If Jarod Farrell were to guess, he’d say half his graduating class at Marystown Central High School will wind up leaving the province.
And the student council president, from Little Bay, isn’t surprised to hear around two-thirds of The Telegram’s survey respondents said they’ll be packing their bags.
"A lot of people have bigger plans. They want to go live on the mainland somewhere or in the states,” he says. “Sometimes I think there’s just a desire to get out there and see a bigger place.”
Farrell’s desired career path will probably lead him off the island, but his first stop will be St. John’s, where he’s moving in September to study computer science.
“But my end game is that I’m hoping to get into an arts school and study animation,” he says, adding he’s considering Sheridan College.
Wherever he winds up, it has to be somewhere he can work in a creative field, like writing, animation or graphic design.
“For that kind of thing, I do think it would be hard to find the right job in Newfoundland, but if I could then I wouldn’t see any problem with staying. I might set my sights on something bigger,” he says.
He says the province’s fiscal climate, and the local job market, can add to people’s desire to leave. Recently, he says, he’s noticed a lot of cuts to education.
“I have seen a few teachers get cut from schools — teachers that were really good at their jobs,” he says. “I know a lot of older people who are still working low-end minimum wage jobs and stuff like that, trying to scrape by, multiple jobs.
But for certain people, the Burin Peninsula still has a lot to offer: “Some people just like the small-town feel. Some people like having a lot of woods around. People like the outdoor activities; it’s really good around here for that. Some people set their sights on smaller time stuff like settling down right away. And I mean, it’s not too expensive to live here,” Farrell says.