lifestyle more important than program?

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Junior Member
15+ Year Member
Dec 18, 2003
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So, I just finished my final interview at University of Utah. I am a HUGE outdoors person and could not believe the trails they have for running...not to mention the hiking, skiiling, fishing, etc.

Now, my top two choices are mayo and University of utah. I can't help but to think that location is going to play a huge role in sanity. (I am assuming that I got into utah since they pretty much told me).

I like the fact that mayo has a virology and gene therapy program, but there are some people at utah doing good work in that field as well.

Let's keep in mind that I have been in the midwest my entire life.


***utah provides the same amount of guaranteed funding that mayo does


7+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Jun 25, 2003
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Lifestyle plays a huge role in my upcoming decision, but I am also weighing in on these factors:
1. Cost of living:
Can you find a nice place to live,? (no one wants to live in a crappy place for over 7 years)
Is a house/condo purchase possible?
Will the commute/traffic kill lots of your "free time" away from the lab?

2. Activities
What do you like to do?
Would you be able to afford doing it?
Is there a variety of stuff to do?

3. People
Do the people in the program have similar interests as you, or will you be the only mountaineer amoung a bunch of symphony fans?

4. Long-term
What do you thing your long-term future looks like if you pick one place over the other?

These are just a few things I am kicking around.
Hope they help you.


Full Member
10+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Jul 29, 2003
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now take this with a grain of salt, because i haven't eve applied to programs yet, but when i read that you are chosing between mayo and utah i couldnt help contribute:

i spent 4 months in 2001 at mayo -- i was an undergraduate summer student in one of their research programs -- and learned a lot about how much location matters to me in terms of my training.

i went to college in new hampshire, and now i live in vermont. i have never given a second thought to the beauty of the area here. living in rochester was eye opening. there were some nice things about the area, but being mainly a rock/ice climber, a marathoner, and a skier i realized that if i spent 9 years in rochester i would just about kill myself.

on the up side -- there are plenty of outdoorsy people in rochester, and many nice young families. for me, though, being single at the time, i had a hard time meeting people, and eventually came to realize that the area isnt full of climbers like me (though there is a very active community, its just small).
also -- the cities are NOT that far away -- only about an hour -- and there is a ton of art/eating/playing/shopping/etc to be done up there. so that was comforting.

but the summer i was there (2001) the weather was about 99 F everyday and humid, and it thunderstormed all the time.

utah is the opposite, for me. there is more to offer (even though i imagine that at school you wont get to everything, but its nice to have a choice) and there are more young people. the city is just bigger, and just as friendly.

thats just me, though. if you want any more info on the ins and outs of ROCH. let me know.