My Michigan Identity
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My Michigan Identity

Why being from the Great Lake state has defined who I am

My Michigan Identity
John McCormick

As I prepare to head back to school, I reflect on how much has changed over the course of the year. I moved 616 miles from New Baltimore, MI to Philadelphia, PA for my first year at Drexel University. I don’t regret the move at all and look forward to returning for my sophomore year. However, after my school year away from home and after my summer spent at home, I know one thing that’s clear…being from Michigan has defined me. I will always identify with Michigan.

To begin with, when I’m on Drexel’s campus and people are talking about the Phillies, I’m wondering what about the Tigers? Where are the Lions and the Red Wings? These are the sports teams I grew up supporting in all the good and bad times. I cringed when the Lions went 0-16, but I was overjoyed to buy that baseball hat that said the Red Wings won the Stanley Cup. Wherever I am, I will never lose my hometown loyalties.

In addition, being from the Great Lake State, I have developed a great appreciation for all the beauty of the great outdoors. Nothing beats road trips up north, seeing Tahquamenon Falls for the first time, or biking around Mackinaw Island surrounded by the serenity of no cars. This is home. Above all, nothing beats those beautiful Michigan fall colors. As the leaves change from hunter green to the golds, vibrant reds and oranges, you’re reminded of why you love being in a place where you can experience all four seasons (hello cider mill trips!)

Furthermore, even in Philly, I can’t escape my home state link. For instance, I joined a color guard team that consists of members mainly from the immediate area of Pennsylvania. Guess what they nicknamed me—“Michigan.” It sets me apart. It has become part of my identity and I embrace it wholeheartedly.

Finally, what I will miss the most about Michigan is my little hometown, New Baltimore and being able to just hold out my hand in the shaped of a mitten to point out where I live instead of pulling up Google Maps. Yes, I wanted to leave and explore the world, but New Baltimore has lovingly shaped me into the person I am today. I will miss living so close to the lake, and being able to walk downtown to see the sunset along the water.

You can label me smitten with the mitten, but I am proud of where I come from. In only a matter of days, I will be onto new adventures in Philadelphia, but when someone asks me about Detroit’s reputation, I will defend it. When people question why I say “pop,” instead of “soda,” I will just smile and tell them, “Hey, I’m from Michigan….”

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

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