While we Michiganders truly enjoy being part of the Midwest, we’ll be honest: we have plenty of thoughts and opinions about our neighboring states. From rivalries to misattributed state nicknames, we’re never hesitant to share our beliefs. Here are nine thoughts many Michiganders have when it comes to our fellow Midwestern states.
1. "Ohio is the worst."
Let’s start with the most obvious: we Michiganders have a distinct distaste for Ohio. While this distaste primarily stems from longtime sports rivalries, we can’t help but feel a pang of nausea when we’re forced to interact with an Ohioan. There’s just something so painful about realizing that we might actually be befriending someone with a closet full of red Buckeye sweatshirts!
2. "I love Illinois! And by Illinois, I mean Chicago."
We Michiganders might claim to be familiar with Illinois, but let’s be real: a large number of us spend time in Chicago and disregard the rest of the state entirely. This is not to say that we’re opposed to exploring Illinois as a whole, but Michiganders have a bit of an obsession with the Windy City -- and it tends to blind us from looking beyond the area.
3. "No one loves the Great Lakes like we do."
Sure, other states border the Great Lakes -- but Michigan is the only state that borders four of the five! We don’t mind sharing our gorgeous bodies of water with people from Wisconsin, Ohio, Illinois, and more, but we certainly must insist that we’ve got just a tad bit more love for the lakes than other Midwesterners.
4. "Wisconsin, how dare you call yourselves the Mitten State?!"
A few years back, Wisconsin attempted to bill itself as the Mitten State. Listen, Wisconsinites: we love and respect you, but Michigan is the clear choice when it comes to naming an official Mitten State. I mean, our state is OBVIOUSLY shaped like a mitten. We don’t even think it should be up for debate!
5. "At least our accents aren’t as strong as Minnesotans’."
We Michiganders are often made fun of for our nasally accents, and we’ll admit that we sound a bit different than folks from other parts of the country. But Minnesotans take the Midwest accent to an entirely new level, and we have to admit that we’re grateful to our Minnesota neighbors for making our accents sound tame in comparison.
6. "South Dakota doesn’t count as the Midwest!"
Fun fact: a quick Google search of "Midwestern states" will reveal that South and North Dakota are considered part of the Midwest. Here in Michigan, we find it tough to accept that states so far from our own reaches are part of our region -- but we’ll welcome North and South Dakotans with open arms! In the mind of a Michigander, though, the Midwest primarily consists of Michigan, Illinois, Iowa, Indiana, Wisconsin, and Minnesota. We’re not quite sure why.
7. "Michiana? We're not fans."
The so-called "Michiana" region has all sorts of lovely attractions to visit, and we understand the reasoning behind the creation of this name -- but we don’t necessarily want to share our Southwest Michigan destinations with Indiana! We’re proud of our state and we have plenty of respect for our neighbors to the south, but we want to avoid seeing the two converge completely.
8. "Oh, you live in Iowa? Are you a corn farmer?"
While we Michiganders deal with plenty of stereotypes about our state, we can’t help but admit that we’re also guilty of perpetuating stereotypes about our Midwestern neighbors. We know there’s much more to Iowa than endless cornfields, but our Iowan friends often become the butt of our jokes when we feel the need to poke fun at our fellow Midwesterners.
9. "We’re proud to be part of the Midwest family."
Rivalries and stereotypes aside, we’re truly grateful to live here in the Midwest. There’s nothing better than residing in a region that’s known for enduring "niceness," and we enjoy discovering new and fantastic attractions throughout the area. There’s plenty to be said for other parts of the country, but the old saying holds true: Midwest is best.
Did we leave any common thoughts off our list? Are there any other thoughts you frequently have about our fellow Midwestern states? Share your suggestions in the comment section below!