Cole Clement

11th grade

Skowhegan Area High School

Mr. Lehan

Why I will be leaving Maine when I graduate

One of the hardest decisions a young adult has to make after graduating from high school is whether to stay inMaineto find a job or go to college, or whether to pack their bags and move out of state to accomplish your dreams.

After I graduate from High School I will be leaving the state of Maine. My reason for leaving is because of the poor economy, high tax rate, lack of jobs, and the high cost of living Maine was recently rated the worst state to do business in by Forbes magazine for the year 2012. I do not expect this statistic to change by the time I graduate from Skowhegan Area High School in 2014. Living in state that has a strong economy and good opportunities for jobs is very important to me:Maine does not fit this description.

Just in 2012 USA TODAY rated Maine as the 9th highest taxed state in the country. This high tax rate is not very appealing to me or the students of my generation that will someday have to give their hard-earned money to the government to pay these outrageously high tax rates. Moving to another state would allow me to make a much higher annual wage and also pay lower taxes to the state: this is much more appealing to young people.

Living in the state ofMainecomes which a much bigger price tag than other states. If one wants to live inMainethey must account for the extra purchases that are a necessity to have when living here. Snow accounts for many of these extra expenses:

Snow removal, vehicles with four wheel drive capability, and heating your home are just a few of the extra expenses that occur from snow alone. These expenses add up over the years and can costs thousands of dollars.

Many citizens ofMainerecognize the cons ofMainethat I have expressed, but claim Maine is such a beautiful and safe place to live that the cons are outweighed by the positives of the state. I do in fact agree that Maine is in fact one of the most beautiful and safe states to live in, but I disagree that these major economic problems are outweighed by the beauty of the state alone. Maine is called “VacationLand” for a reason, it is a great place to visit for a couple weeks every year, but Maine is not the ideal place to settle down and try to find a stable job. Maine will always be viewed as a beautiful vacation spot, but not as a great area for young adults looking for a stable job.

 Leaving the state of Maine after graduating High School is the smartest decision in the long run. If Maine wants to be able to keep their brightest students coming out of high school they must work on expanding business in the state, which will make Maine a more attractive place for people to settle down.


Jonathan Paradis

Grade 11

Skowhegan Area High School

r. Lehan

Why Stay in Maine?

Maine is famously known as “ VACATIONLAND”. A vacation is somewhere people go to escape from home for a while. If that is really what our state is then why wouldn’t we leave? Although Maine may be a nice, quiet, and beautiful place it is not a place to live because there is a lack of good paying jobs and the educational opportunities are limited.

After graduation when seeking colleges there is not a very wide range of good programs. Yes, UMO has a great forestry and engineering program but say someone like me wants to go into the medical field. Maine is not as advanced in medical education as say a school in Massachusetts. I want the best education I can get for my future.

Maine has few jobs available at this point. There have been huge layoffs in Maine over the past few years and the few that are available are at supermarkets or fast food joints.

In Maine salaries are low. My dad is social worker. If he were to move to Boston he could make three times his current salary. In Maine the salaries of professional careers are lower because people don’t have the money to afford a high salary, so the hospital he works at can’t pay as much because the poverty rate in Maine is so high.

Most Mainers say that Maine is a beautiful, nice, quiet place to live. That is why some major actors and singers like John Travolta have homes on the coast. The weather may be nice during the spring, summer and fall, but once winter hits and the snow starts falling, it isn’t so nice and quiet. In Maine there are bad snowstorms where trees and power lines go down everywhere and you can be without power for days. For an example my family went without power for three days during an especially bad storm a few years ago. These storms also create many hazards on the road. During blinding snowstorms you can’t see and might go off the road hit a tree or even hit another car. Many young people I know have gone off the road or even totaled their cars this winter. The winter weather can be very dangerous in Maine.

Vacationland is a good name for Maine because it is a nice place, but it is not a place to stay your whole life. With bad weather, limited educational opportunities, and few good jobs it has little to offer. Those graduates that want to get into the world and thrive shouldn’t let vacationland hold them back from the education and life they want.


AJex McGraw

10th Grade

Bangor Christian School

Mrs. McDonald

Vacationland. That is what many people think Maine is. They think that it is a great place to be in the summer, fall, and winter. With every good thing, though, there are some downsides too. A few of those are that it costs a lot of money to live here, and jobs are scarce. With that said, in the big picture Maine is not a bad place to live.

Vacationland is the place to be in the summer and fall, and many people come to Maine to enjoy the warm weather and take in the great views. In the summer, many people flock to Maine to hang out at the beaches, hike in the woods, or just sit back and enjoy the fresh Maine air. In the fall, many people come to Maine to hunt and and see the beautiful light show put on by the trees.

When people think of winter in Maine they usually think that it is a frozen wasteland of snow and ice, but winter can be a great time too. Maine is known for the best ski-slopes east of the Rockies, and one of the world’s best and largest network of snowmobile trails. Another winter pastime is ice fishing. When most people think of fishing they think if sitting on a dock or a boat and casting lines. Though ice fishing may not as exciting as fly fishing, it can still be an enjoyable experience.

With every good thing there are some down sides. With a long, cold winter, the residents of Maine have some of the highest heating bills in the country. Another downside to living in Maine is that jobs can be scarce, and those that are available are low paying and no one wants to do them. Some people say that Maine is only a place for tourists, I think that overall Maine is a good place to live and though there are some downs ides to staying in Maine, it is a good decision.


Joshua Buza

Grade 10

Bangor Christian School

Mrs. McDonald

Living in Maine: Advantages and Disadvantages

Maine is a lush beautiful state filled with trees to the North, and cities to the South. I think Maine is a great state to spend your life in because it’s less crowded than most other states in the country, and the forests in the fall, provide picturesque landscapes filled with vibrant and vast colors.

Many people believe that Maine is not a great state to live in. One could conclude that because it is a more rural state with more wildlife, and hazardous roads in the winter, that Maine is a dangerous state to drive in. And on that same note, many people do not enjoy the winter in Maine because we can get a lot of snow storms. Because the winter is colder and longer in Maine one suspects it to cost much more to heat a house in Maine.

I however must disagree with these assumptions. Because there is a smaller population in Maine, there are less accidents here than in more populous states. Not only that, but people who have lived in Maine for a few years are much better at driving in bad conditions because one becomes accustomed to it. Many people also live in Maine because of the snow. Maine leaves in the autumn bring tourism from all over the country, and many stay. Because of the foliage in Maine, the air is always clean, and the water is always refreshing. Also, most residents in Maine heat their homes with lumber, which is much less expensive than oil. Hunting and fishing are also very popular in Maine, especially ice fishing during the winter. Lobstering is huge in Maine, and maple syrup is practically a staple of Maine. Many people also enjoy the smaller population of Maine, because it’s quieter.

In conclusion Maine is a great place to live for many people including myself because of the autumn leaves, winters, hunting and quietness of the state. Mainei s truly a paradise free from the loud bustle of city life.


Catie Gordon

Grade 10

Bangor Christian School

Mrs. McDonald

“Vacationland” is a very fitting name for the state of Maine. Tourists flock to the coast here from all over the world:Canada, other states, and I’ve even met tourists from the United Kingdom and Aruba! Maine is a great place to spend the summer, but is it a good place to live? I personally believe that it is, but others would disagree with me.

I love living in Maine for many reasons. There are lots of rural towns with cities that are near enough that you can drive to them. The landscapes and scenery in the state are breathtaking. In the fall and spring, we enjoy perfect weather. Most importantly, however, is that we are a family. There is an atmosphere of closeness in Maine that is hard to find anywhere else.

Winters are long and cold, though. The price of heating oil is high, making it hard to heat homes. Roads are icy and we are plagued by big snowstorms. When power outages occur, it often takes hours for the power companies to fix it. If your car was to break down on a back road, it might A tow truck a long time to get to you.

Though winters are harsh, the rest of the year is relatively mild. What’s one season when you could have beauty for the rest of the year? Since Maine is a hot spot for tourists, it has the potential to flourish economically. Maine is a beautiful place to both live and vacation.

Although many people have opinions that differ from mine, I still believe that Maine is a very livable state. Its beauty and sense of kinship are those of a time long since gone. These are very special things that can be found in few places nowadays. I wouldn’t permanently leave Maine for the world.


Kate Jones

10th Grade

Bangor Christian School

Mrs. McDonald

Whether or not to stay in Maine: that is the question for high schoolers in the state. This can be the decision that decides your future of education and occupation. Most high school students dream of leaving going to the “big city” and becoming rich. But, are those dreams realistic? Is this the best option? Staying in Maine and getting the resident tuition for college then moving away to where the good jobs are, is the best option.

Staying in Maine for college saves thousands off student loans. Also in college it will be helpful to be close to family, because the average student spends $200 on doing laundry each year. Then, once college is over, go out of state to find jobs and better opportunity. In Maine there are not many big companies.

One reason to stay in Maine after college is if the occupation of your choice is unique to Maine or is hard to find anywhere else. Also people in Maine are friendly, and in big cities people are less considerate. Sometimes it even feels like everyone knows each other in Maine! Additionally,Maine is a great tourist attraction, in the summer. One other reason to stay in Maine is because it is so clean; the air, the woods, and the water.

So many people are curious if they should stay in their home state or not, in this case it would be best to go somewhere else. There is not enough opportunity, and nothing big comes from Maine. Only certain people can and want to live in Maine. It is better for your career to go to college in Maine then go out of state to get a job.


Jessica Meng

Grade 11

Skowhegan Area High School

Mr. Lehan

Maine is Nicknamed “Vacationland

Many people view Maine as a vacationland, but is that all it really is? There are a lot of people that live in Maine for their whole lives because they love everything about it.

Even though there are high taxes in Maine, it is a safe environment, colleges are cheaper, and the sights are very beautiful.

The safe environment means that there are not many crimes, andMaineis relatively safe from natural disasters.Maineusually doesn’t get any earthquakes, if any, they are really small. There are not that many crimes as there is in New York.

The colleges are cheaper because if students stay in state, then the cost for colleges are much less than if they want to go out of state. Out of state can be thousands more dollars than in state. If students live in Maine, then the tuition rates for UMO is around $8,370 compared to SUNY at Albany, which is $12,278.

The sights are very beautiful because Maine is on the coast of the ocean. Maine also has parks and scenery sights from battles like Fort Knox.

I go to Fort Knox in Prospect, Maine almost every summer. It is a very beautiful place to see the battlefield of a battle that happened. Fort Knox is basically made of rock and has cannons almost everywhere. I would love to learn more about Fort Knox; it would be interesting to know what battle was fought there and who we were against.

