One of my personal goals that I've set for this year is to blog more; largely because once I move out of state (probably in the near future) blogging about myself personally will be my best method of communication with my family. This is good practice. Plus... I like connecting with people in casual ways, and I seem to do that better online than I do in real life (usually).
This year is my final year of undergrad, and I've started trying to decide what I'm going to do after April. I initially started to look at graduate programs out of lack of anything better to do, but I've started to really think that it's the best next step for me. So many of the jobs that I want require graduate degrees that I want to put off entering the workforce for a couple of years so that I can step into a position that I actually want.
That said, here's how hockey relates to my top four graduate school choices:
University of Indiana-Bloomington: IU has a D2 Varsity hockey program. I like the idea of a D2 team- they're talented, but not high-profile. None of those kids are going to go pro, but because of that they relish playing college hockey more. As far as pro hockey- the closest team is Columbus, with St. Louis, Nashville, Chicago, and Detroit all within fairly close driving distance. However, all of those teams are far enough away that I would have to get a hotel and spend the night after a game. Ditto to all lower-level pro teams.
University of Michigan: D1 hockey program, which I'm actually kind of familiar with since my brother is currently an undergraduate. This is the most attractive living location on a pro hockey level- it would move me closer to Detroit and my team. That said, the fact that it's so close to where I am now is unattractive in pretty much every other way possible.
University of Pittsburgh: I haven't done much digging into the college hockey program here because the school's website apparently hates my computer. Obviously, there's a professional team in Pittsburgh- not one that I particularly like, but it's there. It's also fairly close to Columbus and Detroit, so I could still see a few western conference games per year.
Georgetown University: Definitely the farthest away and most out of market of my options, this also provides me the greatest opportunity to become a fan of a new team. I have absolutely no feelings about the Capitals, other than general bemusement towards Alex Ovechkin and respect for Brooks Laich (largely related to his off-the-ice actions last spring). I can see myself going to a game in DC and actually cheering for the Caps, which is not the case for many other pro teams I might move near.
Obviously I'm not basing my decision on hockey. Long-term, I would like a city where I settle for a long length of time to be close to a professional hockey team. For a place where I'll be for two years... I could deal. Hockey is one of those factors that I might consider if it really came down to the wire- if I manage to get accepted to several schools, who all offer similar aid packages and internship opportunities, things like the aesthetic quality of the campus and the quality of the local hockey might come into question.