I was not a born and raised wolverine. In high school, I applied to Michigan because I knew it was a great school, and my mom had gone here, but I didn’t have that burning passion that so many future wolverines grow up with. When it came down to decision time my senior year, I knew from my visit that Michigan was the right choice for me. Nervous about leaving home, and not so sure about Ann Arbor, I stepped on campus in the fall of 2009 feeling uneasy about Big Blue. Like many new students find, however, it didn’t take long for Ann Arbor and the University of Michigan to win me over. Who would have expected 5 years ago that this timid little Chicagoan would stay at Michigan not just for college, but for graduate school as well?
My junior year, I decided to apply to the School of Public Health 4+1 program, an innovative program that gives rising seniors the opportunity to begin graduate studies one year early. After one year at the SPH, I am confident it was the right decision. My studies in the Health Behavior & Health Education department have helped me to learn the fundamentals of health behavior theory, program development, and health communication and promotion. I developed a passion for women’s health and rights and was able to build on this as an intern at the National Women’s Health Network this past summer in Washington, D.C., where I learned more about the intersection of health communication, behavior, and policy. As an aspiring physician, I hope to continue health programming and advocacy initiatives in my future career.
But enough about me – what I really want to share is the expertise I have gained as a “seasoned” Ann Arborite…so here it goes, my top ten must do’s while in this amazing little college town:
- Go to the Big House. Enough said. It’s preferable to go for a football game but even taking a tour of the building is pretty cool. You’ll never have the experience of cheering for a team with over 100,000 others anywhere else.
- Eat. Ann Arbor is known for it’s food, and it’s no surprise why. From Zingerman’s, to Frita Batidos, to Angelo’s, and Prickly Pear, there are so many options to get your fill.
- Go outside. Ann Arbor is beautiful, especially in the summer and fall. Check out the Arb or go canoeing in the Huron River.
- Walk around campus. The University of Michigan has a gorgeous campus with a ton of history and beautiful old buildings. Stand in the Diag during a class break and see the quintessential college experience.
- Explore Kerrytown. Ann Arbor’s Historic Market District has much to offer, including weekly farmer’s markets, little boutiques, and tons of great people watching.
- Drive to a Cider Mill. In the fall, there is no better experience than apple picking, doughnut eating, and cider drinking at a local mill.
- See a show. Whether it’s a student production at the Power Center, an amazing concert put on by The Ark, or even a movie at the famous Michigan Theatre, there’s much to do in the form of entertainment.
- Hit the town. There are some classic bars in Ann Arbor that you don’t want to miss. Try Ashley’s, Dominick’s, and Good Time Charley’s to name a few.
- Walk down State Street. This iconic street offers cute stores, the State Street Theatre, and Nickels Arcade, which is definitely worth a look.
- Finally, meet the people! From students to life long Ann Arborites, the cast of characters here is unique and definitely worth getting to know.
So there you have it – my favorite things about Ann Arbor in one short list. Check back for more posts from me on Ann Arbor, the SPH community, and other health related issues!