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AUSTIN, Texas — Connor Wilton moved here for the music scene. The 24-year-old singer-guitarist “knew zero people in Austin” and felt pretty lonely at first.

While this capital city is one of the nation’s buzziest places and ranks at the top of many “best” lists, Wilton wasn’t feeling it. He lived near the University of Texas at Austin but wasn’t a student; he said walking through “the social megaplex that’s UT-Austin” was intimidating, with its almost 52,000 students all seemingly having fun.


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