One opposing argument is that Maine has high taxes. It would take a lot of money to stay here, but it would also take a lot of money to live somewhere else too. And example would be Maine’s gasoline tax being thirty cents per gallon compared to Alaska’s eight cents per gallon tax on gasoline.

I don’t believe Maine is just a vacationland because colleges are cheaper and the environment is pretty safe. I want to have lower taxes so maybe families would live in Maine more and actually know where it is.


Hannah Landry

Grade 11

Skowhegan Area High School

Mr. Lehan

MY OPINION: Why I want to stay in Maine

The decision that young adults face after graduating from high school is whether to leave the state or stay. My choice would be to stay in Maine. I want to stay in Maine because I want to go to a local college which is cheaper for me and I want to stay close to my family.

This decision is either easy or hard. Some people are independent and want to do things on their own and other people depend on their family for support. I am a family girl and I wouldn’t be able to be away from my family for more than a week. I love being able to hang out with my family when I get home from school but if I’m out of state there’s no way I can see them unless I travel and I won’t have the money to travel all the time. What would I do if I got sick and my mom wasn’t there to comfort me? What would I do if I didn’t have my dad to work out with because I lived out of state? These are things I could do by myself but I would choose not to. At least if I stayed inMaine, I could drive to them or vise versa.

The reason I’m mostly staying in Maine is that college is cheaper. I am one of those families that doesn’t have a ton of money to spend on a big university. I plan to attend KVCC and spend the least amount of money as I can. KVCC is a local college and is within my budget so it’s easier for me. I have recently learned that I can go for my RN license at KVCC only paying $10,000 dollars a year compared to going to Boston College. If you were to go to Boston College you would spend about $47,450 to go to that college.

I also want to stay in Maine because I like to hunt and fish and there are some places where you can’t do those activities. I would definitely miss hunting and fishing if I moved away because I have been hunting and fishing since I was a little kid. The four seasons is also a factor because I love fall. One thing I don’t like about Maine is how long winter is but fall is definitely my favorite.

A downfall in staying in Maine is there aren’t many jobs and if there is then the pay is low. If I moved to a bigger city I would have more job options and higher pay depending on where I move to. I originally wanted to be a radiologic technologist but there aren’t many jobs available in Maine.

I recently changed my mind on what I want to do and keep it simple. I have decided to be an RN because of the job availabilities and it was originally my second option. Maine may not have many jobs available or a high pay but I am not the type of person that wants to be rich. To stay in Maine and be an RN is just what I want to do and I believe where I belong.

Other future high school graduates might have a different opinion but I believe the pros outweigh the cons. I have lived in Maine my whole life and I love it here. There are jobs available for what I want to do and my family lives here.


Justin McGuire

Grade 11

Skowhegan Area High School

Mr. Lehan

Stay in Vacationland?

Upon graduation people shouldn’t move out of Maine. They say Maine is dead, that it has no opportunities. They are wrong. What people don’t see about Maine is its good parts. Maine has hundreds of scenic views along with a ranging variety of wildlife. In fact, 90% of its forests are still standing instead of totally cut down like in other states. This makes hunting better along with the quality of the air.

Maine’s after high school education system is also better and cheaper than most states. It has the big names like Colby, Bates, and Bowdoin which are obviously expensive. Then it has the community college system which provides cheap education with numerous ways to qualify for financial aid. These community colleges often offer extremely good vocational trade classes.

Seniors in Maine high schools often don’t realize the reason why Maine is called Vacationland. They see the rural aspect of Maine as being disconnected from society and as boring. What they don’t realize is that most people in other states dream of moving to Maine on account of this. In the end, everybody wants to be able to put his or her head to rest at night without the sounds of the subways and people constantly hollering in their ears.

Maine has many opportunities, you just need to to seek them out. It also has plenty of room for new businesses to start and for people to create their own opportunities.

Maine is definitely a good state to spend your life in. It is full of views, and opportunities. Also, with the price of education being as low as it is, many will be able to afford to live here and thrive.

Seeing all of this, though, I can’t help but think that maybe people shouldn ‘t realize the peace of mind that comes from living in a lowly populated place like Maine. Maybe if they did, then everybody would move here and it would turn into just another New York City.


Ethan Liberty

Why I’ll Stay inMaine

After students graduate from high school they are faced with a huge choice. Do I stay in the place that I have always lived or do I move to a different place? When I have to make this decision I will stay in Maine, the pine tree state.

I will make this decision because Maine is where I was brought up. My family lives here, and this is where my friends are. I would miss all the traditions of Christmas like walking through the woods, in the snow, and finding the best tree. Then getting home and decorating the tree as a family. I would also miss not being able to hang out with my friends all the time. I cannot imagine living in any other place.

Maine is also a safe place to live. It is not likely that a natural disaster will happen. Ice and snow storms are about the worst of it. Also, Maine has a low crime rate. In big cities, like Pittsburgh, people are always getting shot. It happens almost everyday. This does not happen as often in Maine.

There are also four different seasons. This allows for a variety of activities. In the summer you can fish, swim, boat, farm and go four wheeling. The fall months make for a good hunting season. Skiing, ice fishing, and snowmobiling help pass the winter months and mudding comes in the spring. I would miss all the hunting and fishing trips with my father. Like the time when I shot my first deer. I would also miss the snowmobile trips up north where there is lots of snow. How could I ever leave the activities I’ve grown up doing behind me?

Some people say there are no high paying jobs in Maine. There may not be as many high paying jobs as other states, but there are lots of jobs that pay enough to have a good living. If you want to run your own business there are many places to start. You could be a logger for example. You could also get into law and conservation enforcement. After all there are many out of staters that come up for outdoor sports. There are many jobs in preserving Maine’s great outdoors.

I will never leave Maine. I do not like change at all. I’m used to life in Maine. Everyone I know and everything I do is here. How could I leave it all behind?Maine needs to find ways to keep its best and brightest in the state to make it better then ever.

We “Gotta” Get Out of This Place

As the competition for jobs is growing, we need to think about ways to give us the the best chance of success in our duel for a job.

By getting an education in Maine, you are limiting yourself to what you can do for living: if you graduate from college in Maine, you are likely to stay in Maine where your job opportunities are limited. Even if you find yourself a good job in Maine, the national average salary for that job will be much lower in Maine–excluding a few jobs such as a lobsterman, lumberjack or a mill crew worker.

When students are fresh out of high school and about to start college, they will be extremely unstable, often living day-to-day just getting by. The last thing that that student would need is high taxes! The state of Maine is on average, one of the highest taxed states in the country according to

The biggest downfall to the state of Maine, is its extremely manipulatable welfare system. If you are looking to make an honest, hardworking living, then Maine is not the place for you. It is best to start your life somewhere else while you are not tied down with a family.

Family, brings me to my next point. Some people opinions may be altered by the fact that their family is in Maine, and they do not want to lose them. This is a great arguing point, as family is very important to most people. However, you do not necessarily need to move across the country or even out of driving distance! You could go to school in nearby states like New Hampshire or Massachusetts.

You can always visit your family, and in most cases, you can move back to Maine once your life has settled!


Kasi Pratt

Grade 11

Skowhegan Area High School

Mr. Lehan

Should We Stay or Should We Go?

Maine teens have had to tolerate Maine their whole life all the way throughout high school. I am willing to bet throughout everybody’s life, we have all thought to ourselves, “I can’t wait to grow up and leave this state.

There aren’t many exciting things to do here. Going mudding, hunting, and fishing are pretty much the only fun anybody could have in Maine. What about the others? Not everybody likes outdoor activities.

As we hear through Facebook, the news, and magazines, other states are way more fun.Maine, at least it seems like it, is sheltered from everybody else. There is hardly ever breaking news from Maine. We don’t have stories like “Lindsay Lohan Caught Partying off the Coast o fMaine.” No. It’s either New York,California, or some other popular state. If people want to be involved in some sort of fun events, I don’t think Maine is going to satisfy them much.

Maine should no longer be excluded from all the fun. If we leave Maine for a little bit, make friends with some celebrities, then bring them back to Maine, we can be popular!

If people leave, they can see what the world is really like. Growing up in a small town with hunters and fishermen isn’t all that fun. Mostly the whole population of Mainers live on a farm. I personally don’t like the looks or the smell of living on a farm.

Most teenagers find it worthwhile to leave Maine for college. Even though it might be more expensive, you would get a better education. Not many colleges in Maine have the proper courses a student may need to fulfill their dreams. For example, if somebody wanted to go to the best Veterinary Medicine Program,Maine won’t work for them. At the top of chart is Cornell University in Ithaca,New York. Number two would be the University of California– Davis in Davis,California. Number three is Colorado State University in Fort Collins,Colorado.

That’s another thing. The unemployment in Maine is through the roof. I bet everybody knows at least one person stuck without a job. Moving to another state could enhance your chances of finding a job to support yourself and a family, if young adults choose to start one.

Although there are some very good reasons to leave, Maine, I have decided I am going to stay for several reasons. One of the reasons is because my family is here. I love my family a lot and leaving them for a long period of time would be hard for me. I could eventually see myself leaving for short periods at a time, but never for a long time.


Maine: The One and Only

“The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams”-Eleanor Roosevelt.

Many young people graduate every year from schools all over Maine. I believe Maine is the one and only. Maine is the place for graduates to stay and make their dreams come true.

As new graduates, Maine is a great place for college. There are many colleges in Maine that have great education programs. There are programs for many different kinds of people. Maine colleges can include courses such as nursing, engineering, and education.

As a junior in high school, I have thought many times before that I wanted to go to college out of state. I then later decided I wanted to stay in Maine, not only because of college, but because of friends and family.

When leaving Maine, some many not realize what he or she has left behind. Some graduates may have left family and friends behind that he or she cares about very much. If graduates stay in Maine, then he or she doesn’t have to leave loved ones behind. Graduates can have their own life, but still be able to visit the ones who are important. I want to stay in Maine so I can always be close to my family and friends.

Maine is a great place for the future At a graduates point in life, they may not be thinking about having their own home and family. You have rural areas such as Cornville, or Skowhegan, but you also have the cities such as Portland, and Bangor. These are all great places for a home and a family. My grandfather has lived in Maine his whole life. I don’t think he would rather be anywhere else. When I graduate, I want to be the same way.

Some graduates may say there’s not enough job options inMaine. This is a great point because we are a small state, but we also do have a smaller population. If I was looking for a job, there’s a good chance I’d find one. Getting a good education with give you many more options for your future.

Maine schools should provide more information on scholarships for Maine colleges. If students had more information, then maybe more graduates would stay in Maine.


Emma Fitzgerald

11th grade

Skowhegan Area High School

Mr. Lehan

Maine: the Vacationland is the best place to live

People living inMaine, including me, take advantage of the surroundings we live in. We don’t realize that this state has a lot to offer and the views are magnificent.

