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Aug 19 2017
by Avery Lumeng

10 Moments Midwesterners Going to School in New England Will Experience

By Avery Lumeng - Aug 19 2017

The Midwest is quintessentially American: fields of corn are harvested next to county fairs, while mosques and college towns flourish amongst people who know the value of a good car. Too folksy and saccharine a description for you? Well, when a few Midwestern teenagers move to New England for college, chances are we start to romanticize our childhoods like that. Here are ten moments that Midwesterners who take the leap to a college in New England will understand.

1. When people ask if you live on a farm.

Bonus points if you or someone you know actually does live on a farm, but you don't want to perpetuate stereotypes. Full honesty: I live across the street from a barn. A high school classmate of mine lived on an alpaca farm. All stereotypes come from somewhere.

2. People only knowing one (usually bad) fact about your state.

"Oh, you're from Michigan? How's the [one, usually bad, current event that's occurred in your state]?" In my lifetime, my home state has had our largest city named the most dangerous in the country,  our economy ravaged by the financial crisis, our seventh largest city's water poisoned and we voted red for the first time in 40 years. Oh, and Kid Rock may become our next senator. Fun facts about home states are always fun. 

3. It's hard to find people from your home state.

Most Midwesterners stick in the region, going to the University of Michigan or UI at Urbana-Champaign. So when you find another ex-pat, you bond immediately. 

4. When you realize how many accessible beaches there are.

New Englanders just go to the beach, with a functional boardwalk, for an ordinary day trip. The ocean is actually really exciting.

5. But you also miss lakes.

The Atlantic Ocean is so. Cold. Also, salt water stings. And, of course, you can't get your Ron Swanson on near an ocean.

6. When natives complain about the weather/the cold.

Snow is love; snow is life. New England may have Northeasterners, but they don't know the pain of having to walk to school when its twenty below. (P.S. Shoutout to native Illinoisan Bill Murray for voicing our frustration!)

7. When someone mentions taking a short trip to another state.

The distance from Copper Harbor, Michigan to Monroe, Michigan is 626.6 miles, or about 10 hours of travel. The distance from Caribou, Maine to New York City, also known as almost all of New England and then some, is only 613.1 miles. (Again, shoutout to native Minnesotan Winona Ryder for expressing our confusion!)

8. When you have to endure a 15+ hour road trip every fall.

Speaking of long distances: your home town is pretty far from your college, but not necessarily far enough that you need to fly. Chances are that you take a road trip every fall to cart your belongings.

9. Your state gets lots of love during election years.

Almost every state in the Midwest is some degree of purple, or holds some importance in the electoral process, like Iowa's caucuses or Illinois' status as a near-perfect polling ground. New England, on the other hand, is almost uniformly blue. Let your friends marvel at the importance of your voting ability.

10. And, of course, when you get that care package of Midwest comfort food

We can argue all day over southern comfort food vs. midwestern comfort food, but we can all agree on one thing: New England "comfort food" has nothing on us. 

While it may have been a difficult choice to go to school so far from home, we all know that we made the right one: and no matter how long we live in New England, we'll always be Midwesterners at heart.

Lead Image Credit: ryanminion via Pixabay

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Avery Lumeng - Wellesley College

Avery is a politics junkie and statistics nerd from Ann Arbor, MI. She is attending Wellesley College as a member of the class of 2021 in the fall, majoring in political science and minoring in mathematics. // Twitter: @avery_lumeng // Instagram: @averylumeng

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