To move or not to move?

Claire B. TP14, September 20, 2012 | 0 comments
Tags: partners and families, Hanover NH, Upper Valley, advice

Let's face it: moving to the Upper Valley -- when you're not the one going to school there -- is a big "ask!"

In all likelihood you don't already live here, meaning that Tuck will necessitate your student to move, meaning he or she is probably curious whether you (and your family, if you have one) will be moving too.  That's a huge consideration, and one that my husband and I discussed over multiple conversations.  People have lives, jobs, friends, family, childrens' lives and schools, etc., to consider leaving behind.  And, if you're like me, you might even be irrationally nervous/insecure about not being the student attending the prestigious school, and having to justify your presence up here.

So, here's a case study.  Our situation: we've been married for two years, and do not have kids.  We were previously living and working in Boston -- just a bit too far away for a daily commute.  So, my decision was whether to be a primarily "remote partner," as off-site partners are called here, or not.  Had I decided to stay in Boston, I would have had an easier time visiting campus than remote partners further away (Boston's just a 2-hour drive).  And, bonus, I would have been able to keep my job there, which I loved.  So, it was a tough call.  Ultimately, though, I did decide to move here and job search anew.  Why?

  1. I wanted to be near my husband.  I do kinda love him.
  2. I wanted to share this experience with him, as much as possible.  We feel Tuck is going to be a huge chapter in our lives -- academically, professionally, socially -- and I wanted to be around for the making of new friends, impromptu meetups, farmer's markets, speakers on campus, and more.
  3. I was excited to see the Upper Valley!  It may not be a burgeoning urban center, but it's stunningly beautiful and relaxing here, with loads to do every season of the year.  The leaves are starting to turn and I'm already loving the crisp fall air in the mornings.  After years in the city, I actually found myself getting a little antsy for a change, and growing tired of all the noise and pavement.
  4. I worked at a university, and felt I could parlay my experience into a meaningful career up here (perhaps more easily than some other professions).  Dartmouth and Dartmouth-Hitchcock are the top two employers in the area.
    • If that didn't work, I'd talked to TP'13s at Admitted Students Weekend who'd shifted industries or job functions when they moved to the area, so I knew that was a possibility as well.

So, I took the plunge, and though my job search has not wrapped yet (that's a post for another day!), I feel it was the right decision.  The takeaway here is this: everyone is coming from a different situation, with a different set of considerations and constraining factors, so you and your partner are really the two best equipped to make the decision about what's best for your living/working arrangements for the next two years.

I've met partners who had jobs lined up and started right away once they got here; some who moved here before their students did, some who are primarily here and work elsewhere part of every week or month, and vice versa.  Remote partners are completely supported (they have their own club, even), and can participate in as many or as few partner/Tuck events as they'd like -- even if it has to be virtually, sometimes!  The key is knowing that Tuck will support you and your family, whatever you decide, which really opens up a world of possible solutions.

Feel free to shoot me a note or comment on this post if you have questions/concerns -- this is a big topic!

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