I have been on the go for sixteen years: to all kinds of different states and some different countries. I go to Florida every year and love it because of the warmth and the palm trees. I see lots of different sights that are amazing, and I’ve wished I could live there, like Yellowstone National Park is absolutely beautiful. Now I have taken a step back from this fast-paced life and absorbed my surroundings.

Many people don’t realize what Maine has to offer and how great it can be if they don’t look at it from a visitor’s point of view. People want to stay in Maine for many reasons but mostly because it has four seasons and their is many different sights, and there’s low crime.

The four seasons are a huge part of Maine. We have summer, winter, fall and spring. All with unique differences from sports to temperature.

The summer in Maine is usually between the 70’s and 80’s. That’s not that warm but it’s warm enough to go outside, go swimming, and have fun. Then we have a mix of sports basketball, softball, swimming, fishing and lots more. Then in four months there’s winter. It is really cold, sometimes its lower than zero. It snows and the ground turns a nice white. There is usually basketball, ice hockey, indoor track, ice fishing and skiing for fun sports. These two seasons are completely different but only four months apart.

There are many different sites to see in Maine. You can go to the ocean and see the lobster. Places can bring you lobstering or bring you whale watching. On the other hand Baxter State Park is a great place that is all wild life you could go up there and see tons of animals. I saw a cub bear, moose, deer, and more. Maine has awesome sites that people take for granted.

Some people think we should leave Maine because its boring and low economy. I feel its not boring at all, we have so many activities that you can do. There’s skiing, swimming, hunting, and all the sports. The low economy is because we don’t have a lot of people in Maine if people realize how great it is then there would be a better economy.

We should stay in Maine and people should move here. We have great weathers and have fun activities that are different every season. Lastly we have great sites that are completely different and you can see many things from sea animals to wildlife woods animals. We should advertise this to other young high school students so they will come here for college and maybe live here for awhile.


Zackory Griffeth

Maine, The “StaycationState”

Most people view Maine as that pine tree state with a lot of fishermen. They come just short periods of the year to see the leaves change color, check out the coast, and maybe see some moose cross the road out in the middle of nowhere. There is more to Maine than that; I see beautiful sights, kind people, and a lot to do. I don’t see why people would want to leave after coming here for a week; I personally hope to live here for the rest of my life.

To many locals, Maine is the state where most of their family has been and probably will stay for many years to come. With the hospitality that people tend to project, you just can’t force yourself to leave. Small towns like Canaan are prime examples of this. People live there for a week and know everybody in the town like they have been their best friend for years.

Other than the people, the majesty of the Maine landscapes will draw you into a state of awe, inspiring the feeling that can make you want to start a life here. Places like Moxie Falls, and Mt. Katahdin are popular stops upon visiting Maine. Most people go to these places, take some photos, and then they leave without giving any thought to the beauty that is in front of them. If you stop and look, you might see things you have overlooked.

Whether you snowboard, ski, or just enjoy snow, Maine is a perfect place for you. In the spring and summer you can go swimming, fishing, or stay inland, going for a ride on your A.T.V. When fall comes you can sit back and enjoy the view of the changing leaves, and the children playing in them.

The only down side to Maine may be its harsh winters. Most have trouble getting from their driveway to work. The snow may cause serious accidents out on the roads in cluttered places like in Skowhegan,Waterville, and Bangor. This causes delays in traffic and some people can get seriously hurt.

Most people in Maine come prepared for the bad weather by either having a vehicle with a plow, or have a good friend on speed dial like most people, and have them there to help plow you out. In Maine we also have plow trucks that are out early in the morning trying hard to clear the roads before many people are out on them, making sure to pot down salt and sand.

In my eyes, I think that Maine is an amazing place. If anyone disagrees with me, than reading these few things should help you see what the clear decision is. Whether you came here for the many work opportunities, amazing colleges, beautiful scenery, or for the feeling of welcome in a community, that this is the place to stay because in my eyes; Maine is the “Staycation State.”


Jacob Violette

11th grade

Skowhegan Area High School

Mr. Lehan

WHY MAINE: Should high school graduates stay or go when it comes to further education and employment within this state

Today high school students are faced with a serious decision, to stay and face a -“down and out”-job market or go explore potential job and college opportunities in another state. However, if people knew what was really here they would – like me- stay and fix this broken state.

With the nations economy in horrible condition, Maine is one of those states that can still be salvaged: that is if people would stay to help the cause.

Maine has a vast variety of seasonal activities, jobs, and atmosphere that can only be exhibited on the Eastern Seaboard.

Maine can reveal a lot to those willing and allows one to make a life for themselves. To stay in Maine would allow one to all the activities they did as a kid like ice-fishing with dad on a cold, winter morning or camping in the backyard during a cool, summer night.

Although the famed Maine logging is gone along with its vast amounts of mills, new industries in environmental protection and eco-friendly energy have surfaced in this state providing many jobs to those willing to save the pine tree state. Also to attend college in Maine is cheaper than in states such as New York and Boston.

Opposed to attending an out of state college for $51,000 (M.I.T) a year, one could enroll themselves into the University of Maine Farmington and get the same schooling for almost a sixth of that cost. One can actually learn and participate in the local areas to help benefit your chances of future employment. This is because many of the colleges in Maine work with the state to better improve the knowledge of it’s students as well as provide a common good for the community. Also knowing the area allows you to take those uncommon jobs that “city folk” do not want because it does not “suit their fancy”.

However, one may argue that many jobs in Maine are state jobs offering low pay wages, long work hours, and have a small amount of job openings every year.

Although many jobs in Maine are state jobs -such as police, biologists, and the warden system-you do not have to take these positions. A multitude of jobs in this state are those belonging to private corporations. Some even offer schooling so that you can work for them in the future.

To stay in Maine would be to stay for the love of your home state and know that you can better this state for yourself and others. We can fix this state together, by investing in small business along with supporting new local business’ we can rebuild this state, but it all starts with a decision.


Brittany Hemphill

Grade 11

Skowhegan Area High School

Mr. Lehan

Is Maine a Vacationland?

Many people come to Maine for the beautiful sights, like the coastlines and the amazing rural environment with a small population of about 1 million people. Some people like the coastlines, rural area, and small population, which makes them choose to live in Maine for a long term or visit on vacation.

In my opinion, it is a great place to go for a nice vacation, if you know where the good spots are at. But, since I have been living here for about six years, I have noticed that I don’t really like it too much.

I find it to be too cold here. I am not a snow or winter person, neither is my family, and for some reason, we still live here. If I didn’t live here and came to Maine for vacation, I would think it is a very quaint beautiful place.

In the winter time,Maine gets a lot of snow, and the roads can be very bad. There have been many situations where the roads were slippery, covered with ice, and a huge collision would occur. The environment can be very dangerous.

Also, if you live in Maine, it can be very difficult to find an occupation to work in. The colleges can be very cheap compared to others in different states, but the jobs are hard to find. For example, the occupation I desire to pursue is a therapist and take psychology as a college major. Many colleges in Maine has it as a major, but after college when I go to find a job it will be difficult.

One thing that I really love about Maine though is the sights and the historical events that has taken place here. The coast is very beautiful, and the rural area can be very peaceful Full of trees and wildlife. One thing that I love to visit in Maine are the lighthouses near the coast. They are old and beautiful, and you have the water and rocks right by them.

So in my opinion, yes you should come to Maine for a little while to explore the characteristics of it for vacation, but if you want to live here, you need to like the cold winter times, also the unexpected warmth in the summer, and also have a good job already planned out for yourself.

On the other hand, what Mainers enjoy the most about living here for a long term of their lives is the weather near the winter and spring. That is when they have their fun adventures of ice fishing, mudding, and hunting. For me, it’s not a big joy, but for the Mainers, it is.


Michaela Charles

Grade 11

Skowhegan Area High School

Mr. Lehan

Maine is Not a Great Place to Live

Many students my age are choosing to leave the state of Maine after graduating from high school. As a student that is about to graduate from high school in 2014, I will probably follow the many students that have already left.

After students graduate high school many of them want to go to colleges that are big and have many different course opportunities. I want to go to college for dance choreography and there is no way I am going to be able to find that course in any college in Maine, So I will go to a place that has a college that does offer that course. One school that I have been considering is Dean College in Massachusetts. They have exactly the program I am looking for. Many other graduates will be looking for colleges out of state as well.

Maine is nicknamed “vacationland” which is exactly what Mainei s. It is a place to relax and not have to worry about doing anything, which leads to the next point. There is no entertainment in the state of Maine. Our definition of going out on a Friday night is going around sitting in a truck with a bunch of buds and driving around. We do not have big amusement parks or hangouts that teens can go to. Some places like let’s say New York have clubs that teens can go to. Maine has nothing like that.

If you like being isolated from the world, than Maine is your place to be. There are not any big cities in this state. If you are looking to go on a big shopping spree you probably should head towards the city. Anyone who likes the city life, probably should leave to a place like L.A. Maine is full of small towns, and do not have big stores or malls for people to attend. It is a very rural place.

I can understand why someone would want to come here if they liked all four seasons. Maine has a good touch of each season. Our summers are hot and our winters are cold. I personally do not like the cold, so that contributes to why I do not want to stay here.

Students that are graduating high school have a big decision to make. I personally believe if you want to make it big and get the job you want to get, leaving the state of Maine is the best way to do it.


Rachel Pratt

Grade 11

Skowhegan Area High School


Students Should Stay in Maine

Many students my age have decided that after high school they are going to leave Maine. Due to the fact that I am a student I know how it feels to have to choose to stay or leave. I feel that Maine is an awesome state to live and raise a family in.

As students graduate they are forced to make the decision to stay or leave. Maine is one of the few states that has four distinct seasons: autumn, winter, spring, and summer. This is one of the biggest reasons that I will stay in Maine. I love the snow, how the leaves change color, and how the summer isn’t too hot. If you have ever been to Maine during the autumn you know that it is a beautiful place to be.

Since Maine has four distinct seasons it allows you to do many outdoor activities. In the fall Mainers are usually outside raking up leaves and jumping in the pile. Mainers also enjoy hunting for various animals. During the winter most people are skiing on the many mountains that there are to choose from. In the spring you can go hiking and biking. During the summer people usually enjoy fishing, hiking,swimming, and many other things. During every summer break my family and I go camping. Maine is probably the best place to go camping because the days aren’t too hot and the nights aren’t too cold. When we go camping we are never bored because there are so many things to do.

Many students say that they are leaving because they say that the colleges in Maine are small and don’t have a lot of majors. This simply isn’t true. The University of Maine at Farmington is known for its excellent teaching program, the University of Maine at Orono is know for it’s amazing engineering program, and the University of Southern Maine is among the “Best Northeastern Colleges,” according to The Princeton Review’s 2007 listings.

