10 Perks Of Living In Michigan That'll Make You Move To The Mitten

10 Perks Of Living In Michigan That'll Make You Move To The Mitten

There's nothing quite like Pure Michigan.
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I’ll be honest, I used to hate living in Michigan. I thought it was one of the worst states and I would have rather lived anywhere else. But as I got older, I realized how truly lucky I am to have grown up and lived in the best state in the U.S., and here’s why:

1. The Lakes

Growing up near the Great Lakes meant there was never a shortage of things to do, whether it be a beach day with your friends or shooting off fireworks over the lake. At any point you are never more than 85 miles away from one of the Great Lakes, and never more than 6 miles away from an inland lake.

2. Sweetwater's Donuts

Open 24 hours a day and 7 days a week, Sweetwater’s is one of the best donut shops in the country. Whether you’re looking for specialty donuts like the s’mores or New York cheesecake or looking for just a plain glazed donut, Sweetwater’s can’t be beat.

3. Mackinac Island Fudge

If one of your family members goes to Mackinac Island and doesn’t bring you back fudge, are they even your family? But seriously, it’s a must. I remember as a kid being so excited when my dad came home from Mackinac because I knew I’d get some of the best fudge in the world. If you haven’t had it before, you need to.

4. Tulip Time Festival

Tulip Time has been named “Best Small Town Festival” as well as “Best Flower Festival” and for good reason. Located in Holland, MI, there are six million tulips planted all around town. The eight-day celebration in the spring includes three parades, fireworks, a quilt show, traditional Klompen (wooden shoe) dancing, as well as Dutch food and merchandise.

5. ArtPrize

Each fall for 19 days, downtown Grand Rapids is covered with more than 1,400 pieces of artwork from public parks to auto body shops. ArtPrize is free for the public and in 2014 and 2015 was the most attended public art event in the world attracting more than 500,000 visitors. The two grand prizes include $200,000 awarded to the artist who wins the popular vote $200,000 awarded to the artist by a jury vote. Along with these include category prizes, a juried award for best-curated venue, along with grants to support artists, venues, curators, and educators who also take part in the event.

6. Sports

Sports are a huge part of Michigan culture. Michigan is home to the Red Wings, who have won the Stanley Cup 11 times (the most of any NHL team in the U.S. and the third most of any NHL team overall), the Detroit Tigers, the Detroit Lions, and home to not one, but two Big Ten universities (which also double as two of the best universities in the nation) Michigan State University and the University of Michigan.

7. The Upper Peninsula

Michigan could be two states considering the Upper Peninsula is basically its own state. A huge tourist destination, it includes places such as Tahquamenon Falls, Mackinac Island, Les Cheneaux Islands, and Crisp Point Lighthouse. The Upper Peninsula is one of the most beautiful places in the whole country.

8. Experiencing Every Season

This may not be a perk for everyone but I love living in a place where I know I’ll experience all four seasons, sometimes experiencing all four in the span of a week. One thing is for sure though, nothing compares to autumn in Michigan.

9. Frankenmuth

Year-round Christmas is every child’s dream, and that’s exactly what you get when you go to Frankenmuth. Home to the world’s largest Christmas store, Bronner’s Christmas Wonderland, it has also been voted one of the nine “most Christmassy towns in America” by TIME.

10. State Parks (And Nature In General)

Michigan is absolutely stunning, there’s no other way to put it. With 1,300 miles of scenic trails and 10 million acres of public land, it’s any nature lover's dream. It’s home to some of the most beautiful state parks including Saugatuck Dunes State Park, Tahquamenon Falls State Park, and Palms Book State Park. Even though there are over 100 state parks in Michigan, you won’t have to go far to experience the beauty that is Pure Michigan.

Cover Image Credit: http://imgur.com/RAWMYAJ

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5 Perks Of Having A Long-Distance Best Friend

The best kind of long-distance relationship.
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Sometimes, people get annoyed when girls refer to multiple people as their "best friend," but they don't understand. We have different types of best friends. There's the going out together best friend, the see each other everyday best friend and the constant, low maintenance best friend.

While I'm lucky enough to have two out of the three at the same school as me, my "low maintenance" best friend goes to college six hours from Baton Rouge.

This type of friend is special because no matter how long you go without talking or seeing each other, you're always insanely close. Even though I miss her daily, having a long-distance best friend has its perks. Here are just a few of them...

1. Getting to see each other is a special event.

Sometimes when you see someone all the time, you take that person and their friendship for granted. When you don't get to see one of your favorite people very often, the times when you're together are truly appreciated.

2. You always have someone to give unbiased advice.

This person knows you best, but they probably don't know the people you're telling them about, so they can give you better advice than anyone else.

3. You always have someone to text and FaceTime.

While there may be hundreds of miles between you, they're also just a phone call away. You know they'll always be there for you even when they can't physically be there.

4. You can plan fun trips to visit each other.

When you can visit each other, you get to meet the people you've heard so much about and experience all the places they love. You get to have your own college experience and, sometimes, theirs, too.

5. You know they will always be a part of your life.

If you can survive going to school in different states, you've both proven that your friendship will last forever. You both care enough to make time for the other in the midst of exams, social events, and homework.

The long-distance best friend is a forever friend. While I wish I could see mine more, I wouldn't trade her for anything.

Cover Image Credit: Just For Laughs-Chicago

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As An Original Northeasterner, I Grew To Love The South And You Can, Too

Where the tea is sweet, and the accents are sweeter.

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I'm not Southern-born. I'll come right out and say it. I was born in Connecticut and moved to Atlanta when I was 9 years old. I didn't know a single thing about the South, so I came without any expectations. When I got here, I remember that the very first thing I saw was a Waffle House. I thought it was so rare to see whatever a waffle house was but little did I know there was a WaHo (how southerners refer to Waffle House) every two miles down the street.

There is such a thing as "southern hospitality," and it's very pleasant for a newcomer to see. Southerners are raised with such a refreshing sense of politeness, and their accents are beautifully unique. It brings a smile to my face when I hear a southern accent because it's such a strong accent and one of my favorites. They answer your questions with "Yes, ma'am" or "No, ma'am" in the most respectful tone. I remember feeling so grown and empowered just because I got called ma'am. Southerners' vocabulary and phrases really have its ways of integrating into your own vernacular.

Before I came to Georgia, I never really said words like "Y'all" and "Fixin' to" but it's definitely in much of what I say now. I can tell when I go back up north to visit family that some of what I say may sound a little off because the dialect is very different. I find no shame in it, though, and neither should any southerner.

The weather in the South isn't so bad, in my opinion. Sure, there is very high humidity, but after living here for 10+ years, you learn how to deal with it. However, there's nothing like the summer thunderstorms. I love stormy, rainy weather and it rains quite often in the south, so when my birthday in July rolls around, I look forward to seeing that rain. It's the most peaceful weather to me and inspires me to write even more.

I could go on and on about the amazing fried foods here or the iconic yet insane Atlanta traffic, but those aren't what make me love the South. The people of the south are so different from up north but in the best ways. Everyone is so expressive and creative, as well as their own unique self. Southerners aren't the shaming kinds of people, but instead the kind who embrace who you are from the start. There's a fierce loyalty and a strong sense of appreciation that is just unmatched by any other place. No matter where I go, I always find comfort in knowing that I'll be coming back to this place I'm proud to call home.

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