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Old 09-05-2009, 02:26 AM
 
Location: St. Louis
9 posts, read 25,349 times
Reputation: 18

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Hey lovely people from Maine! Greetings from St. Louis? :P

My husband and I are looking to move to Maine. He wants to go back to school ... and well... we HATE the midwest. Since we are getting student loans to cover our rent, plus both having part time jobs we decided we may as well make a large leap to a HUGE leap. Quitting a full time job to go back to school is SCARY! So we want to move to make it a fresh start!

Also, we love the east coast... we want to move out there eventually, so we may as well start over now!

So that being said. We were looking at the community colleges in the area, and he would then transfer to a university after completing a two year program (this is done by like 80% of people where we live, so this seems normal, right?)

Well, I was first attracted to Bangor, it hosts the Eastern Community College, and seems reasonably priced for housing and seems to have a fairly large town for shops and what-not-do-dids.

Then I started looking at Portland, it seems a lot more similar to where we are at now, (without being in the midwest, oi!). But it also looks quite a bit more expensive, I couldn't find anything to rent for under $600 that wasn't TINY.

So... what do you all think? Of the locations of the community colleges, what do you recommend? We won't be able to come out and visit until we actually make our move. We are super tight on cash and we want an area that we can make a slow transition from the bustling St. Louis life. Help Help Help!!!

Bombard me with comments now!
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Old 09-05-2009, 05:04 AM
 
Location: Southwestern Ohio
4,112 posts, read 5,830,818 times
Reputation: 1620
Good luck, jkholden and welcome to the boards!
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Old 09-05-2009, 05:39 AM
 
Location: Waldo County
1,220 posts, read 3,506,597 times
Reputation: 1395
Quote:
Originally Posted by JKHolden127 View Post
Hey lovely people from Maine! Greetings from St. Louis? :P

My husband and I are looking to move to Maine. He wants to go back to school ... and well... we HATE the midwest. Since we are getting student loans to cover our rent, plus both having part time jobs we decided we may as well make a large leap to a HUGE leap. Quitting a full time job to go back to school is SCARY! So we want to move to make it a fresh start!

Also, we love the east coast... we want to move out there eventually, so we may as well start over now!

So that being said. We were looking at the community colleges in the area, and he would then transfer to a university after completing a two year program (this is done by like 80% of people where we live, so this seems normal, right?)

Well, I was first attracted to Bangor, it hosts the Eastern Community College, and seems reasonably priced for housing and seems to have a fairly large town for shops and what-not-do-dids.

Then I started looking at Portland, it seems a lot more similar to where we are at now, (without being in the midwest, oi!). But it also looks quite a bit more expensive, I couldn't find anything to rent for under $600 that wasn't TINY.

So... what do you all think? Of the locations of the community colleges, what do you recommend? We won't be able to come out and visit until we actually make our move. We are super tight on cash and we want an area that we can make a slow transition from the bustling St. Louis life. Help Help Help!!!

Bombard me with comments now!

OK. I'll fire the first salvo.

St. Louis and Portland have little to nothing in common, and Bangor and St. Louis, certainly less so. To begin with, St. Louis has more about five times the population of Portland, and more than ten times the population of Bangor. But I am going to bet that living in Portland is more expensive than living in St. Louis and living in Bangor isn't going to be much different.

You need to think a lot about what it means to move to a state that has only three times greater population total than the city in which you now live. This will directly translate into the opportunity for work, both part and full time. It will also translate into the opportunity to pursue educational and social activities.

I believe that the population and economic considerations probably mean less to people as they get older, but they are considerations that people need to be aware of at any age. I am not suggesting that Maine shouldn't be on your list of places to go here along the east coast, and certainly the educational establishment is second to none, but there will be realities for you that you may not have encountered.

It sounds to me as though your plan is to live from hand to mouth while trying to maintain a course schedule. Right now that will be extremely difficult as there are very few jobs available that pay more than minimum wage, and you may find it tough to pay your expenses working part time at minimum wage jobs, especially while studying.