I would like to be a physical therapist and I am strongly considering going to the University of New England located in Biddeford,Maine. TJNE is known for it’s great physical therapy program.

Some students say that they are leaving because there are no big cities. They say that they like the city because they say it has more people. I think that Maine is better with no cities because smaller population is better because it is safer and cities can cause problems with the environment because there are so many people and cars. The last thing we need is more pollution in the air.

Maine is a great place to live because it is small, there are many things to do, and it has lots of land for people to start a family. I think to keep students here, Maine should advertise all of the recreational activities that you can do so that the students who say there is nothing to do can’t say that anymore.


Scott Martin

11th Grade

Skowhegan Area High School

Mr. Lehan

Vacationland or Land of Nothing

In Maine there are many opinions on whether it is a good place to stay after high school. There are a lot of pro’s and con’s to living in the state. I feel like I could live here for the rest of my life, but I like to travel so I think I will move around before I come back or live here again.

Although the weather in Maine can be pretty extreme, I think Mainers have come up with things to do during any type of weather because they all have recreational things like riding four-wheelers and snowmobiles, going out to enjoy the wildlife, and fishing and hunting.

A lot of the people that come to Maine love to be here for a little why because they can get away from their busy lives. But once you’re here for awhile, you want to go somewhere else cause it gets boring. Many celebrates come here because the cameras usually wouldn’t follow them and couldn’t find them. Because of Maine’s size and population, the population density is very low. So there are a lot of places in Maine that no one lives in.

Schooling in Maine, depending what age level can be some of the worst in the country. Colleges are pretty good in Maine especially cause if you’re a resident then you can pay the in-state tuition. High school in Maine is not the best it can be, I think the state could work on education a little better.

Employment in Maine all depends on what you want to do. In Maine there is more places for engineers and linesmen work then other states. For women there are many opportunities in the medical field. But if you want to make a lot of money Maine probably isn’t the best state to live in.


Sam Edmondson

11th grade

Skowhegan Area High School

Mr. Lehan

Maine: I dun don’t know ‘bout this bub

Maine is an okay state. It may lack in some areas, but it makes up for that in others. Although it may not have big cities with lots of “diversity”, and you can’t get there for here or anywhere. Maine has lots to offer. It has its own culture and people. Also the quaint hometown feel is nice.

People say Maine is boring because it has no big city, and that is kind of true. Maine is a rather laid back state, and to some that is boring. On the other hand that is exactly what some people are looking for. There are things to do, believe it or not there are. With 3 semi-pro sports teams, the Portland Pirates, Portland Sea Dogs, and Maine Red Claws, there are things to do.

Maine doesn’t have any big cities, or hubs of culture and diversity, but Maine has many cultures and peoples due to the diverse landscape. A Downeaster and somebody from up in the County are totally different. We may not be racially diverse but there is plenty of diversity within the state. Maine has its own cultures throughout the state. People on the coast do different things that people from central Maine. There is more to Maine than meet the eye.

When it comes to employment, and schooling in Maine, the state falls short. Maine is 32nd in a list of wealthiest states. This is well behind our New England Neighbors: Connecticut is 4th,Massachusetts is 5th,New Hampshire is 6th, and Vermont is 19th (as ranked on Wikipedia).Maine rates slightly better when ranked per person, at 27th. Although we are again behind our other New England neighbors.

In education, Mainei sn’t much better. Over all our public school systems are among the weaker ones in the country. The only benefit is the very low tuition at UMO. In-state is $8,307, out-of­-state is $25,230.

Maine has its up and down, its good points and its weaknesses. In the end it is an ok state. Depending on your point of view it could be the worst state ever, of the best. When looked at from an unbiased point of view, Maine is perfectly fine.


Colton Albertson

Grade 11

Skowhegan Area High School

Mr. Lehan


When you hear the word “Maine” you probably think “vacationland.” Many people from the state would think other things like “lobster & blueberries” or “wildlife,” even “home.” But what do out of state people think?

Many out of state people look at the state of Maine as “no opportunities” or even “a dead end.” Even though many of these views are negative, there are many positive advantages to staying in Maine.

One of the advantages of staying in Maine is that we are a very rural state, and we aren’t as crowded and overpopulated as other states are. For example according to the census bureau, Boston, MA, has a population of 617,594, as compared to Portland, ME, at 66,194. That is almost nine times larger. In comparison, we have fewer people making it more safe, and easier to move around the city. This, being a concern for many people, can make the difference between a one-hour drive through city traffic and a three-hour drive.

Also, with a smaller population, there is a less concern for crime. According to the crime rate comparison of Portland with Boston, there is a big difference. In larceny theft alone there is more than a 600% difference.

Of course many people would say that there’s more benefits to living out of Maine. One of these people may argue that there are better jobs out of Maine. Also, there is more of a need for jobs. This is not entirely true. Although there may be more of a need for jobs, jobs within Maine could be more beneficial. In Maine, a job like lobster trapping can pay anywhere from $70,000-$ 120,000. This, compared to other jobs, is beneficial to Maine due to the tourist factor within our state.

People in Maine wanting to leave to find better opportunities do not know what they are missing. Although they may think that we are a “dead end,” we have much more to offer. Though we aren’t a large, well known state, we bring a lot to the plate. Not only are we largest producer of lobster and blueberries, we have great tourism. Both these factors create more jobs and opportunities for people wanting to leave.



Grade 11

Skowhegan Area High School

Mr. Lehan

Graduates in Maine have the options-of leaving Maine for college or staying to attend college in Maine. Many kids in my day choose to leave Maine for college. I disagree with them. I think students should stay in Maine to attend the colleges here.

I believe everybody should stay in Maine because it is their home, and all friends are family are here. Having people you know around you everyday helps you get job . The people around you can help you get jobs references and it makes it easier to have the help. For example, if I wanted to get a job, my mom knows a variety of people that could make it happen. If you go to a different state it becomes hard to do it all alone.

If you or anybody you know are planning to go out of state for college, you need to get a full time job. Moving to another state that has bad weather, can cost a lot to replace things. You are very unfamiliar with job options around you.It also cost a lot more money to go out of state because you are not a resident. For example, the tuition of UMO for residents is $ 8,370 and tuition for non-residents is $25,230 So, just make it easier for yourself financially and stay with the options of colleges in Maine.

Maine is the choice to pick for college. You are very familiar with everything. Maine is a enjoyable place to be because of the weather. Maine has the changing seasons of fall, winter, spring, autumn, and summer. In each season you get to experience different things with family and friends. For example, in the summer you go swimming, then in the winter you get to enjoy the activities of snowmobiling, ice skating, sledding, etc. If you go to a state like Florida, it is always hot there, you never get snow. Maine is a more exciting place to be.

Although, going away and having different experiences would be nice for anyone. It would give you more options to pick from all other schools. Graduates in Maine should choose to stay in Maine because it is your home, and you know what Maine is and you have all the seasons to enjoy. Why would anyone want to leave all this behind? It is going to save you money to stay here. So, it still comes down to the choices the graduates of Maine make in their lives to stay or leave Maine.

Maine should make Maine options better for residents to try to keep graduates in Maine to stay in Maine. They could lower the prices of colleges and add more options to study so students wouldn’t go somewhere else for college. We could build more colleges, to get all graduates interested. Everybody needs to choose the right choice, and don’t leave Maine after high school to attend college!


Caileigh Conant

11th grade

Skowhegan Area High School


Stay in Maine

For many kids in high school, the idea of getting out of Maine and moving into a more urban area is definitely at the top of their to-do lists. But for me, that is one of the last things that I would want to do.

One good reason to stay in Maine would be the cost of college. College is already very expensive, so why make the cost any higher by going out of state? Especially when you can get a resident’s tuition just by going to one in your home state. According to, attending UMO as a Maine resident would cost $8,370. But if I was from out of state, it would cost $25,230. It is a ridiculous price difference and would be much cheaper as a resident of Maine.

Another reason to stay in Maine would be that it’s very peaceful and quiet. It’s nice to walk outside and be able to listen to the outdoors rather than having to hear beeping traffic, crowds of people, or just any other unnecessary noise.

My third reason to stay would be that it’s home. One of the hardest things about moving out of Maine would be would be leaving friends and family behind. You’d be leaving all of the memories that you made behind. Also, it is also easier to get a job when you have people you know to give a reference, which there most likely wouldn’t be if you were to move somewhere new.

The last reason to stay in Maine would be for the weather. Weather is a plus because we get to experience a taste of every season. We get the joys of summer, fall, winter and spring. Some states it is either winter or summer all year round. Another thing would be that we rarely have tornadoes, hurricanes, or any other natural disasters in comparison to other states.

Although leaving in Maine may bring you more job opportunities, there are also some here in Maine that you may not have to chance to do if you were to move to a state that was further south. An example would be if you wanted to get into acting. Anyone can be an actor with the right training, but I’m sure you aren’t going to get into any major pictures in Maine. You would have to move to much bigger cities, like Hollywood for instance.

Maine is home: it’s quiet and peaceful, it has cheaper colleges, and it has a variety of weather. So overall, I think those are all good reasons to stay in Maine after high school.


Shawna Quimby

Maine is Where the Heart is

For many teens these days the idea of graduating high school and finally packing up and leaving Maine is top priority.

It’s no surprise that a glamorous city life would captivate the minds of teens who have lived their whole lives in the bucolic atmosphere Maine has to offer. Many of them will soon realize that the illusion of a perfect city existence can’t compare to the reality of their charming country towns.

For most people, their entire family lives within a span often miles or less. The bonds of family and friendship are what keep people whole. Losing those that you love is like losing a piece of yourself. Leaving those people is like leaving behind your arm or your leg.

Some things many teens don’t take into account when they choose to leave Maine are the potential dangers that lurk in other parts of our country. While living in Maine you don’t have to fret that on your walk through a field you are going to be bitten by a rattlesnake. You don’t have to worry about getting chomped up by an alligator while you’re swimming in a lake. For the most part, you don’t need to feel threatened that on your walk to the store you are going to be mugged by a street- gang. It’s safe to say that life in a small Maine town is much safer than life in a larger, more populated city.

Personally, my favorite part of living in Maine is the range of weather we are blessed with. It’s always refreshing to step outside my house and feel the warmth of the sun on some days or hear the sound of rain on my roof some nights. I love that in the same year I can go swimming, play in leaf piles, make snow-angels, and play in the mud. Most people in our country don’t get to enjoy the diversity of seasons that we get each year and I know that if I were to leave Maine I would miss it.

