Rising gas prices cause Mountaineers to reconsider lifestyles

Emiley Pedersen, Staff Reporter

When the price of gas at Holden’s cheapest gas station, Speedway, climbed to almost $5 a gallon, Mountaineers had to think twice about where they wanted to go before they got behind the wheel.

“Gas prices have been ridiculous,” said sophomore Abby O’Brien. “I used to pay $20-30 to fill my gas tank, but now I pay $40-60.”

Junior Alison Cummings, who pays for her own gas, said she has considered alternate ways to travel.

“I may think about having to use public transportation,” she said. “Anything to save on gas.”

Students with vehicles that use diesel or premium said they may also consider other options.

“I’m definitely going to be looking to buy a car soon,” said senior Tucker Montalto. 

Senior Chase Curtis agreed that gas prices affect his daily life.

“Sometimes I pretend my truck broke down sometimes so other people can give me a ride,” said Curtis. 

Criminal justice teacher Nicole Noe commutes each day from her home in Providence, Rhode Island.

“I have about an hour-long drive to and from school twice a day,” she said. “I probably fill my tank about 3 to 4 times a week.”

Other faculty members said they hope their long range plans remain unaffected. 

I hope to be able to enjoy the summer with my family,” said French teacher Danielle Marginson. “I would rather not be forced to stay home due to gas prices.”

Junior Sam Atkins said he travels from Fitchburg to Wachusett each day.

“It takes about half my paycheck to fill my tank,” said Atkins. “I also have to fill my tank at least once a week.”

O’Brien said she struggles with the same issues.

“Being in high school, kids don’t have any crazy money,” she said. “We really need to plan our savings well and be cautious about how much driving we do.”

Noe said that being a history teacher helps her understand the cause of these increased prices.

“Hopefully tensions with Ukraine will soon come to an end. We rely on gas from other nations,” she said. “Gas reserves work with oil companies and there are things to do to help, but they [the government] don’t.”

Drivers of all ages said they can agree on one thing – paying for gas hurts.

“[I am] flat out outraged,” said Montalto. “It takes about $150 to fill my tank now. I just want it to go back down.”