I also doubt that anyone who lives here would encourage you to make the jump to either Bangor or Portland without visiting first. It might be easier for you if you were single people, but as a married couple, it might well be very difficult coming to this area, looking for a place to stay, finding a job and getting to school just by driving up Interestate 95.

My advice is to stay where you are until you have completed your first educational step. While you are doing that, make a trip to Maine for a week or two, and once you have done that, think long and hard about whether this small economy is for you, or if you might not better enjoy and benefit from being in the more substantial economies that surround larger urban areas.

There is a lot of commentary on this forum about the ups and down, and pitfalls and pratfalls of moving to Maine. Read a lot and do a lot more research before you even think that moving to Maine on a shoestring is more than a fools errand.
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Old 09-05-2009, 05:44 AM
 
1 posts, read 3,485 times
Reputation: 13
You ned to live outside Ptld--maybe Westbrook, to get into affordable housing!
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Old 09-05-2009, 07:14 AM
 
Location: On a Slow-Sinking Granite Rock Up North
3,637 posts, read 5,389,426 times
Reputation: 2655
Welcome!

My advice would be to listen to the "lion."

As always, I also advise to come up here for a week or two (preferably at least once at the end of February) and see for yourself if it's someplace you'd be interested in living.

Good luck.
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Old 09-05-2009, 09:08 AM
 
Location: Forests of Maine
30,641 posts, read 49,300,145 times
Reputation: 19049
JKHolden127 -

Welcome to CD.

What are your majors?

I know folks who attend Husson in Bangor; and I have spoken with students at Unity [in both cases they love it].
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Old 09-05-2009, 12:04 PM
 
Location: St. Louis
9 posts, read 25,349 times
Reputation: 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Acadianlion View Post
OK. I'll fire the first salvo.

St. Louis and Portland have little to nothing in common, and Bangor and St. Louis, certainly less so. To begin with, St. Louis has more about five times the population of Portland, and more than ten times the population of Bangor. But I am going to bet that living in Portland is more expensive than living in St. Louis and living in Bangor isn't going to be much different.

You need to think a lot about what it means to move to a state that has only three times greater population total than the city in which you now live. This will directly translate into the opportunity for work, both part and full time. It will also translate into the opportunity to pursue educational and social activities.

I believe that the population and economic considerations probably mean less to people as they get older, but they are considerations that people need to be aware of at any age. I am not suggesting that Maine shouldn't be on your list of places to go here along the east coast, and certainly the educational establishment is second to none, but there will be realities for you that you may not have encountered.

It sounds to me as though your plan is to live from hand to mouth while trying to maintain a course schedule. Right now that will be extremely difficult as there are very few jobs available that pay more than minimum wage, and you may find it tough to pay your expenses working part time at minimum wage jobs, especially while studying.

I also doubt that anyone who lives here would encourage you to make the jump to either Bangor or Portland without visiting first. It might be easier for you if you were single people, but as a married couple, it might well be very difficult coming to this area, looking for a place to stay, finding a job and getting to school just by driving up Interestate 95.

My advice is to stay where you are until you have completed your first educational step. While you are doing that, make a trip to Maine for a week or two, and once you have done that, think long and hard about whether this small economy is for you, or if you might not better enjoy and benefit from being in the more substantial economies that surround larger urban areas.

There is a lot of commentary on this forum about the ups and down, and pitfalls and pratfalls of moving to Maine. Read a lot and do a lot more research before you even think that moving to Maine on a shoestring is more than a fools errand.
Alright, thank you for the responses everyone.

I guess I should note, that I don't live in St. Louis itself. St. Louis is weird. "St. Louis" is downtown, not many people live there, and I never actually go there. There are surrounding "towns" that make up the "greater st. louis area" But it's all more closely knit than anywhere else I have ever been. I live in a "town" called St. Charles, population is very similar to the population of Bangor. Each "town" in St. Louis is kind of one onto itself, has everything from the grocery stores to the city halls, coffee shops, etc.

