11 Things People From Rochester Hills Know Too Well

11 Things People From Rochester Hills Know Too Well

Rochester Hills, Michigan, where we're "innovative by nature" in one of the best hometowns in the world.
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Rochester Hills is a town of 70,000 people. It's small and it's cozy; it's like any other town, yet it's special. There's so much to explore in this town, and there's so much beauty. You always see pictures of pretty city parks and interesting landscapes and hear stories of the eccentric, yet aesthetic local stores in hipster cities. But it's something else entirely to say you live in a city where all of this exists, especially when you wouldn't expect it. There are just some things that every person who grew up in your hometown always knows, like a little piece of ourselves that we get to share with only so many people. And if you've lived here for long enough, you'll know exactly what I mean no matter what I say about our town. So, without further ado,10 Things People From Rochester Hills Know Too Well:

1. Downtown Rochester's Christmas Lights

It's a beautiful moment driving down Main Street on a December night when the lights are up, with Christmas music blasting through your car and the heat turned up to the max. Just makes you crave a hot chocolate and your snuggliest snow boots because you know, you know, winter is on its way. *Cue Michigan's evil laugh*

2. The Trails

Of course, we can't wait for winter to be over, so we can hit the serene trails of Rochester Hills, like the Clinton River Trail that lets you walk right alongside our mighty river, and the Paint Creek Trail (that disappointingly doesn't actually have paint waiting for us at every bend). Whether it's biking or running or walking with your dogs, the trails are just perfect. The best part about them is that you'll never be bored. Hundreds of side paths through the brush take you to the most surprising and picture perfect spots on the river, but we know never to forget bug spray when we venture off the paved path.

3. The Borden Park 4th of July Fireworks

There is just something irresistible about the magic of fireworks, and even more so when we're celebrating America. It makes it worth it to brave the long wait in our cars, the long walk to the park, the insanely busy Festival (I mean come on, it's packed like sardines, and please don't sit in the walkways!), the bugs, the screaming (but absolutely adorable) little kids, the guilt of air and noise pollution, the endless snapchats on EVERYONE'S story...

4. Costco

We may not own our Costco in Rochester Hills, but you can be damn sure we have a membership to one, if not all three, in the area. Where else are we gonna get our lunch of free samples and berry smoothies?

5. Construction

The Oakland Press

Psh, who needs GPS when you learned how to drive in the construction-riddled streets of Rochester Hills? We are the masters of finding alternate routes, all thanks to the constant road closures of construction season. Oh, did I mention construction season lasts year-round and that it's a never-ending project? Seriously, between nearly all the roads being temporarily rerouted to only one-way traffic and the unpredictability of which roads are going to be closed next, you can forget about getting anywhere on time for the rest of the summer. Ahh, but we'll never be rid of our beloved potholes either way.

6. Shopping

A little slice of Europe in our own backyard. The Village is your ultimate high-end outdoor shopping spot. With it's fountains and beautiful store fronts, you feel like a super-classy shopper even if you'd rather be hitting up Coldstone across the street in your sweatpants. Even if shopping isn't your thing, The Village is a picture-perfect spot. We've all had our fair share of photo shoots with the statues of the bears; don't pretend otherwise.

7. Rochester Hills Public Library

RHPL

It didn't matter who you were as a kid; if you lived in Rochester Hills, you visited the library. The big stuffed animals in the kids section and the giant fish tank are unforgettable memories that every kid has of the library. Not to mention the ice cream socials. And of course, finally getting to walk up the stairs to the big kid's section, that was a rite of passage for us all. Once you'd get up there, though, you'd realize that it was just full of students studying at the tables and adults perusing actual books with titles too difficult to pronounce let alone understand, and then we couldn't wait to get back downstairs. Huh, that's still true.

8. The Municipal Park

The City of Rochester Hills

Follow the trail from the library and you'll end up in one of the most beautiful municipal parks in Michigan. The park has THREE play structures, each more fun than the last, a walking path that follows a beautiful river, and a pond complete with the cutest ducks. It must be an unwritten rule that all the schools in the area come to this pond for their prom pictures when the weather's nice. The ducks just love it.

9. Madonna

Madonna's Childhood Home in Rochester Hills

Yes, that's right, Rochester Hills was home to Madonna. Madonna came from these very roots, went to our own Adams High, and for this reason, we love her. She didn't mean it when she said she hated growing up here. Right, Madonna? Well, I guess you just have to get into the groove to appreciate this city. (Bad pun.)

10. Yates Cider Mill

We love our Cider Mill. And yes, it actually is water powered. Yates is the place to be in the fall, with delicious cider and donuts, a petting zoo, and the river walk. The line can be long, but it's so worth it. Especially when the weather is just right, just chilly enough to pull on jeans and a favorite sweatshirt, grab a jug of cider and walk down the river walk next to beautifully colored fall trees.

