We Michiganders undoubtedly feel lucky to live in such an incredible state. There are a few elements of life in Michigan, however, that might come as a bit of a surprise to those who haven’t grown up here. To make things a little easier, we’ve compiled a list for new Michiganders who have just arrived here in the beautiful Great Lakes State. Here are 13 things you’ll soon learn upon moving to Michigan.
We’re aware that these uncertain times are limiting many aspects of life as we all practice social and physical distancing. While we’re continuing to feature destinations that make our state wonderful, we don’t expect or encourage you to go check them out immediately. We believe that supporting local attractions is important now more than ever and we hope our articles inspire your future adventures! And on that note, please nominate your favorite local business that could use some love right now:
1. It’s totally normal to wear shorts year-round.
In Michigan, you'll find that a surprisingly large portion of the population seems completely unbothered by the cold. If you grew up here, you know what I’m talking about: there’s always that one friend who refuses to wear long pants, even when it’s five degrees below zero.
2. Don’t call it anything but “pop.”
We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: that fizzy stuff is called pop! We know it’s tough to break the habit of referring to it as “soda,” but you’ll get a lot of playful teasing if you don’t make the switch upon moving to Michigan.
3. People you don’t know will talk to you.
If you’re relocating to Michigan from a big city or an area of the country that’s not known for Midwestern charm, you might be a bit startled when strangers on the street wave and say hello to you. You’ll get used to it and, before long, you might even start saying hello back.
4. Euchre is a way of life.
People here really, really like to play euchre. I know you’ll be tempted to start a game of Scrabble or challenge your pals to some Trivial Pursuit, but euchre will always reign supreme at gatherings here in the Great Lakes State.
5. You’re either a “troll” or a “Yooper.” There is no in between.
When you first move to Michigan, you might hear some nicknames that strike you as a bit odd. But don’t fret: these names for residents who live in either the Lower or Upper Peninsula are all in good fun.
6. We’re fiercely defensive of our Great Lakes.
If you come to Michigan and make disparaging comments about the Great Lakes, you certainly won’t make many friends. We know that the world is home to some gorgeous oceans, but we wouldn’t trade our Great Lakes for anything. Plus, there is a zero percent chance of getting attacked by a shark here!
7. Snow days are a rare commodity.
When you live in a state that gets as much snow as Michigan does, it takes a pretty heavy load of precipitation to trigger any cancellations. Don’t expect the day off from work for a few inches of snowfall. That said, when we do get a snow day, it’s treated like a glorious and miraculous event.
8. We continue to torture ourselves by supporting the Detroit Lions.
If you’re moving to Michigan from an area whose professional football team has regularly competed in the playoffs and perhaps even won a Super Bowl or two, you’re in for a rude awakening here in Michigan. Despite our repeatedly broken hearts, we continue to cheer for the Lions. We’ll get ‘em, boys… next year.
9. "Michigan lefts" exist, and they aren’t as complicated as they look.
For a new Michigander, those odd left turn lanes in the middle of the highway might be a bit confusing. But we promise that they’re easy, and your transition to life in the Great Lakes State will be a thousand times smoother once you get used to the art of the "Michigan left."
10. Adding the letter “s” to the end of a word is an acceptable grammar choice.
We’re not sure why we do it, but we probably won’t stop any time soon. Newly settled Michigan residents might be confused as to why “Meijer” becomes “Meijers” and “Kroger” becomes “Krogers.” But it’s just something that happens — and you’ll learn to speak the language of your fellow Michiganders in no time.
11. Your college sports team of choice is important.
Okay, we know they’re just a bunch of silly games, but we take college sports pretty seriously here in Michigan. If you choose to root for your own alma mater instead of Michigan or Michigan State, that’s fine… as long as you aren’t an Ohio State fan.
12. The only proper way to soothe an upset stomach is with a dose of Vernor’s.
When you complain to your new Michigan pals about your stomach symptoms, be prepared to be given a whole lot of Vernor’s. Sure, we could just give you some actual medicine, but everyone here knows that Vernor’s does the trick in half the time. And it’s pretty tasty, too!
13. We absolutely love our state, and you will too.
While some of these realizations will make you laugh or scratch your head, there’s one thing that every Michigander can agree on: we’re proud of where we live, and we wouldn’t trade its beauty for anything. Our state is full of natural gems, adventures, and amazing people. We’re glad you’re here.
Are you a relatively new Michigan resident? What surprised you most when you relocated to the Great Lakes State? Tell us your stories in the comment section below.