When it comes to moving to Philadelphia, there is a very obvious dichotomy when it comes to where most vet students live: West Philly or Center City. There are a group of students that commute from either South Jersey or the the surrounding suburbs of Pennsylvania, but for the most part the students tend to congregate within a mile radius of the Hill Pavilion at 38th and Spruce Street.
For the most part, I would surmise that people who choose to live in West Philly are looking for a cheaper apartment in either an apartment building or an old colonial-style house. The walking commute to school on a daily basis is for them, enough of a reason to live amongst the undergraduate students that attend the surrounding institutions. There are numerous bars and restaurants that are frequently visited post-excruciatingly long days at school, all which offer their own unique specials. There are discounts for hospital employees at some, live music at another, and cheap wings at another still.
Since I was coming directly from undergrad with a friend from school, I felt that I was ready to “grow up” and pretend to be an adult by living in Center City. We quickly found an apartment conveniently located on top of a popular grocery store, and paid a premium for its proximity to both public transit and the heart of Philly. The walk from my apartment to school at that time would have been about 30 minutes if I did not take public transportation every day. This cut my transportation time down by 1/3, but also bit into my first year budget considerably.
At the beginning of my second year I was able to move to my current apartment. It is both cheaper and located in “up-and-coming location” in South-West Center City that is only about a 20 minute walk from school. While I originally was not anticipating enjoying the commute every day, I have really come to look forward to that 20 minute detoxifying experience I have every morning and afternoon. After hours of power points and labs, having the 20 minute walk to separate school and home for me has proved to be worth its weight in gold.