I am not a Maine native; I actually first came here at 17, a young man looking at schools and at the future. Before that trip I had no connection to this state, no relatives who lived here, no ancestors who hailed from here. The statue of the black bear in the picture was as alien to me as it was common knowledge to Mainers. But still, in the comparatively short amount of time I’ve stayed here, this fine state has left the best of impressions on me.

For me, the statue represents the better parts of the University of Maine, where I’ve studied for the past two years. It reminds me of the work I’ve put in on projects and essays and what I’ve learned from those exercises. It reminds me of the community here that I’ve come to know so well and want to get to know further. Above all, it represents something that for me is quite precious: a home away from home. If I leave here with that memory still intact, my time will have been well spent.

Written by Aidan Bauer

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