We have been discussing for a long time moving somewhere else, because the mindset out here is starting to drive us mad! It's very closed off, people are very stiff and keep their heads down.

One of the big reasons I chose Maine at the top of our list is because to attend there as an out of state student, is probably the cheapest in the country. (at the community college level)

Everyone always says to visit first, and I agree. But it costs a lot of money to GET to maine, versus.... minnesota or ohio or something. And takes about 20 hours to drive from here. So it's not something we can just pick up and do, even if it's for a week or two.

I already did a lot of research of the cost of living and basically everywhere in the country is about 65% more expensive to live. We do not spend frivolously, but we could even stand to spend less now as it is. I think anywhere we chose to live we would have to be this way.

I have also read a lot of Acadianlion's responses to everyone's questions, and in general is quite pessimistic about people having interest in the state of Maine. But I'll take everything anyone says with a grain of salt. I just wanted info, for maybe someone here has done the leap before. Or maybe some people would have just have a bit of actual information.
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Old 09-05-2009, 12:10 PM
 
Location: St. Louis
9 posts, read 25,349 times
Reputation: 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by forest beekeeper View Post
JKHolden127 -

Welcome to CD.

What are your majors?

I know folks who attend Husson in Bangor; and I have spoken with students at Unity [in both cases they love it].
My husband wants to do business, but I saw online that doing a liberal arts degree, you can potentially transfer seamlessly from community college to a university!

I will not be attending school. I am 1/2 way through my computer/network engineering degree, but won't be finishing up until AFTER my husband finishes his, he's definitely the bread winner right now. But we will BOTH be getting at least part time jobs when we decide to move. He currently works at a place that has a possible transfer, even for part timers.

I haven't heard of Husson or Unity, when I did a search for community colleges, a main hub came up that I assumed was all of them, because no others came up on my search. Maine Community College System

Do you know of a website that lists more of them?
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Old 09-05-2009, 12:48 PM
 
Location: Waldo County
1,220 posts, read 3,506,597 times
Reputation: 1395
Quote:
Originally Posted by JKHolden127 View Post
Alright, thank you for the responses everyone.

I have also read a lot of Acadianlion's responses to everyone's questions, and in general is quite pessimistic about people having interest in the state of Maine. actual information.

Really? Well, perhaps. But an awful lot of folks write to this forum asking about moving to Maine and are quite sincere, so long as they can have nearly everything that they have in whichever metropolis that they currently call home.

Now, you have said that you live in a town that is part of the "greater" St. Louis area. Well, and good. My former inlaws lived in Alton, Illinois, itself, a sort of suburb of St. Louis. The difference between in living in a suburb of a large metropolis and living in Bangor, Maine is substantial. It is a bit like saying that Bangor is "near" Portland. Well, yes. Perhaps if 130 miles down the Interstate passes the test as "near". We go back to the entire statement about population: Maine doesn't have much and it is a pretty big state.

For the vast majority of people, ESPECIALLY young people, Maine...ALL of Maine is small, offering little in the way of social or economic potential. That is simply a fact, and it is not merely my "pessimisism" speaking.

It is true that Maine offers enough. It certainly has for me, but I am well aware that had I had the business that I had here in a more populous or metropolitan state, I would have made a considerably better living for myself and my family than I did here.

If you actually do show up here, perhaps you will find that my comments are indeed pessimistic and do not reflect the reality that you encounter in your living in whichever town you come to visit. But I am willing to bet that unless you actually do come to Maine to visit, once you do move here you will have run into things that you only thought could possibly be as bad as they are.