Probably the biggest reason people would want to leave Maine is the lack of urban areas. I always find it strange when people say Maine is undesirable because of how rural it is. It’s true that Maine does not have many cities and that we have nothing that compares to Boston or NYC. I always wonder why someone would want to live in a place like that anyway. It’s loud, crowded, and dirty. Scummy places filled with scummy is not my idea of home sweet home.

For all teens who think that packing up and leaving Maine is a good idea, I believe that most of them will soon realize how wrong they are. Maine truly is a vacationland, and it is in the best interest of future high school graduates to be realistic and stay here.


Katelynn Libby

Grade 11

Skowhegan Area High School

Mr. Lehan

Maine is a Vacationland

Maine. Some people might think its all wood cabins with no power and old greasy man with missing teeth. There is so much more to this state than that. People from all over come to Maine to get away. To experience something different. Maine is a beautiful place. The trees grow freely all around, flowers not being cut down, and wild animals enjoying their habitats. This is a vacationland. A free, peacefully, natural, beautiful vacationland.

When you make up in the morning and look out your bedroom window what do you see? Hard tar and endless streets, cars zooming by, and people all around? When you come to Maine you might wake up and look out the window and see the following: trees, lawn, leaves, birds, dogs running around, and just pure life. Well in most places in Maine that’s the main scenery. You are not crammed into an environment, there is plenty of space. Open areas, fresh places, not in constant factory smoke or car exhaust smoke. Maine is peaceful, has good scenery, has plenty of open space, and there are nice people.

The people in more populated cities have a higher tendency to be rude. You can’t just walk up to someone in Boston and ask them for help without getting some type of rude response. Maine people are just more friendly. We pull over to help someone when their car is broken down and we take people in when they need a place to stay. Maine people aren’t selfish. I would rather go to a place where the people are nice, then go on vacation to a place where the people are rude and unfriendly.

One thing that wouldn’t be a good thing if someone who vacationed in Maine was thinking about staying full time would be the job availability. There aren’t a lot of job opportunities in Maine, especially in Skowhegan, Maine. There are jobs but their isn’t very many. Another thing is you waste a lot of money on gas because everything is so far away from everything else. Distance and jobs could be two very good reason to not want to permanently live in Maine. However, I would rather be have a happy life, then have an high paying job, I would be able to live my life happily with an average paycheck. Although getting a high paying career in Maine isn’t impossible, My sister works as an phlebotomist. She gets a decent amount of money.

So Maine labeled as Vacationland? Yes, it is. With its vast landscapes of trees and grass, friendly people and peaceful towns, I would choose Maine as a Vacation destination if I didn’t already live here.


Andrea Engler

Grade 11

SkowheganAreaHigh School

Mr. Lehan

Leave Maine ASAP

High school students, in Maine have been choosing to attend colleges in other states. As a high school student, I do not plan on attending college in Maine after I graduate. Maine should not be nicknamed “vacationland”.

Winters are harsh in Maine. Studded tires, winter clothing, and a source of heat are all needed for the low temperatures that ice and snow cause during winter. Studded tires are needed for the dangerous roads filled with ice and snow.

You need four studded tires for one car, which range from $30 to $150 each. Winter clothing is needed in the freezing temperatures, you not only need spring and summer clothing like in the southern states, but you also need winter clothes to keep you warm. A source of heat is the most costly. Whether you use an oil tank, a pellet stove, wood stove, propane heaters, etc., it will cost you. Some families cut back on other needs just to heat their houses. Winters in Maine are not cheap.

Jobs in Maine are at a low, while the unemployment rate is at a high. Maine does not have a wide variety of jobs. The most popular jobs are mechanics, factory workers, or convenience store workers. Most of which, are not hard, and nor do they require college training. If someone majored in college for architecture, they would not have a satisfying job in Maine, so college would’ve been a waste.

Most people have the idea that housing and rent in Maine is cheaper than housing or rent in the city. That may be a true statement, but if you’re making more money in the city than in Maine, then there’s no difference. If you’re living in a city outside of Maine, there are more job opportunities, which means more of a choice of which job to take. If the city has a high population, the company you work for will have a higher demand from people. In other words, you’ll make more money from a job in the city than in Maine, so rent or housing would cost about the same if you were living in Maine. A lower paying job with a lower costing house equals a higher paying job with an expensive house.

Maine is not a “vacationland”; higher living costs in the winter, and a low number of job opportunities–that does not sound good at all. Students should fulfill their post ­high-school future out of Maine, and in another state that really deserves the nickname “vacationland”.


Hannah Landry

Grade 11

Skowhegan Area High School

Mr. Lehan

MY OPINION: Why I want to stay in Maine

The decision that young adults thee after graduating from high school is whether to leave the state or stay. My choice would be to stay in Maine. I want to stay in Maine because I want to go to a local college which is cheaper for me and I want to stay close to my family.

This decision is either easy or hard. Some people are independent and want to do things on their own and other people depend on their family for support. I am a family girl and I wouldn’t be able to be away from my family for more than a week. I love being able to hang out with my family when I get home from school but if I’m out of state there’s no way I can see them unless I travel and I won’t have the money to travel all the time. What would I do if I got sick and my mom wasn’t there to comfort me? What would I do if I didn’t have my dad to work out with because I lived out of state? These are things I could do by myself but I would choose not to. At least if I stayed in Maine, I could drive to them or vise versa.

The reason I’m mostly staying in Maine is that college is cheaper. I am one of those families that doesn’t have a ton of money to spend on a big university. I plan to attend KVCC and spend the least amount of money as I can. KVCC is a local college and is within my budget so it’s easier for me. I have recently learned that I can go for my RN license at KVCC only paying $10,000 dollars a year compared to going to Boston College. If you were to go to Boston College you would spend about $47,450 to go to that college.

I also want to stay in Maine because I like to hunt and fish and there are some places where you can’t do those activities. I would definitely miss hunting and fishing if I moved away because I have been hunting and fishing since I was a little kid. The four seasons is also a factor because I love fall. One thing I don’t like about Maine is how long winter is but fall is definitely my favorite.

A downfall in staying in Maine is there aren’t many jobs and if there is then the pay is low. If I moved to a bigger city I would have more job options and higher pay depending on where I move to. I originally wanted to be a radiologic technologist but there aren’t many jobs available in Maine.

I recently changed my mind on what I want to do and keep it simple. I have decided to be an RN because of the job availabilities and it was originally my second option. Maine may not have many jobs available or a high pay but I am not the type of person that wants to be rich. To stay in Maine and be an RN is just what I want to do and I believe where I belong.

Other future high school graduates might have a different opinion but I believe the pros outweigh the cons. I have lived in Maine my whole life and I love it here, There are jobs available for what I want to do and my family lives here.


Zealiah Atwood

Grade 11

Skowhegan Area High School

Mr. Lehan

I’m Lost in Vacationland

Graduated students have a choice; either to stay where they’ve been all their lives or to experience something new beyond their horizons. For me the answer is clear, I want to experience something more.

I’ve grown up here all my life, it’s all I’ve ever known and I want a change. No one wants to be stuck in a small town with the same things to do repeatedly.

Staying in Maine will only ruin my chances to find a good job with a good wage. A different state with a bigger city will widen my chances at finding a well-paying job.

My uncle also grew up in Maine. He ended up going and traveling the world as a graphic art designer and makes a lot more money in other countries like Amsterdam than he would have here.

Finding a better, well-paying job out of state will make working that much more enjoyable.

Besides a job, moving out of state will better my chances at getting into a better college.

Once someone has been a resident for a year in another state they can get a certain amount of money off their college tuition in that state.

For me, I’m not into the four seasons. If I could have it my way, winter would only be a month long, but, no, Maine likes to have a three-month long winter.

Although moving away will be hard with leaving family and friends, Mainers can always come back. Life is about taking chances and risks. Staying in a small town won’t help us achieve our dreams of furthering our future with traveling.

Seeing new, bigger, and better things will open our eyes from the everyday ordinary rainy, snowy, boring days.

People never know, they may eventually want to move back after seeing other things and trying new jobs but, it’s worth the chance to see a different view on life.

People can’t just stay in one spot their whole life, they need to meet ends with their goals and can always take a step back from where they walked away. Not everything is permanent.

People need to take the risk and open their horizons. They’ll never know what’s out there unless they take a chance at something new. Maybe the grass is greener on the other side.


Christina Caggiano

Why Maine isn’t the best place to live

Maine might be nicknamed “Vacationland” by its outstanding beauty and wonderful scenery everywhere you look, but you might want to rethink your choice about living here permanently.

In my view, I look at my future as going off to the big cities and different places to experience new things and see what doors could open to give me great opportunities. So far, Maine for me hasn’t really offered much other than getting a decent education, sightseeing and a somewhat peaceful place to live.

Most kids are “home-bodies” who like to stay close to home and be with family and not branch out to what other places have to offer. Maine is such a little place compared to everything else out there, that I don’t feel its giving what high school graduates need in order to experience growing up and what else is going to come to them in the world.

Another thing is that, welfare and jobs are a big controversy in Maine. Welfare’s increasing and jobs are decreasing. The more that people lose their jobs is the faster that welfare will go up. Maine just doesn’t have much to offer anymore. If I take a chance and risk staying in Maine and getting a job, I could lose it in a certain amount of years. Other places like,New York and Massachusetts, their job opportunities are very high, a lot of people keep their jobs, and welfare’s low.

In my perspective, I would really like to leave Maine, at some point within the next 7-10 years of my life. Whether it be to go to college, or to live in a house and raise my family when I’m older. Maine is turning my view of a “Vacationland” no longer being just that, but of many families being on welfare.

To conclude, I think for any high school graduates, it would be in their best interest to leave Maine, and find a more high quality place to live. A place where you are sure to get a job and keep it. To have more opportunities and live a better lifestyle, surrounded by good,, safe and clean communities.


Dylan Mckenna

Grade 11

Skowhegan Area High School

Mr. Lehan

Why I’m leaving Maine when I graduate

Maine isn’t exactly the place I want to stay a-t when I graduate. I think that Maine needs more than what it has to offer to keep me here.

Maine only gets snow about three months out of the year, doesn’t have a wide variety of jobs, and the hunting and fishing isn’t too good.

I love to snowmobile and the winters seem to be getting shorter. The snowfall in other states is far more than Maine and that’s what I want to experience. when you spend the money to buy a snowmobile, you want to use it. In Maine there is a slim chance of that.

Maine has few jobs because of our geographical location. We have fishing on the coast and the pulp and paper industry. Those are Maine’s two big industries and neither of them pay very well. Another thing is that both of those options are hard work.

My dad is a logger, so I know how hard it is to make a living and support your family in Maine. I don’t want that for my family. I want an occupation that is easy on me and my family. I don’t want my wife to have to work hard to enjoy life and i don’t want my kids to go without.

