Massachusetts – The Final Frontier

By Ollie Arnold | Copy Editor in Chief

6 mins read
men sitting outside the cafe
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There are 50 states in this country, and I do not care about 49 of them. If you know me, you know I’m from Massachusetts, and I’m very proud of that. I believe that it is by far the best state to live in, and I have plenty of evidence to back that up. However, nothing can ever be perfect, and living in Massachusetts has also given me a unique insight into the negative aspects of the state.

First of all, Massachusetts is not a state. “But Ollie!” you say. “Didn’t you say it was a state right at the beginning?” 

And this is true, but I was actually lying. While it is one of the 50 states, Massachusetts is actually defined as a commonwealth

This is the fault of John Adams, who decided to write “The Commonwealth of Massachusetts” at the top of the new state constitution in 1780. There is no real reason for this because the term “commonwealth” does not actually define or provide any legal status. It’s just a fancy title so we can feel special. 

Another reason I have to complain about Massachusetts is one that most “Massholes,” as we’re commonly known, relish in. There’s just too many Dunkin’ Donuts stores. Dunkin’ was founded in Quincy, Massachusetts in 1948 and has been expanding its empire ever since. 

You can find one on almost every corner in Massachusetts—and occasionally, you can find two right across the street from each other. A Dunkin’ Donuts gift card is probably the most common raffle prize in all of New England.

But—and I really hate to say this—their donuts aren’t that great. They’re passable. A place with the word “donuts” in the name needs to do better than passable. 

However, it can be argued that no one actually goes there for the donuts. They go for the coffee. Well, Dunkin’ can’t do that right either. 

My third and final complaint against Massachusetts is fairly expansive—everything about the roads is terrible. 

According to CBS, in a 2021 survey Massachusetts was found to have the fifth worst roads in the country. As someone who lives there, I can confirm that this is true. There are more potholes than actual road due to harsh winter conditions and a general lack of effort from whoever is supposed to fix them.

The roads also tend to be too narrow, which can be blamed on a few factors but ultimately originates from the fact that Massachusetts is really old. Half the roads were in place before cars were invented, so they’re horse-and-cart width. 

gray rolled asphalt road under cloudy sky
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Another factor affecting the roads, which is mostly localized to my home city of Worcester, is that there are a lot of triple-decker apartment buildings, which hold three families but generally don’t have a driveway. 

Back when these apartments were being built, very few people owned cars, so there was no reason to incorporate parking space. Now, each triple-decker is likely to have three cars all vying for the space in front of the building. Many roads are bordered by lines of parked cars on both sides, which makes driving down them an exercise in threading the needle. Did I mention that these are mostly two-way streets?

I may have just spent 500 words complaining about Massachusetts, but I really do love it. I’m very proud to say that I come from the place that brought you the smiley face, chocolate chip cookies and the first ever public library. 

Massachusetts made me who I am today, and I’m glad to live somewhere that allows me to be myself without fear. That being said, I love to complain, especially about the things I love.

However, if anyone from another state dares to say anything even close to negative about my beloved home, I will come down upon them like the hammer of Thor, because I just can’t condone that kind of behavior.

Is something making you feel untethered? Does your rage know no bounds? Send that irksome little problem over to me at oarnold@drew.edu and I’ll scream at it until it disappears.

Ollie Arnold is a junior majoring in mathematics with a minor in computer science.

Featured image courtesy of Pexels.com.

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