We Michiganders are a pretty friendly bunch. When it comes to welcoming new residents to our state, we’re always happy to offer assistance, advice, and suggestions to our just-arrived pals. If you’ve recently located to the Great Lakes State, look no further than this: we’ve compiled a list of 11 things that lifelong Michiganders want you to be aware of.
1. You can call it soda, but you’re gonna get strange looks.
Here in Michigan, that fizzy beverage is called "pop," and you might find it tough to adjust after moving here from a place where "soda" reigns supreme. We’ll do our best to be patient with you, but just remember that we simply won’t budge when it comes to our phrasing of choice.
2. Michigan pride is real — and it runs deep.
Perhaps you’ve heard that Michiganders love their home state. Well, you heard right, and we maintain a fierce passion for all things Michigan. When you move here, you’ll see plenty of bumper stickers, t-shirts, and mugs celebrating life in the Great Lakes State. It won’t be long before you're hopelessly obsessed with Michigan, too!
3. You’re about to fall in love with the Great Lakes.
Like we said, it’s tough not to love Michigan when you live here — and the Great Lakes play a massive role in our fascination with this beautiful state. It only takes one visit to the shores of Lake Michigan, Lake Huron, or Lake Superior to understand why we speak so highly of our freshwater wonderlands.
4. Prepare yourself for some seriously indecisive weather.
We hope you like dressing in layers! It’s a running joke here in Michigan that weather can change on a dime, but it’s also completely true. Snow in May, balmy temperatures in January, and everything in between. Our weather can change from hour to hour, minute to minute. You’ve been warned!
5. Yes, Michigan winters can be pretty brutal.
We know we’re not the only state that suffers through freezing winters, but there’s a special sort of struggle associated with the dreaded lake effect snow that makes its way over Lake Michigan. When you live in Michigan, you’ll quickly become accustomed to below-zero temps, icy roads, and everything in between. We hope you’re ready to face the freeze.
6. Root for your hometown’s team, but be prepared to meet resistance.
If you’re relocating to Michigan from out of state, we know you’ll likely remain loyal to the sports teams you grew up with. This is your right, of course: but just know that your new Michigander pals will continue to defend the Tigers, Lions, Pistons, and Red Wings above all else. Don’t even get us started on college teams!
7. Detroit is more than all those negative headlines.
Sure, our state’s largest city has its fair share of struggles — but what city doesn’t? There’s so much more to Detroit than what you’ve seen on the news. From the Detroit Institute of Arts to Comerica Park to all sorts of fascinating Motown history, you simply must visit the Motor City for yourself before making a judgment.
8. You might never see a normal map again.
Yes, we really do use our hands to show people where we’re from. We can’t help, it: our hands are conveniently shaped just like our state! When you move to Michigan, get ready to start pointing at your palm when people ask about your new place of residence.
9. We hope you’re ready to make those Michigan Lefts.
We can spot non-Michiganders from a mile away when we see them acting a bit confused by those unique Michigan left turns on the highway. Never fear, though: they’re extremely simple to complete once you adjust, and you’ll wonder how you ever lived without them!
10. "Party store" is not some kind of weird name for a nightclub.
Here in Michigan, we have plenty of unique ways of speaking. In fact, you might even accuse us of having accents. Don’t worry, though: you’ll quickly learn to understand our seemingly strange phrases and names for things. "Party store" is a prime example. While it might not be familiar to non-Michiganders, everyone in the Great Lakes State knows that a party store is simply a small shop where you can pick up a few beers and snacks for any sort of festivity!
11. We’re glad you’re here.
That Midwestern hospitality is no joke, and Michiganders continue to remain rooted in friendliness. We might not agree on everything, and our state is certainly far from perfect — but we can all agree that we love sharing the Great Lakes State with newcomers. If there’s one thing we REALLY want to tell our new Michigan neighbors, it’s this: welcome to the most wonderful place on earth.
Tell us, longtime Michiganders: did we leave any items off our list? What would you tell a brand new Michigan resident about our wonderful state? Let us know in the comment section below.