If you ever went to Interlochen, whether it was as a camper or as an academy student, you know all of the little quirks and amazing things that are involved with & happen there at Inty in the woodsy land of Northern Michigan. Hopefully, I can infuse a sense of nostalgia & fondness in your heart if you are one of those people as you read through this article.
Without further ado, here are some "Just Interlochen" things that you'll definitely recognize if ICA was/is a part of your artistic & human journey.
1. "Mission Statement: Dedicated to the Promotion of World Friendship through the Universal Language of the Arts."
This is important thing number one. Anyone who has stayed at Interlochen for a significant period of time knows that this is their mission.
Interlochen is an international institution, and gifted artists from all across the world come to share their passions with a diverse and inclusive group of people. "Universal Language of the Arts" comes from the notion that the arts are a constant form of spreading love and connection throughout all cultures and languages.
At Interlochen, art is our main form of spreading world betterment, change, and ultimately peace.
2. "Core Purpose: to ignite a lifelong passion for the arts."
This is important thing number two. Passion is what Interlochen runs on.
All of the teaching, performances, pieces of art, masterclasses, and events are all inspired and created through a passion for the common thing we all share: the arts.
3. "Core Values: inspiring, nurturing, transformative, enlightening, enduring."
And finally, before we get to the fun stuff: important thing number three.
Especially after becoming an alumna of Interlochen, I can attest to the fact that Interlochen carries these values without any doubt.
4. The Corson Bear Tradition
Soooo...I didn't do this, but it is DEFINITELY an Interlochen tradition to pee on the bear before graduation.
My suite-mate and I greatly debated on actually doing it.
For real. That bear must have so much pee glistened over onto it.
5. Eating Stone food every. single. day.
...and complaining about it.
Having to eat the same sandwich at the Stone cafeteria with the entire school at one time, I've got to admit, did get a little redundant at times.
All Interlochen students know this struggle. *sigh*
6. Going to Mofro!
...However, there is a remedy!
Along with Bud's, Haufbrau and the Tom's Supermarket; Melody Freeze was the Interlochen-Arts-Academy-Student's way to indulge in food other than the rubber-like meals at Stone.
MoFro is a great place to chill out, get an ice cream stacker, maybe some chicken poppers, and not be constrained by the loads of people and time constraints of eating at the Stone Hotel.
7. Enduring "Winterlochen"
As I've said before, Interlochen is in Northern Michigan.
That being said, winters are craaazyy there. To make it even more wild, Interlochen NEVER had snow-days.
Every day in the winter, students like me would have to trek through the many feet of snow to get all the way from Thor Johnson to the Phoenix Theatre every other day of my student career.
8. Being woken up by music.
No need for an alarm, the clarinets will gladly wake you up on their own from the practice rooms below.
That is all.
9. Stealthy hookup spots.
Practice rooms aren't just for practicing art. Oops. Also, romance in the woods isn't that bad. Lemme tell you.
But some privacy would be cool.
Ah, just another opportunity for the crazy talented Interlochen students to showcase their many artistic avenues.
I loved coffeehouse because there were always cookies or brownies, coffee, and the chance to see your friends do things often outside of their chosen majors.
So basically, Interlochen is the real life "Victorious".
Every year in May, Interlochen books a place to have their MORP (prom backwards).
Last years theme was Harry Potter, and no one was afraid to go all out with their chosen MORP dresses, suits, and everything else: including after party outfits.
12. All. The Freakin. Talent.
On a more sappy note, still to this day, Interlochen is one of the most magical places I have ever had the privilege to leave my personal imprint on.
Between all of the students and the faculty, there is so much outstanding passion, grit, tenacity, and overall mind-blowing talent all crammed into the woods of Interlochen, Michigan.
Some of the most incredible artists have studied and resided there, and it is a blessing for me to say that I've had training there and to be able to call it my second home.