. I will probably be visiting the area in September, which will give me a chance to get a feel for the place and then I’ll be able to know for sure. Plus I’ll aslo be able to talk with people at the school about my transfer plans and the like. It will also give me time to accumulate the roughly $3,000 I’ll need to have in order to pull this off.
So it won’t be fast and it won’t be easy, but with any luck in little less than a year, I’ll be in a new place with a new life and ready for a new school.