Go North, Young Man

Around here we’re used to encouraging Granite Staters to “Stay, Work [and] Play” in New Hampshire. Ranked towards the top of the United States in terms of safety, health and quality of life, NH’s virtues speak for themselves (while rendering our sales pitch a little easier in the process).

Photo by Joey Csunyo on Unsplash

But no marketing campaign, however effective, will completely succeed when it’s being waged against the backdrop of some hard truths about young adults. Firstly, young people like change. And the drive that makes so many of our young people special is the same motivator behind the choice of some to pursue goals away from the shade of New Hampshire’s numerous 4,000 foot peaks. Secondly, can we blame them? Young people have been told ever since the gold rush to leave home and “Go West, young man.”

Photo by Mantas Hesthaven on Unsplash

Three years ago I myself listened to this advice – albeit going north instead of west – when “opportunity knocked” and I moved from Rhode Island to New Hampshire in order to teach at Bishop Brady High School in Concord.

And I’m so glad I did. In Bishop Brady, I found what I loved so much about my home state of Rhode Island – a caring community full of people invested in the lives of those around them.

And I think this sense of community is what makes New Hampshire so special. It’s also something that transcends any potential national poll or ranking. In an environment like this, jobs are more than just jobs. They blossom into careers. They become vocations. And that’s why so many other young people are moving here.

For example, the Diocese of Manchester offers countless dollars and innumerable hours to charitable efforts. The New Hampshire Charitable Foundation “creat[es] stronger communities and inspir[es] greater giving.” To work in New Hampshire is to earn not only a paycheck, but to make the state a better place.

Photo by Balazs Busznyak on Unsplash

In writing for SWP, my desire is that my perspective, as an out-of-state guy who has fallen in love with New Hampshire, is useful to those born in, but who are considering moving away from the “Live Free or Die” state. I hope you see from up close what I saw from afar, namely that (as this blog’s title reminds us) “Opportunity Knocks” in New Hampshire.

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