What I’ll Miss From Ann Arbor

Summer break is almost here, and there are so many things about Ann Arbor that I’ll miss while I’m back home.

By Ellie Younger April 26, 2021
daffodils in bloom on campus

As this school year comes to a close, and I get ready to head back to my home state of Oregon, I’ve started thinking about the things that make Ann Arbor special. The things that I’ll look longingly back on when I’m at home.

I’ll miss the following Ann Arbor things:

  • Picnics in the Diag. Bringing food and a blanket or hammock to the best spot in town for people (or squirrel) watching.
  • The stores in Kerrytown. The proximity to fresh food at the farmers market, easily attainable groceries for when I forgot something from Kroger’s, cute knick knacks at fun stores, and delicious restaurants.
  • Walks down State Street. Passing lovely buildings and students going about their days; strolling with a feeling of connectedness to the university around me.
  • Blooming tulips on the edges of the sidewalks. Their beautiful colors brighten my day and demonstrate the hope and beauty that comes with spring in AA.

Red tulips in bloom on campus
Blooming tulips signal spring in Ann Arbor. 
  • Being challenged. Conversations, readings, and classes force me to look at things differently, or consider a new way of thinking.
  • Potholes on Washtenaw Avenue. I’ll miss bumping up and down with my friends, the car rattling, complaints flying, on our way to Shake Shack or Trader Joes or somewhere down the road.
  • Homework on the front porch. The sun beating down on my notebook pages, coffee in hand, people walking by on the sidewalk below; somehow work just seems easier when I’m outside.
  • The independence. Living with my roommates in our cute little house, feeling like a real adult as I am able to make my own decisions, and decide what is best for me, on my own time.
  • Coffee. The tens of coffee shops within walking distance from my front door, the ability to take a break from studying and pick from one of the many delicious places to get coffee nearby in order to reward myself for all the work I’ve done (or will do).
  • Late night baking with my roommates. I’ll miss the spontaneity, someone proclaiming they want cookies or brownies, a trip to 7/11 lit up by street lights, and the ingredients being pulled together from all across the kitchen.
  • Exploring the Arboretum. Somehow every time I think I’ve been through the full extent of the Arb, I find a new path, a new place with new nature to explore.
  • The unpredictability of the weather. One day 20 degrees cooler than the next, snowfall in April, these are things that keep life exciting, and keep me living on the edge of my seat.
  • Bonfires in my backyard. My roommates and I gather around our firepit, smoke lighting up towards the sky, as we talk and tell stories.
  • Midwestern charm. The kindness and overwhelming support from friends and strangers alike is something that helps me connect with people, and brings joy to every day.
  • The Huron River. Beautiful water snaking along the edge of campus. I’ll miss walking there from my house, watching the dogs run at the dog park nearby, and admiring the shimmering water. 
  • The squirrels. There is something so special about our squirrels, and I know it’s always talked about, but it is worth bringing up again. Their adorable chubbiness from all they’ve been fed, and their complete lack of fear of humans make them so fun to observe.
  • Chimes. Both the bell tower on campus, and the church in Kerrytown right near my house give off loud chimes on the hour. While sometimes it seems to interrupt my concentration, I have grown to rely on the sound to alert me of the time, and remind me to take breaks when I get absorbed in my work.
  • The location. I love the ability to explore all of the state of Michigan, and will miss the beauty of this state.
  • My weekly COVID-19 test. In a weird way I’ve grown to enjoy my weekly excursion to the LSA building for my test. It starts my day off with a nice walk, and helps me know that I am doing the right, safe thing for my community. I’ll miss the easy accessibility to testing when I’m at home.
  • The beautiful buildings. Even though we weren’t able to spend much time in them this semester, the University of Michigan campus is undeniably beautiful, and covered in some of the most stunning buildings I know. I love walking by and admiring their artistry.
  • Learning new things. I know throughout the summer, I’ll work to keep learning. One of the biggest benefits of college is the constant presentation of new knowledge. There is so much to be said for attaining information, and growing as a person.

Most of all, I’ll miss the people that make this place my home. Those that help me learn and grow, the ones that help me during hard times, and the friends that make me laugh when I need it the most.

Ellie Younger

Ellie Younger is a sophomore in the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts and plans to study Biopsychology, Cognition and Neuroscience. Ellie volunteers with the Sexual Assault Prevention and Awareness Center (SAPAC) and is happy to have found her U-M community in the club Survivor Michigan, for which she is an HR executive. She loves hiking in her home state of Oregon, conversations about social justice, and good poetry.