Back from visiting MMA orientation and SUNY campus. My thoughts

Maine -
So for anyone considering Maine Maritime and SUNY who doesn’t live in the Northeast here are my impressions. Maine scared the crap out of me… at first. After talking to some people at orientation and spending two days after orientation traveling around Maine I felt much more at ease. If you need to shop or get things done Augusta, Bangor, and Ellsworth have what you need (in that order, if you stay on campus Ellsworth is the closest). The campus itself is nice and compact getting to your next class should never take more than 8-10 minutes. The dorms didn’t seem bad although I’m well past that age and the on-campus housing was very close to the class buildings.

Not a bad place to spend 4 years if you 1. have a car, 2. love the outdoors, 3. don’t need to be in the middle of a city rush to feel relevant.

I was not at an orientation etc I stopped by on my return home to check out the campus and the Bronx area. First impressions the campus was extremely well kept you would be hard pressed to find a more well-kept campus. The campus itself is about twice the size of MMA (not a good or bad thing just an observation). The area just outside of campus isn’t bad, however, in all my visits to NYC I have never driven “across” the city. The Cross Bronx is absolute hell. Also, in regards to it being under a bridge, the noise is noticeable when directly under the bridge.

Other observations-
Maine is cheaper, the only black belt bjj instructor in Maine seems to run a good gym cost wise much more budget-friendly than 90% of NYC gyms (makes sense space in NYC=money). I have gotten prices from gyms in NYC as high as $250 a month (literally double the cost of the Maine gym).

Finding a place in Maine has been a challenge. Logistically Maine’s roads don’t facilitate “speedy” travel. Everything loops around or twists etc. It takes an hour to go from Castine to Bangor even though Bangor is only 35 miles away (that said its not the Cross Bronx so it wins).

TLDR - If you need to be close to things, don’t have a car or don’t like driving more than 1hr then go to SUNY or somewhere else. If the above doesn’t bother you then I think Maine is a solid place, finding suitable housing as a non-trad depending on your needs however may prove difficult.


That is an understatement. Did you try the Bruckner Expwy?? Sometimes makes a big difference getting across the BX. Most times not so much.

Not trying to make the case for SUNY, but if you live there for a year, you figure out the short cuts and best roads to use at different times of the day. It’s never easy and Maine will certainly have less traffic.

Where do you stand on winter weather??? Neither option is a walk in the park, but Maine is a special kind of cold.

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Did you take Rt 15 from. Bucksport to Bangor? That’s going to be slow, especially this time of year. You can take 46 from Bucksport to Holden, and then 1A to Bangor. I took that route commuting to MMA from Orono, and it took about 40 mins to Bangor.

I’m prepared for the freeze out haha. I did not try the Bruckner (I had no clue about it, thanks siri!).

I did not go the Bucksport to Holden route (just followed Siri which this was my last road trip using apple maps, it’s not the worst but…). I didn’t find the drives bad I am used to driving so I’m willing to go 1-2 hrs in terms of drive time. Just factoring in the fact that muster is every morning (not sure how long that last) means the furthest I’m willing to live distance wise is Waterville (and that’s pushing it).

I have lived in New York most of my life. I lived in the Bronx for many years. People from the Bronx don’t use the Cross Bronx Expressway unless we absolutely have to. It’s not very useful for us anyway, it’s way more useful for people passing through to Long Island or Jersey.

My being a SUNY alumnus aside, I think New York has much more to offer. You will be within an hour from major transportation hubs 3 airports. You also have useable beaches. There are hiking/camping fishing oppurtunities north of the city.

I say useable beaches because I also lived in Maine while I while I was serving in the Coast Guard even in southern Maine you had a very short window and very cold water at the beach.

Did you visit Mass Maritime?

are you from omaha ???

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Any reason why your search is limited to SUNY and Maine?

My only suggestions for SUNY would be, other then the immediate vicinity of the school there’s not much reason to go off campus on a regular basis. If you do, you’ll have a much easier time if you venture north to New Rochelle. If you’re going further into NYC you’ll want to take the subway in, but SUNY is so far north that it takes a good amount of time.

Nope, sadly I didn’t stop by I wanted to take as little time as possible getting back since I had spent some extra days in Maine looking for an apartment after orientation.

I am not but you are clearly from texas… are you a lineman by chance?

I applied to three schools (the last being Mass). I got into Maine. My goal is to get in and get done. I didn’t bother with Cal due to their description essentially saying “you will be here 4 years”. Great Lakes didn’t look bad but I want to sit for my FE and eventually PE. Texas A&M I missed the deadline to apply, and I am too old for KP.

SUNY is my backup plan since I would have to take retake a class and reapply for the spring. Oddly enough New Rochelle was where I had looked for an apartment (didn’t read very good things about the Skyline complex there). I think NYC can be fantastic but in doses, I have had a great time as a tourist in the city but living there I wouldn’t be doing tourist stuff day in day out. Only reason I kinda wish I had gotten into SUNY is for certain events (concerts, sports games, comedians etc) other than that I am pleased with Maine.

@Midrats , I made the rounds with my son over the past few years. Maine Maritime is probably one of the finest gems in this country. Everything about it blew me away, especially the faculty and staff. My son had a wonderful experience visiting but in the end he chose Mass.

IMHO, between ME., MA. and SUNY a student couldn’t possibly go wrong. I think it all comes down to the slightest of differences.

I hope you have tremendous success at Maine.

sorry was taking to Jack Straw, it is from a Greatful Dead song, Jack Straw from Omaha. Guess you have to be old. Carry on, and good luck on your choice. I am a domer, but all the schools are good.

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Jack Straw from Wichita…

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Darn, you are right. Maybe I am getting too old.

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Another fantastic tidbit from Garcia’s catalog. Man I am falling way off course on this thread…

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Most of my family is in New York and I always loved the city. Given its proximity to where I grew up and my love for the campus that made it an easy selection. Guarantee if all of the aforementioned information applied to Maine or Mass I’d have selected those schools as well.

We all pass the same exams to do the same job and often times wind up on the same ships when we go to sea, you really can’t tell the difference. You really can’t go wrong no matter which you choose.