By Zoe Bernardi, Staff Writer

One of the many questions that comes with graduating college is: Where are you going to go? This week, the Free Press asked USM students, “Are you going to stay in Maine after graduation?”

Over 50 percent of the students surveyed, a total of 11 out of 18, said that they do not want to stay in Maine after they graduate, many want to leave and explore new states and cities. Here are some students’ reasons for leaving and where they would like to go.

Hannah Crilley (freshman, media studies and communication double major)  stated that she is not planning on staying in Maine after she graduates. “I’d like it to rain more,” she said. To stay in the area, she said, there would need to be more opportunities. She would like to live and work abroad in England, although she said she would miss the snow.

Chase Wheelock (freshman, undeclared) also said that he does not plan to stay in Maine after graduation. Wheelock has lived his entire life in Maine and would like to branch out and leave the state. He said he would like to live and work in Boston.

Kevin Stasalovich (freshman, business marketing) said that he does not plan on staying in Maine. “I would like to move to a city like area, maybe New York or Chicago,” he said. Stasalovich thinks that Maine is too cold and dislikes how old the population is. By leaving Maine after graduation, he will be able to live in a more lively neighborhood with more opportunities.  

Brianna Crouch (freshman nursing major) does not plan to live and work in Maine. Her plan after college is to go back home to Vermont to work. Crouch did say that, “this however could change after I complete the four years of school, I might end up wanting to stay in Maine.”

Arianna Gordon (freshman, theatre program with a minor in dance), does not plan on staying in Maine after she graduates. “My home state of Maine offered me a convenient and relatively affordable place to attend college… I’ve never been able to see myself staying here, as I want to travel, and don’t see it being entirely practical to expect to find work in my field without being willing to move around,” she said.

Mason Henley (sophomore in the nursing program) plans on not living in Maine after graduation. He said, “I plan to leave Maine once I’ve graduated and work and live down in Boston.”

Elise Porter (sophomore, communications major), said that after graduation she does not want to live in Maine. Porter would like to move out west. She said that, “I like Maine but there would be more opportunities for me elsewhere.” As well as, she has always wanted to travel, she wants to go and see more countries and experience more ways of life.

Gabrielle Thompson (sophomore, a double major in environmental science and mathematics), said that she will not be staying in Maine. She would like to further her education, with the idea of going to North Carolina. “I am hoping to go into for a career in climate change research might also have me moving around a lot… I am also just interested in exploring the world more and venturing around,” she said.

Blake Wright (junior, theatre program) said that, “I am not staying in Maine unless my significant other decides that is where she wants to be.” However if he were to move he would like to go back to the south where he previously lived.

Drew Masse (senior, theatre major) hopes of becoming a working television actor. He is not planning on staying Maine after he graduates. Masses explains his choice by saying, “Maine just doesn’t offer much in regard to the entertainment industry for me personally.” Masse is planning on moving to Florida, where he will save money and work at theme parks and cruise lines. He then wants to move to Los Angeles to work on his dream.

Lexi Bartlett (senior, political science with an international focus) would like to leave Maine after graduation. She stated that, “I would like to work internationally for the State Department, United Nations, an NGO— I’m really open to anything that will allow me to travel and help people.” Yet she does think that she will move back to Maine, stating that she could use her travel abroad to, “better the lives of Mainers.”

Seven out of the eighteen students who responded said that they do plan on staying the the state of Maine. Here are some students across all grades who have decided that they would like to stay here, and why.

Alexis Riordan (freshman, psychology) is planning to stay in Maine, specifically Southern Maine. Riordan said, “I just really like the atmosphere that Maine has!”

Mario Russo, (freshman, entrepreneurship), does plan on living in Maine. Russo has moved around a lot as child, and moved back to Maine for college in order to be closer to his family. “You have to leave Maine in order to really appreciate it, and since I left I want to stay here for a while,” he said. However if he could move anywhere elsewhere than Maine, he would choose Asheville, North Carolina, because it has a similar atmosphere to Portland and is near the mountains.

Riley Laffoon (freshman, nursing) plans to stay in Maine. She said that she wants to stay because, “this is mostly due to the student loan payment plan that the Maine Health Network is enacting to hopefully decrease their nursing shortage.”

Ciara Richards (sophomore, human biology major with a biochem minor) said she wants to stay in Maine, because all her family is here. However, she also said, “I’m not sure that will

happen. I don’t really get to chose since I have to go to physician assistant school and then get a job wherever hires me.”

Ella Jocher, (sophomore, psychology with a minor in Spanish,) is unsure if she is staying in Maine after graduation. Jocher stated, “I probably will for at least a couple years because my family is here. I will also hopefully have a job here that I enjoy by that time, which would make me want to stay.” However she does plan on leaving Maine to have more experiences.  

Tracy Edwards (junior, health sciences) plans on continuing her education with a Masters in education and to become a certified science teacher for grades 7 through 12. She stated, “USM has a program call Extended Teacher Education Program (ETEP) which I could get my Master’s and certification in either nine months or two years… If I am offered a position in Maine schools to teach I would certainly take it,” she said. If Edwards does live in Maine, she would like to stay in the Portland area due to the great and diverse community, “the diversity that is coming to this city is great and that’s what I love about it!”

Ryan Donkin (senior, business management) does plan on staying in Maine after he graduates. When asked why, he said, “I think Maine is a beautiful place to be… Maine will only become more attractive as a tourist destination, which provides lots of business opportunity.” Donkin has lived in Maine his whole life, and will enjoy living in his home state and helping it grow more after he graduates.

Everyone has different plans for what they do for after graduation. Some would like to stay in Maine but others want to branch out and travel outside of where they have lived or gone to school. Hopefully these students responses help you decide what you would like to do after you graduate. After all the big question is, where are you going after graduation?


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