I think it is really too bad when people come to Maine, sincere in their knowledge about their culture, only to find that Maine is different and not at all to their liking. Many of those people are young and talented, traits that this state can use in quantity. Unfortunately all too often those talented and enthusiastic young people rapidly become only a memory for those of us who remain here.
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Old 09-05-2009, 01:27 PM
 
Location: St. Louis
9 posts, read 25,349 times
Reputation: 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Acadianlion View Post
Really? Well, perhaps. But an awful lot of folks write to this forum asking about moving to Maine and are quite sincere, so long as they can have nearly everything that they have in whichever metropolis that they currently call home.

Now, you have said that you live in a town that is part of the "greater" St. Louis area. Well, and good. My former inlaws lived in Alton, Illinois, itself, a sort of suburb of St. Louis. The difference between in living in a suburb of a large metropolis and living in Bangor, Maine is substantial. It is a bit like saying that Bangor is "near" Portland. Well, yes. Perhaps if 130 miles down the Interstate passes the test as "near". We go back to the entire statement about population: Maine doesn't have much and it is a pretty big state.

For the vast majority of people, ESPECIALLY young people, Maine...ALL of Maine is small, offering little in the way of social or economic potential. That is simply a fact, and it is not merely my "pessimisism" speaking.

It is true that Maine offers enough. It certainly has for me, but I am well aware that had I had the business that I had here in a more populous or metropolitan state, I would have made a considerably better living for myself and my family than I did here.

If you actually do show up here, perhaps you will find that my comments are indeed pessimistic and do not reflect the reality that you encounter in your living in whichever town you come to visit. But I am willing to bet that unless you actually do come to Maine to visit, once you do move here you will have run into things that you only thought could possibly be as bad as they are.

I think it is really too bad when people come to Maine, sincere in their knowledge about their culture, only to find that Maine is different and not at all to their liking. Many of those people are young and talented, traits that this state can use in quantity. Unfortunately all too often those talented and enthusiastic young people rapidly become only a memory for those of us who remain here.
I do appreciate your concern in trying to get people to think of the "reality of the situation" and the vast differences between the society where we live now, versus Maine. But I come from a really tiny town of 1200 people in the country. My actual dream in life is actually to move to a small little overgrown hut in Scotland. (hehe) And compared to towns and cities there, Bangor is about the same in population, and COMPLETELY different in culture! We had actually dabbled in trying to get a loan to go overseas, but the government wasn't giving out international school loans for freshman, or something like that (about wanting people to stay here, i think?)

My husband and I are sort of introverts, we keep to ourselves and we like the small things in life. Like fresh air and the ocean and seafood! We don't need night life or super centers. Here in St. Charles we are HUGE supporters of the local community. Buying only from locally owned businesses, not corporations. Like produce stands, coffee shops, second hand stores, etc etc. So if there aren't any Walmarts or Targets, GOOD! :P

I am more just struggling with the fact that we can't visit there because it will eat into our funds we have saved and would take longer to replenish that and may not be able to make the deadline for the spring semester. *sigh* My husband's job is stable but he isn't going anywhere and it's been like this for awhile... we've been sitting on this for about 2 years, and really want to try to DO what we think is right for us.

I also work from home right now. I have a crafting business, I make costume jewelry, so I can do that ANYwhere. I do alright, it's enough for a part time job's worth here... and I'll be taking it with me, as well as searching for a job either now, or when we get there.

I also really want to know what the basis of the culture is in Maine, are there areas that are Germanic based, or even Scottish? English? Native American. We are really into culture. But I don't want to go so far to say that is a definitive line to our moving. We want SPACE and peace and quiet. And something a little more crisp in weather. I LOVE overcast days. Don't really want the humidity that we will leave behind here. (again, I will state, this isn't the reason for wanting to move, there are many many factors that have brought us down this path.)

I'm just trying to absorb as much as I can before we decide anything though. Because right now my husband still has his full time job. He just hates being stagnant though, and doesn't want to get stuck here by going to school here for another 2-4 years.

Making a drastic change, like I said in my very first post into a GIGANTIC change so we don't have to make yet another change later.... just doing it all at once!
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