The hunting and fishing used to be good in Maine, but not anymore. I love to hunt and fish, but it is hard to love it when there are no deer to hunt for and no fish to catch. The deer population is way down and the number of brook trout has declined in Maine waters.

When my family shoots a deer we eat it all. The deer helps us get through the winter because of the economy. This is making is harder and harder to get a deer and get through the winter without buying meat.

Many people believe that Maine does have some great places to hike, raft, and do other outdoor activities. They think Maine is a good place for these activities because they are unaware of other states. States like Alaska have some of the best fishing in the U.S.compared to Maine and the hiking is top notch with Mountains, meadows, and remote forest to fulfill any hikers destination. Maine can’t compare to a state like that when it comes to outdoor recreation. It’s just not worth staying.


Kaitlyn Luce

Grade 11

Skowhegan Area High School

Mr. Lehan

Graduates leaving Maine: And it’s for all the Wrong Reasons

Living in Maine gives you many options. After young people graduate they have the choice of staying in Maine, or moving out of state. It is a big decision to make.

More graduates today are leaving Maine to seek “better opportunities” but in all reality they are walking away from great opportunities here in their home state: opportunities that they won’t find in many other states in the U.S.

If you are planning on going to college out of state, you might as well plan on getting a full time job that generally makes enough money to support a family of five for a year (That’s just a ballpark estimate mind you). Out of state tuition is far more expensive than in state tuition. The cost of one semester at an out of state college in retrospect to a situation in real life would be like supporting a family of five, so facing reality why would you want to take such a heavy load just to get started out so that you actually can make enough money to support a family of five. It just may not be the smartest and most realistic path to take.

Also an upside to Maine is the lack of big cities. I would much rather study live in the general area I do now for the rest of my life, rather than move to Boston,Chicago, or Los Angeles. The way of life in Maine is very enjoyable.

The way of life in Maine is very enjoyable because of the changing of the seasons. Each season brings a whole new scenery, and a whole new variety of weather patterns.Maine’s scenery is rather beautiful, especially in autumn. All of the sights, the sounds, the smells, and the people can be breathtaking. It really all is worth the while.

In Maine you have more of a variety in geographical areas, rather than you would in Kansas for example. In Maine you get to experience the breathtaking coast, and the ocean. And in the opposite direction you get to intake the countryside where there’s a farm around every corner. You don’t get to experience these things in Kansas, which is smack dab in the middle of the U.S.

Although moving out of state may have its perks, and there may be a lot of resources and opportunities at your disposal– you may get a great opportunity and not like it. You may miss life in Maine: where you also could get an opportunity that is just as good if not maybe even better than the one you got out of state, that can better your life.

So it really all comes down to whether or not you can really bring yourself to leave the, friendly people, your familiar way of life, the scenery, and the opportunities that come with living in Maine.

But staying would be the most practical thing to do. Who would want to leave all of this? I know I don’t.


Carrie Park 

Bangor Christian Schools

S. Arnold

Maine should not be viewed only as a place of choice for vacationing but as a place to settle in. Maine offers America more than any one can ever imagine. They do not receive much but they offer much not only to United States of America but also globally. Maine has more than just a restful environment along with abundant resources. Maine has low crime rates, slow paced lifestyle, and is known for its seafood globally.

First and foremost Maine is known for low crime rates. According to 2010 Violent Crime Comparison statistics,Maine has significantly less violent crime than the nation has. If the nation had 100 violent crimes in 2010,Maine only had about 30 violent crimes in 2010. In detail, the number of robberies in the year of 2010 was four times less than the nation had. As the statistics illustrates, compared to the other states, living in Maine provides a safer environment not only for women and children but also for every individual. As technology develops, the number of crimes and violent acts increase rapidly. The increase of violence leads every individual to seek for a safer environment.

Along with a peaceful environment, Maine also has a slow paced lifestyle compared to other states or countries. Maine has people who do illegal actions and unrighteous actions. Because human beings are not perfect and makes mistakes always, there isn’t a “perfect place” in the earth. Nevertheless it is better both emotionally and physically if one lives in a slow paced lifestyle rather than having a rushed and pressured lifestyle. When one is emotionally relaxed and organized, one can accomplish more than one who is not. For example in general compared to Asia, the USA is more relaxed and encouraging in children’s education. However the USA has generated well-known businesses and has more Medicare than Asia has regardless of populations. It is healthier and more successful for a human being to live in slow but arranged atmosphere rather than live with demanding and stressful conditions that can lead to suicides and illnesses.

Maine is seafood. Seafood is a symbol of Maine that whenever one thinks about Maine, ally seafood is the first thought. Maine exports seafood not only nation but internationally. Among a variety of seafood especially Maine lobster are one of the highest export. The export of Maine lobster impacts US export. Maine Lobsters are exported to more than 30 countries. Not only the seafood is overwhelmed but also is inexpensive than other states or country. Maine is a number one choice for one who loves seafood because of its cost and quality.

The three examples are the epitome of living in Maine. Maine is a state with inconceivable sources and diplomatic background.Maine’s unimaginable resources are the spark of growth in economics. Therefore the population in Maine should increase rather than decrease. It would benefit both for United States of America and will provide more excitement to people. Are you seeking for a safe and peaceful environment? I will strongly encourage you to consider the state of Maine!


Monique Mills

Grade 11

Skowhegan Area High School

Mr. Lehan

Leaving Maine for a Higher Education

Many students, after graduating from high school, leave the state. Heading to colleges in cities or at least more populated areas. Where they have a better chance at getting a degree they want. But, some are still left wonder why would they leave Maine if its considered vacationland?

Well there are many possibilities of what the reason why could be. It could do with the fact that Maine has a high unemployment. Thus causing difficulties for young adults to find a job. Or even they want to get out of the rural area and into a more of a city environment.

Another possibility is that without having these large cities in Maine, Maine doesn’t have large college campuses. Causing those looking for a higher education to find a better suited college for them out-of-state.

Smaller colleges usually mean less degrees to offer. Many of these are concentrated in one area, such as at UMF, where the major study is for teaching, which not the majority of the young population in Maine is interested in. Sending students out-of-state to fund programs they’re interested in like bioprocess engineering or paper engineering. Usually found at larger colleges, such as SUNY-ESF.

Still some students heading for college prefer to stay in Maine because it’s safer and has smaller community’s. These things can come at a cost though. Costs like the lack of entertainment or activities. Since Maine has more rural areas it becomes hard to travel around and do activities. Unlike in cities where the majority of things are in walking distance.

Maine showing many disadvantages in areas like not having an array of educational opportunity in different fields for up and coming student, or entertainment causes drops in the amount of residential students attending a Maine college.

Even though many Maine colleges are considered cheaper to attend to than others, graduated seniors wanted to attend a college that has the degree for them. But, also have a fun environment with things around them to do. Sending those college bound students out of state to find a higher education.


Ellie Mae Cox

Grade 10

Calais High School

Mrs. Wilkinson

Is the state of Maine only viewed as a place for vacationing only? What are the advantages and disadvantages of staying in Maine for schooling or in employment verse other states? In my opinion the state of Maine is not only a wonderful place to vacation in,but to live in. Staying in the state of Maine for schooling or employment reasons has many advantages, but it also has many disadvantages.

The state of Maine is not only a magnificent place to vacation in ,but it is also a magnificent place to live in because of its beautiful scenery. Maine has a wide variety of employment options due to its location. For example, in the state of Maine you could become a lobster fisherman while in other states such as Kentucky this is not an option due to Kentucky’s location. The state of Maine also has some private, prestigious colleges that some students find helpful because they feel that the colleges have a very friendly and welcoming environment, Maine is a magnificent place to vacation and live in because of its scenery, history, and location.

Staying in the state of Maine for schooling or employment options has many advantages. Some of these advantages are as follows: if you are from the state of Maine you would be closer to your family verses leaving the state; the college campuses in Maine are usually small compared to campuses out of the state; the cost of going to the colleges may be cheaper depending on where you want to attend college. if you stay in the state of Maine for employment you may receive better opportunities than if you left the state; you might receive higher pay, or you may even receive better benefits.

Staying in the state of Maine for schooling or employment options also has many disadvantages, such as the colleges in Maine may not offer the courses you need to take to receive the degree you would like to receive; or the state of Maine may not have any job openings in the career field you would like to work in; high employment rate and the aging population meaning that most young people move away for better opportunities.

It is worth staying in Maine as you grow up because Maine has small towns where everyone knows each other and looks after one another. This type of environment is a very positive and supportive which adults as well as children thrive in.


Matthew Clevenger

Grade 10

Mrs. Wilkinson

Calais High School

The U.S.A is a melting pot of cultures and heritages which cover over 2,000,000 square miles. So to divide this vast country, fifty states were formed which each have its own individual aspects. Whether this be the climate, people, jobs, education, or nature, each is suited to a certain type of person. Take, for example, me; before living here in in Calais,ME, I had moved three times while living in two different states. However, by living in Florida and Virginia first, I have come to realize that Maine suits me best.

Along with this understanding, I finally figured out that no place is perfect! Just think about it, while Florida might have a nice warm climate, good education, and plenty of jobs due to its inflated infrastructure, it is virtually a sea of buildings. This caused me to become practically a “city kid” until I moved to Virginia where I finally got to see nature go through its different seasons, However, throughout all these encounters ,most of the kindest and friendliest people I have ever met lived in Maine.

Sure, there are some problems, Maine’s school system is ranked 27th nationally and our economy is in a recession, forcing many people out of their jobs. However, there are still plenty of things that we Mainers have to be proud of because we have a pride and courage that allows us to endure the most strenuous of times. This, though, can’t compensate for a few of our problems which are inevitable, because as a rural state Maine school students fluid resources spread thin, with fewer classes offered. Yet, this fact is levied when you enter college because some of the finest private colleges and public universities in our nation offer us the opportunities for classes, degrees, and employment while still living in Maine. Just look at our list of well respected collages which include in the private sector Bates, Colby, and Bowdoin Collage while having the University at Maine at all locations open to the public.

However, it is true that even with these hard earned degrees many people have a hard time finding jobs because there aren’t that many to begin with, This causes many graduates to look for jobs out of state because with the recession there aren’t many jobs willing to pay the higher salary which a degree entitles. However, if people are willing to look, there are usually some jobs in this big state of Maine which require their degree. Due to this fact, you will have some people that either stay in Maine or after having lived elsewhere return to Maine so that they can once again find a community which cares for each other.

This means that for many, Maine is not simply a “Vacationland’,’ but is instead a home filled with many of our warmest memories. it is a place where our children will grow up and come to cherish it as we do now.


