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The Student News Site of Presque Isle High School

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The Student News Site of Presque Isle High School

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Exchange student’s favorite spots in Presque Isle

Coming from a tropical city in China, my past year living and studying in Presque Isle, which is one of the most northeastern towns in the U.S., it was definitely a challenge. Other than the geography, I also had to deal with mental and social challenges. As my journey comes to an end, I would like to share, from my perspective as an exchange student, the spots that have comforted me or have brought me joy in this place that I’ve had the pleasure to call home for a year.

1. Mrs. Young’s English classroom

Xavier Peng

My first ever class in Presque Isle High School and my first period of the day for half a semester was AP Lit in Mrs. Young’s classroom. I felt very much included since the very beginning: my classmates did not shy away from expressing their unique opinions on the stories we read in class. My perspectives were heard, as well, and I had a lot of fun discussing them. AP Lit and my classmates made me anticipate going to school — for the first time in my life. Even when I no longer took the class, it was still a safe space for me where I could chill or bug Mrs. Young with a bunch of college essays.

2. Braden Theater

Xavier Peng

When I got to ride around Presque Isle for the first time, the Braden was the place I was most excited to explore, I love its old-school, Stranger Things-ish red and blue interior and the old-school movie tickets. It soon became somewhere that I hung out with my friends the most. The memories that I’ve had there from losing my wallet to dancing in front of the screen during “The Eras Tour” are all worthy to remember.


3. The school auditorium

Xavier Peng

From play practices to Winter Carnival, and from school-wide assemblies to the Senior Fashion Show. It seems to me that I enjoyed myself and the company of my friends and thespians whenever I got to be in the PIHS auditorium. Having been in a school so big, you need to purchase tickets to participate in fun school-wide events, I’ll definitely say that I cherish every chance I got to be in the auditorium, on or off stage (and the screaming from “High School Musical” hello).


4. The backyard of my host home

Xavier Peng

One of the biggest habits that I have is to take walks from time to time and contemplate about life and society. It helps me to relieve stress and see things in new perspectives, for every direction I turn I’ll find something new. Without city parks or miles of boulevards, the backyard of my host family’s house became my go-to place for walks in Presque Isle. Thanks to a variety of natural landscapes Maine has to offer around the year, I’ve thought of great ideas and released anxiety while strolling around beehives or watching sunsets.

5. Walmart

Xavier Peng

I laughed really hard when I asked some of my friends in Presque Isle where to go around town and most of them said Walmart. It turns out they’re not necessarily wrong. As an extrovert who needs to draw energy from the crowd every now and then, Walmart trips fulfill this purpose perfectly without draining me. “Where else could you go except for Walmart?” Maddy Ireland ’24 said. There are other places, but I like picking the best face stickers on the racks under the confused gazes of old ladies. It’s just a fun place to be.

Honorable Mentions:

The Splash park

Though I’ve only got to play in the Splash Park once, I felt my inner child giggling during every second of it. (Xavier Peng)

The Cubby

Sometimes what surprise you isn’t the new fancy Gucci dress but that t-shirt you found at The Cubby that says: “My boyfriend is a bonehead.” I bought that shirt. (Xavier Peng)

Presque Isle Congregational Church

I’ve never stepped foot into a church before I began scoping location for a short film of mine. Gladly, the people in the Congregational Church were all amazing, and I got to build so many great relationships there. (Xavier Peng)

Although, to be fully honest, I have said bad things about Presque Isle during hard times, I’ve come to accept that my experience here has inevitably become a part of me. I appreciate everyone who has treated me with sincerity, kindness and love. My footsteps have made marks on different spots around Presque Isle, and I’ll take on what I’ve learned from the place and the people here to travel further.

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