After living in Merrillville for a bit, I've really come to appreciate the city. It may seem like a small city, but it's surprisingly full of opportunities and recreational activities.
What I enjoy most about Merrillville is how affordable it is. Owning a home here is just a fraction of the cost for a comparable house in a major city like LA or New York. Since the home prices are so reasonable, you'll be able to easily afford a comfortable lifestyle. As far as job opportunities go, you probably won't have much difficulty finding a full-time or part-time job either.
Merrillville has a mall and a Walmart Supercenter, so you'll be able to get almost everything you'll need in one place. Just make sure you have your own car since the public transportation in Merrillville is virtually non-existent. One of the best areas in Merrillville, in my opinion, is the mall, since it has a great movie theater.