Cam Scott

Grade 11

Hampden Academy

Mr. Manhart

Living in Maine comes with many advantages. Granted the state is a big vacation spot for ‘outtah statahs”, even former President George H. W. Bush has an estate in Kennebunkport, it is very worth while to live in Maine. I know many people would disagree, they would rather live in a warmer or bigger state, but they don’t see what they have right in front of them.

Parents can trust the Maine public school system. For example, according to NCES Common Core Data, in 2009, the percentage of students that graduated public school in Maine was 87.6 percent, was the highest recorded percentage in the country. The high schools in Maine are relatively small, which results in more effective teaching. Since my family has lived in Maine for the entirety of their lives, I can say that Maine isn’t only a good place to go to school, but also an exceptionally pleasant place to work and live.

Maine is increasingly becoming a better place to find work. The unemployment rate is following a steady decline. In January of 2010, the unemployment rate was at 8.4%. Three years later, in January of 2013, unemployment has dropped to 7.0% statewide. Compared to the nation’s average of 8.5%,Maine is doing fairly well according to the Local Area Unemployment Statistics program. Maine generates a lot of its economy through its natural resources that are specific to the area, such as Iobstering. During 2002 alone, Maine exported 62 million pounds of lobster, and $207 million in revenue. These statistics alone don’t truly expose why Maine is such a nice place to live. We have extremely good air quality, an abundant amount of clean water, and we are surrounded by the natural beauty of all four seasons.

I feel that Maineis considered “Vacationland” in large part because of its natural beauty, especially compared to the other states with big cities in New England, such as Massachusetts and Connecticut. According to the United States Department of Agriculture and the US Forest Service, Maine has about 17.7 million acres of forested area that covers nearly 90%Maine’s land area. With so many trees, mainly pine, the air is rich with oxygen and depleted of carbon, which is good news for both humans and animals. Maine is also bordered by approximately 3,478 miles of shoreline that not only serve as resources for fishermen, but also attracts tourists and ocean lovers too.

To some, Maine may simply be a place to visit, they wouldn’t want to stay, but I feel otherwise. For many different reasons: school, work, play, lifestyle, I believe that Maine is an amazing place to live. Although it is fairly out of the way and quiet, the Pine Tree State is a place where I can see myself growing up and raising a family. Could you say the same thing about the crowded suburbs of Queens, New York or the inner-city slums of Boston?


Chareeda Rustanavibul

Grade 11

Harnpden Academy

Mr. Manhart


That state of Maine. Is it a vacationland? Or is it a boring state full of snow? What does it have to offer? Located on the border of Canada and the US, Maine is a state where many still question the potential of its economy. In terms of education and employment, however, there are more advantages than disadvantages.

For most tourists, Maine seems to offer exactly what they need. It’s a state filled with natural beauty. With a population of about 1.3 million in 2013, according to the US Census Bureau, Maine is a relatively small state that strives to grow. The most prestigious advantage of living in Maine is that it is a low crime state. Maine has a 72.85% lower crime rate than the national rate in 2010. In the 20 years my parents have moved to Maine, we have never locked our house doors when we left, yet we’ve had no burglaries. Unconditionally, Maine s just THAT safe! Public schools in Maine are free and although private schools are offered, they are less common and generally at a low cost. Maine students also tend to do well on national tests. For example, on the NAEP Math Test, fourth graders scored 244 compared to the national average of 239. With this, on the eighth grade test, Maine students scored 286 compared to the national average of 282. Average SAT scores for Maine students also tend to be higher than more than half of the nation. In terms of the economy, Maine has a high civilian labor force and only an 8% unemployment rate. The economy continues to grow with more advances in technology leading to more employment. The average American cost of living in Maine is also relatively lower than the average cost of living nationally, allowing for a better place to live.

Living in Maine offers a wide variety of schools and jobs to the population. Nevertheless, many are still convinced that with such a slow culture growth rate, there is not much to do in Maine. For one, there are less bars, night clubs and amusement parks to go to. Unlike other big states, Maine also offers less opportunities for those interested in other forms of employment. Jobs for the skilled are also less paying. For example, a mediocre surgeon in Maine would make about $280,000 annually, while a surgeon in California would make about $340,000. Despite that, in terms of the living conditions, safety, and the cost of living, Maine is overall, a better place to live. Because the cost of living is lower than of say,California, jobs are paid lower but more can be gained. In terms of not having too much to do in Maine, it allows for a larger focus for studies and work.

Maine is a growing economy that is a safe, kid-friendly state to live in that offers exceptional schooling. If Maine doesn’t make you want to stay and raise a family, no other state will!


Meghan Saunders


Maine is known as “vacationland” and it is seen on the back of almost every license place you see. Maine is a place of adventure. There are forests everywhere you go and wilderness is all around you. I love that. Many people look at Maine and see it as just that and nothing else really. It is so much more and has many great opportunities. I think that Maine is a great place to live. However, staying in Maine has many advantages and disadvantages. But what state doesn’t? Most people see Maine as a place that’s just for vacationing, not living. The residents of this state see the other side of this state, the part the no one else can see.

Maine is a place where there are many good places of education, but it all depends on what you want to do. I for one am looking at staying in Maine for my education. However, I really want to go out of state. I want to be a vet tech and there are good opportunities for that both in Maine and out of state. However, staying in Maine for school depends on what you as a person want to do. Like if I wanted to go out of state, I could, but I can also stay in Maine, which is what I am most likely going to do. I have a passion for animals and nature so what place is better than Maine?

There are many opportunities for jobs in Maine. Like look at Bar Harbor, for example they get so many tourists in the summer. People go there, walk around, and just have fun. You park at the pier you cannot help but want to go for a walk. You can go into so many shops. It is beautiful there. It makes you just want to walk around and look in the shops they draw you in.



Haley Miller

Hampden Academy

Grade 11

Mr. Manhart

On the back of almost every Maine car, you see “Vacationland” on the license plate. Is Maine really just a place for tourists do go to see beautiful leaves in the fall, or take walks in the woods? Personally, I think Maine is wonderful. I’ve lived here all my life, and I plan on staying here. Maine has many great points, kind helpful people, reasonable temperatures in all four seasons, wonderful places to go in every season (i.e. Acadia National Park, Sugarloaf), and much more. Tourists may see Maine as only a place for vacationing, but citizens know the other side of the pine tree state.

To the people who live and work in Bar Harbor,Maine is a wonderful place to work. Dozens of tourists come year round. It’s almost impossible to park at the pier, and not walk around. There are shops everywhere that you just have to go into whether you want to buy things, or not. Walking down the streets, you see signs with shop names such as “Cool As A Moose” and if you’re not familiar with the area, you just can’t see that and walk by.

Maine is also a great place for education, because we’re surrounded by so much wildlife that learning opportunities are everywhere. Marine Biology is one of the fields I’m considering, and last summer when the minke whale washed up on the beach, and was going to be necropsied, I jumped at it. My dad told the people that I was considering marine biology, and they agreed to let me past the ropes so I can get as close as I wanted to and take pictures. My dad also got to volunteer and help carry the crates of blubber up to the truck. I don’t hear about many opportunities like that in places like New York, or Rhode Island. The schools in Maine have such amazing faculty too. In my Middle school, Samuel L. Wagner, everyone was so close it was almost a second family. And the teachers at my high school, Hampden Academy, care so much about their students and want them to succeed in everything. Maineis a vacationland, but it’s also so much more.


Living in the State of Utter Misery

Many people who have ever visited the state of Maine may say that they don’t see the appeal in living in such a boring place. If one is looking for an exciting busy environment with tall, vibrantly-lit buildings and large crowds, then Maine would be the wrong place to seek for this. It is not full of big trafficked cities and man-made attractions such as arenas and theme parks. It does not contain amplitudes of concerts, festivals, or any other totally convincing things that might have a slight chance of encouraging outsiders to visit. Maine may be considered a “vacationland” by many of its residents, but what else is there to do here?

There are multiple university campuses located instate that give many students a great education without requiring them to travel far. But colleges aren’t going to win everyone’s attention, right? Even the state’s capital is not inhabited by tall rows of buildings that line roads which twist and turn through a big city. Downtown Bangor beholds nothing compared to the attractions one would see in New York or Boston. A born and raised Mainer might argue that the nature found here is incomparable to what can be found in any other place. Or that there is nothing more pleasing to the eye than the scenery located in our state; the tall mountains that are lined with trees during the warmer seasons, and covered by a blanket of white when the snow falls each year. Maine has many natural wonders that are good subjects for a photograph, but what is there to do? After all, one can only look at the earth for so long.

Maine’s biggest disadvantage is its lack of entertainment. With minimal auditoriums and event centers, very few big artists ever come around here. And its lack of city life is depressing; cities are what keep people coming, and Maine is not up to par. Ideally, it’d be nice to have the best of both worlds nearby. Have the quiet country side and modern busy cities both within reasonable distances. But with Maine, that luxury isn’t something that’s available. If one wanted to get a taste of the big city, they’d have to travel to as nearby as Boston, which, depending on the location in Maine, is at least three or four hours away. It’s understandable that someone may decide to reside in such an area for reasons involving family or employment, but with many other states offering far more exciting opportunities, why stay here?

Caitlin Cammack

10th grade

Bangor Christian School

Ms. McDonald

Maine: Just Vacationland?

Some people only come to Maine in the summer. Others believe it’s not a good state to live in for various reasons. Some individuals even say they don’t even know anything about Maine except for that it has a good coast and a lot of trees, However, I believe that Maine is much more than that; a rare species if you will. Maine is not “just a Vacationland.”

Sure Maine has a bad side, what state does not? Maine is sometimes labeled many things such as economically unhealthy, uptight, “way too cold” and stuck back in time. Our state has high taxes, a lot of unneeded welfare, and sparse, higher- level career opportunities. When I go on vacations and tell people where I’m from, they sometimes label me or assume I’m a “clam diggah” or that I can’t live without “lobstah.” Mainers get labeled a lot of things…after all, most states have stereotypes. However, these are small prices to pay considering the perks of living in Maine.

To me, Maine is not just a cold state that welcomes tourists one third of the year. Maine is a gorgeous state that welcomes all four seasons beautifully (winter is a little long, but it’s great if you’re a skier)! Up here, we also have good clean air thanks to the plentiful, oxygen producing trees, When family or friends come up to visit they always talk about how good it smells; they describe it as a fresh, clean, forest smell. Maine has a coast Like no other and is a wonderful place to raise a family. On top of all of that, Maine’s people are just the opposite of “uptight.” Whenever I go to church the people are so welcoming and warm and all of the towns and cities are just so unique; they each have a different flavor.

Yes, Maine has it’s downside and it’s perks, We get crazy blizzards, sub-zero weather, high taxes, and labels… but who cares? We also are home to the first sunrise in the United States in the morning, beautiful land, a refreshing scent, and we have a sense of home in this state of Maine. Maine will never be “just a vacation land” or the home of the mosquito. Maine will forever be one of my most favorite states and most importantly, my home.

