There’s nothing better than being a Michigander. Living in the Great Lakes State comes with countless advantages, along with a few rites of passage that we’ve all experienced throughout the years. When you’re ready to prove your status as a true-blue Michigander, follow these 11 simple rules.
During these uncertain times, please keep safety in mind and consider adding destinations to your bucket list to visit at a later date.
1. Own plenty of Michigan sports gear.
Whether you’re supporting Michigan State, the University of Michigan, the Detroit Tigers, or even the Lions, one easy way to prove your status as a true Michigander is to stock up on plenty of sports-themed gear. We Michiganders take our favorite teams seriously, so you’ll want to have a jersey or two on hand!
2. Be ready with a few anti-Ohio zingers at all times.
Speaking of sports, every true Michigander knows that our rivalry with Ohio State runs deep, no matter which Michigan college we support. Over the years, this has bled out of the sports realm and now encompasses the state of Ohio itself, so most of us from the Great Lakes State have a few anti-Ohio jokes up our sleeve. It’s all in good fun… Or is it?
3. Walk into cold weather in short sleeves.
Michiganders are tough when cold weather rolls around. After all, in our minds, anything above 20 degrees Fahrenheit is absolutely balmy —so we’ve been known to brave the snow with little more than a t-shirt on. If you can run out to grab your mail in a pair of basketball shorts, you’re a real Michigander.
4. Never skip work for a few inches of snow and ice.
Snow days? What are those? Here in Michigan, blizzard-like conditions are merely part of our daily lives, and we’re certainly accustomed to heading out and hitting the roads when snowstorms hit. Michiganders are a fearless bunch when it comes to winter driving, and you’ll rarely find us canceling plans.
5. Point to your hand when asked where you’re from.
If you’ve ever used a real map to show a new friend where your hometown is, you might not be a Michigander at heart. After all, we’re lucky to have a state that’s conveniently shaped like a mitten — and we often take advantage of this when pointing out certain locations throughout our beloved state.
6. Keep your medicine cabinet stocked with Vernors.
Every Michigander knows that the best remedy for an upset stomach is a tasty dose of Vernors, with its bubbly feel and gingery taste. No, it’s not officially classified as medicine: but those of us who grew up in the Great Lakes State are more apt to reach for Vernors when nausea strikes than Pepto Bismol.
7. Be able to complete Michigan lefts in your sleep.
Michigan left turns? Easy! If you learned to drive here in the Great Lakes State, you certainly know how to successfully complete one of these unique turns. In fact, we’re willing to bet that most true Michiganders could make a Michigan left with their eyes closed — but please don’t try this!
8. Never utter the word "soda."
Oh, "soda." A truly evil word for those of us who consider ourselves true Michiganders. If there’s one thing residents of the Great Lakes State can agree on, it’s that our favorite fizzy beverage is called "pop." Period, end of story, no questions asked. And when we order pop, we’ll typically opt for Faygo!
9. Always list "up north" as your favorite place on earth.
Is there anything better than making a journey up north to spend quality time with family and loved ones? For Michiganders, "up north" signifies relaxation, fun, and appreciation for the great outdoors. Sure, the phrase might take on a slightly different meaning for everyone, but its essence remains the same.
10. If you hear a Pure Michigan ad, turn it up.
Nothing tugs at a true Michigander’s heartstrings quite like a Pure Michigan advertisement. Whether we’re watching television or listening to the radio, the familiar sound of Tim Allen’s voice paired with flowery descriptions of our favorite Michigan locales is enough to make us cry tears of pride.
11. Proclaim your undying love for the Great Lakes.
If you’re from Michigan, you’ve likely heard a non-Michigander speak ill of our beloved Great Lakes. After all, people from out of state are frequently confused about the size and scope of our gorgeous bodies of water. But true Michiganders know that the Great Lakes are equal, if not superior, to oceans in countless ways — and there’s nowhere else we’d rather visit when we want to appreciate our state’s natural beauty.
Tell us, fellow Michiganders: how else can one prove their status as a true blue resident of the Great Lakes State? We would love to hear your thoughts and suggestions in the comment section below.