11. Deer and Bunnies Galore!

Last, but not least, we love our wild animal friends! Deer and bunnies are a natural sighting here, as are these deer crossing signs. We've all experienced the magic of seeing a majestic family of deer or an adorable bundle of bunnies in our backyards. It's not as bad as you would think, the little buggers are just too darn cute. Until you get on the road. We've been up close and personal with the "deer in headlights" saying. Just remember, don't veer for deer!

Cover Image Credit: Julianna Blankenship

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'As A Woman,' I Don't Need To Fit Your Preconceived Political Assumptions About Women

I refuse to be categorized and I refuse to be defined by others. Yes, I am a woman, but I am so much more.

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It is quite possible to say that the United States has never seen such a time of divisiveness, partisanship, and extreme animosity of those on different sides of the political spectrum. Social media sites such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter are saturated with posts of political opinions and are matched with comments that express not only disagreement but too often, words of hatred. Many who cannot understand others' political beliefs rarely even respect them.

As a female, Republican, college student, I feel I receive the most confusion from others regarding my political opinions. Whenever I post or write something supporting a conservative or expressing my right-leaning beliefs and I see a comment has been left, I almost always know what words their comment will begin with. Or in conversation, if I make my beliefs known and someone begins to respond, I can practically hear the words before they leave their mouth.

"As a woman…"

This initial phrase is often followed by a question, generally surrounding how I could publicly support a Republican candidate or maintain conservative beliefs. "As a woman, how can you support Donald Trump?" or "As a woman, how can you support pro-life policies?" and, my personal favorite, "As a woman, how did you not want Hillary for president?"

Although I understand their sentiment, I cannot respect it. Yes, being a woman is a part of who I am, but it in no way determines who I am. My sex has not and will not adjudicate my goals, my passions, or my work. It will not influence the way in which I think or the way in which I express those thoughts. Further, your mention of my sex as the primary logic for condemning such expressions will not change my adherence to defending what I share. Nor should it.

To conduct your questioning of my politics by inferring that my sex should influence my ideology is not only offensive, it's sexist.

It disregards my other qualifications and renders them worthless. It disregards my work as a student of political science. It disregards my hours of research dedicated to writing about politics. It disregards my creativity as an author and my knowledge of the subjects I choose to discuss. It disregards the fundamental human right I possess to form my own opinion and my Constitutional right to express that opinion freely with others. And most notably, it disregards that I am an individual. An individual capable of forming my own opinions and being brave enough to share those with the world at the risk of receiving backlash and criticism. All I ask is for respect of that bravery and respect for my qualifications.

Words are powerful. They can be used to inspire, unite, and revolutionize. Yet, they can be abused, and too comfortably are. Opening a dialogue of political debate by confining me to my gender restricts the productivity of that debate from the start. Those simple but potent words overlook my identity and label me as a stereotype destined to fit into a mold. They indicate that in our debate, you cannot look past my sex. That you will not be receptive to what I have to say if it doesn't fit into what I should be saying, "as a woman."

That is the issue with politics today. The media and our politicians, those who are meant to encourage and protect democracy, divide us into these stereotypes. We are too often told that because we are female, because we are young adults, because we are a minority, because we are middle-aged males without college degrees, that we are meant to vote and to feel one way, and any other way is misguided. Before a conversation has begun, we are divided against our will. Too many of us fail to inform ourselves of the issues and construct opinions that are entirely our own, unencumbered by what the mainstream tells us we are meant to believe.

We, as a people, have become limited to these classifications. Are we not more than a demographic?

As a student of political science, seeking to enter a workforce dominated by men, yes, I am a woman, but foremost I am a scholar, I am a leader, and I am autonomous. I refuse to be categorized and I refuse to be defined by others. Yes, I am a woman, but I am so much more.

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Analyzing The Infamous 'U Up?' Text

Men still haven't come up with anything better.

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Late at night men gain a confidence that no one can quite explain. The dry spell of Monday through Thursday finally ends as Friday approaches and women's phones start going off with the "u up?" text.

The explanation could be that men are doing this just to use you, but if we dig a little deeper and ask why do men suddenly gain the confidence to text women late at night versus during the week or during the day, then maybe we will have a better understanding of the man behind the "u up?" text.

The term "Saturdays are for the boys" has become wildly popular and men have taken it quite literally until all of their boys have left the bars with their girlfriends or other girls and now he is sitting there alone feeling like the only guy who didn't go home with a girl. You pop into his mind, but it's desperate "u up?" text. He isn't texting you to see you because he misses you or because he wants to get to know you better at three A.M.

Men are nervous and don't want to be rejected so once the weekend rolls around and a little liquid confidence hits their system they may feel compelled to finally reach out to you if they have been nervous to do so all week. The "u up?" text may be the first thing his nervous thumbs can type out before he decides it's a bad idea and doesn't send anything at all. If you don't respond he may instantly regret it in the morning when he realizes he may have blown his chances with you for good.

Ultimately any man that decides to send you a "u up?" text should probably not be your first choice to bring home to mom, but you can't be truly sure of his motives until you analyze the situation. Don't judge a book by its cover or a man by his "u up?" text.

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