Caitlyn Charrier

Grade 11

Skowhegan Area High School

Mr. Lehan

Why You “Gotta” Stay Local

Although we may not have all of those big fancy buildings and skyscrapers like those city slickers, we have plenty of fun in the backyard, and for the old folks they have those nice scenic Sunday drives to enjoy. These are some of the many reason why people should stay local.

In this “Vacation Land” we have been known to have things to do all year round. We are lucky enough to be able to enjoy four seasons. In summer we have beaches, hiking, and camping. As the beautiful season of fall rolls around we enjoy walks through the woods to enjoy “leafpeeping” as it is referred to. With winter we have skiing, snowmobiling, and snowshoeing to enjoy. With spring comes the best time of all with mudding season! Time to get down and dirty!

Many people are always traveling to other places to enjoy different types of weather, but with Maine we have four different types. The scorching summer sun, the crisp fall mornings, those brisk winter afternoons, and the warm spring days we enjoy. With all these seasons changing we also enjoy watching the animals change. Different seasons bring out the different characteristics with the wild animals. Such as with deer in late December shed their antlers, With fish they spawn in late October so by January first fish are ready to be reeled in during ice fishing.

Around here everybody knows everybody. When you go places you get that warm welcome by the local store owners and the close residents of the town, no matter who you are. If anybody needs anything people are always there to step up and help you. You could walk down the street and ole’ Jon will be sitting out front yelling to you, “How ya doin young fella?” Or those small little local bakeries that have grandma’s cookies. Still fresh as if they just jumped off that cookie stone. Things like these will always bring a smile to anyone.”

People say they need to move away because there is not always the best opportunity for furthering their education in college but we have the colleges we need. Our colleges are starting to thrive and people are becoming better people from the colleges we have. I have always wanted to go to pharmacy school but there are only two in Maine. I know the competition will be harder but colleges look at home state people, and although attending Husson in Bangor may be in a bigger town than little ol’ Skowhegan, it is still not too big.

Staying local builds people’s character and makes them better people. Little towns bring residents closer and children learn how to treat people with more respect. We need to show the upcoming generations just how lucky they are to have little towns like we have to grow up in.

Oscar Steinmann

Grade 11

Calais High School

Mrs. Wilkinson


August 9, 2012; 8 am – The bus door opened and it was still a little dark and I was tired from a long bus ride from New York City and an even longer flight from Frankfurt, Germany. So I left the bus that day very tired and cramped from the bus ride in Bangor, ME. That was my first impression of the eastermost state of the United States of America. I am an exchange student from Germany.

It was a rainy day and the sun just came out occasionally. Walking into the dorms of Husson University with my heavy luggage, I saw the license plates, which where new for me. I had never seen a license plate with a picture on it. After looking at the picture for a little bit I recognized the word written above the actual numbers. The word “vacationland” was what I read and I almost couldn’t believe it. But car by car which was driving by said “vacationland” on its license plate.

I could not believe what my eyes saw. I stood there on this rainy and gray summer day, which was supposed to be one of the warmest in my home country, in Bangor and had barely ever even heard of the state Maine, and the license plates on every car said that this was supposedly the perfect place to go to for relax and enjoy the vacation.

After a couple days and also driving on the airline to Calais, ME I realized that this rain and the gray is not everything this state can offer. I realized how beautiful and relaxing the fact is that you can stand at a point on little mountain and see trees everywhere around you.

I had a small recoil in the first week of fall sport where I signed up for the Calais High School soccer team and had to practice on our soccer field which is next to a forest. In this first week of soccer practice I got introduced to the Maine Blackflies.

But although I had this misadventure I was still very pleased of the natural properties in Maine and it eventually became even warm, unlike the first day.

The autumn was an incredible experience for me. On the way to Houlton we stopped at the Million Dollar View in Aroostook County. The red leaves and brown were beautiful and finally stated my opinion of Maine.

Now, during the winter I really enjoy snowboarding for which this state is also very convenient, and I also realize that rural towns exist a lot and, like Calais, have cold winters, but a warm community.

Zac Palmeter

Grade 11

Bangor Christian Schools

Mr. Arnold

Maine is home to magnificent coastline and dense forest. Rocky shores and fall colors create a picturesque portrait. Maine is a beautiful place for vacation. But, just as you don’t judge a book by its cover, Maine is more than its exquisite external beauty. When you live in Maine you know this. The benefits of living in Maine far outweigh the benefits of other states. Maine’s natural resources and increasingly favorable tax environment are providing a plethora of job opportunities. The people of Maine are friendly and peaceful and have some of the finest educational opportunities in the nation. Why live anywhere else?

Maine’s natural resources provide more than beautiful scenery, memorable hunts, and a sense of peace. Because Maine is over 90% forest, the most of any state, there are ample jobs that protect, use, and develop this precious resource. For example, the University of Maine uses forest products to conduct biofuel research. In addition, Maine’s coastline provides multiple employment opportunities. Lobstering, fishing, and marine biology are a few examples of the rewarding jobs right outside the back door, In 2011, Maine had more job growth in the private sector than half of the other states.

It is not enough for a state to have the resources for good business, a state must also be business friendly in order to attract more businesses and increase job opportunities. Maine’s tax climate is becoming increasingly favorable. It has moved up seven states on the State Business Tax Climate of 2013. If this trend were to continue, Maine would rank in the top ten states in three years, making it an even more ideal location to start a business.

Maine people are the finest anywhere in the country. My dad, who grew up in New Jersey, jokes that when he would walk down his hometown streets, no one would say hi; but here in Maine, even a total stranger will ask about your day. Maine’s friendly people and the lack of violent crime (Maine has less than 1/3 the amount of violent crimes as other states) make it an ideal location for raising a family.

Maine is also an excellent place to get an education. Maine has three of the nation’s top-ranking liberal arts colleges including Bowdoin, Colby, and Bates. These three rank 6th, 18th, and 22nd, respectively, in the nation for liberal arts colleges according to US News and World Report.

When people outside the state think of Maine, they usually think of its aesthetics: the isolated Allagash wilderness, the rock cliffs of Acadia, the pristine lakes deep in the woods, and the final steps of the Appalachian Trail. But Maine is so much more. Its plentiful resources provide numerous job opportunities. These opportunities, paired with Maine’s improving business tax climate, friendly people, safe environment, and educational prowess, make Maine unequivocally one of the best states to live in. As the license place states, Maine truly is: The Way Life Should Be.

Adam Clukey

Grade 11

Skowhegan Area High School

Mr. Lehan

Why People Should Stay in Maine after High School

Maine’s nickname is “vacationland,” but it should not only be thought of as a place just for a vacation. It is a home for over 1,300,000 people and is enjoyed by some, and hated by others. Many people enjoy all it has to offer, especially people who enjoy the outdoors, and having their own personal space. It is very safe, affordable, and worth the stay, especially if you enjoy the outdoors.

The majority of people that enjoy living in Maine enjoy it because of the low population. Maine is not very busy compared to states like New York and California. A lot of people want their own space, and with a population density of 43 people per square mile, according to Wikipedia, so you have enough space to do activities you enjoy. A lot of people don’t enjoy the feeling of always being around people, and many Maine towns offer areas where you can be alone.

If you grow up in Maine and want to leave after high school for college, then there are risks to doing that. For example, University of Maine at Orono’s in-state tuition is $8,370 for the 20 12-13 school year, but is $25,230 for out-of-state tuition. That is over three times more if you don’t live in Maine. It is very expensive to leave the state for school, and other schools are even more expensive than UMO.

Maine was voted the least violent state on ~ in 2012. This is something people looking to move out of Maine should consider before moving. If someone wants to start a family, then that person should consider safety as a top priority. Maine is a place many people can feel safe and secure, and I think that that is an important factor in life because I’m pretty sure everyone wants to be able to feel safe in their own home.

One of the biggest arguments about staying in Maine after high school is the opportunities. The problem with that is that a lot of people think opportunities are just going to pop up and be right there for you. This may be the case every once in awhile, but sometimes you have to make things happen and create your own opportunities whether it is for school or a job, or even for anything else.

Maine is completely worth the stay if that is what you decide is what you want to do. There is good schooling, which is cheaper than out of state. Jobs all depend on your field of choice. No matter where you go, there is going to be more or less jobs in certain career fields, it all depends on how popular that field is and how many jobs there are. In the end, I think Maine is worth the stay and you won’t regret the decision.

Caleb Linnehan

Grade 11

Acadia Christian

Mr. Prest


“Maine: The Way Life Should Be” is what a sign says after you cross into the state from the south. I guess everyone south of Maine lives in places where life is not.

But how do you rationalize living in Maine? Why do people come to Maine? It is a good place to raise a family, to keep a child safe, to live in a small town, and the list could go on.

Maine has a pristine, exotic, endlessly explorable coast along with a clean, cold ocean dotted with the heads of seals, loons, eider ducks, and seagulls. You can feast on the enchantment of mountains pressing against the sea. Also, Maine has a magnificent wilderness that is a refuge from the busyness of the world.

You can row from a cove to watch the sun set behind Blue Hill, drive up Cadillac Mountain to be breathless while taking in panoramic views, watch finback whales, not thirty feet from your boat, see glowing blueberry fields, and eat a lobster roll for lunch.

Maine’s weather if you do not like it — wait until it changes. Clean water in Maine comes from a free well. Maine is one of the best places to do everything and anything.

But Maine is also a state gasping for breath too. The state is bogged down in depression, really a cancerous poverty. It is a state that humiliates its own people. Substandard living conditions are widespread. Wages (when work is available) are appallingly low. Mills are closed, and farm machinery stands in fields no longer worth working. In tidy villages with white, church steeples, people gather for food from the “food bank.”

Yet not many people in Maine are upset about this situation. They seem content with their lot. Since this is so, it’s understandable that government in Maine is entrusted to people who oppose change.

Per capita income is low. Businesses leave because of high taxes and energy costs. Maine needs a lot of decent-paying jobs, especially if you want people to stay here. Hardship is compounded by the fact that living expenses like fuel, electricity, and food are high. I still wonder why cheap, power can not be developed.

What Maine needs is someone to stand up and say enough is enough. We do not need more studies and commissions to find solutions. Someone has to bring to light the value of the state. Maine has many special advantages that need to be recognized. For example, Maine could have an important role in the world’s increasing intelligent use of the ocean. Maybe a major oceanographic research center could be developed. But instead Mainers get bogged down on deciding whether or not to build another Wal-Mart.

Mainers, we need to show a lot more “Yankee Ingenuity.” Maine can be more than a “Vacationland.”