Taking It All In, Part 2: Transitioning To Michigan

People might think I’m crazy, but I was actually excited to move to Michigan from California. It was a nice excuse to travel and explore a new place that I might not have otherwise considered visiting.

So far, I love it here.

You get to actually experience the four seasons. I moved here in late July and Michigan was gorgeous at the time. I left California experiencing 110 degree summer days to temperatures in the mid-80s and 90s.

Fall was also beautiful, but it was way too short! The orange/red hues from the leaves changing colors made for some pretty cool picture ops.

Winter has been surprisingly wonderful. Some of my classmates, like myself, were ecstatic to see the first snowfall. This rang true for those classmates from out of state, at least. There were definitely a lot of snaps and excitement that day.

I had seen a lot video posts on Snapchat of classmates walking through the snow. I was mesmerized by the beauty of it all. Yeah, it gets pretty cold, but you get acclimated to the colder temperatures.

Traffic with snow is still better than California traffic.

The holidays were especially beautiful with all the Christmas lights and decorations. It was exactly how I imagined it to be like from watching Christmas cartoons and movies growing up where snow was always an integral part of the scenery.

Now it's part of my scenery. I've never lived in the snow before, but I’m really enjoying it. It is absolutely beautiful and I catch myself just staring at the snowflakes floating to the ground. I've sent a lot of pictures/videos back home to share with my family.

At the end of Early Clinical Experience (ECE), my small group decided to rent a cabin for the weekend and go snowboarding/skiing. We decided we wouldn't bring up anything school-related for the entire weekend. We even put away our cell phones so that we could focus on being present and enjoy the moment.

The first day on the slopes was definitely a learning process. I had gone snowboarding a handful of times in California, but I never tried skiing before. So what do I do? I decided to try it for the first time, of course!

It took a little while to get used to, but I was eventually able to get the hang of it (kind of) thanks in large part to my classmates and a quick "skiing for beginners" YouTube search the night before—the medical student in me wouldn't let me go unprepared! 

I did revert back to snowboarding before the day's end, so I was able to enjoy it a little more (a.k.a. fall less).

On the way back, one of my classmates got a flat tire. We came together as a group to help her change it and got back on the road. It's moments like this that allow us to grow together, to build a strong bond.

Life is going to throw some curveballs at us, but we can overcome it together.

My classmates and I definitely got to know each other better. We grew together as a group that weekend. It was a nice getaway to clear our minds before jumping into intersessions.

We still reminisce and talk about that weekend. We were actually a little sad when intersessions began because we would no longer be meeting with each other as a small group until the Middle Clinical Experience (MCE).

Something I've noticed about Michigan is that a lot of restaurants get really creative with their food. The options are definitely more of comfort food than I'm used to in California.

Michigan also has an extensive selection of beer. I guess Grand Rapids doesn't get the name "Beer City" for no reason!

People outside of my classmates are really nice. I guess it's that Midwestern hospitality I had heard about. I remember picking up food one morning upon arrival and the server asked me how my day was going. But it was in a way that it seemed like she was really trying to get to know me. It was genuine. I've noticed this countless times since then with other people while out about in the community as well.

There is a real sense of community here. People want to get to know their neighbors. Although Grand Rapids is the second largest city in Michigan, I definitely get somewhat of a small-town vibe from it.

I might not have ever considered moving to Michigan if it hadn’t been for medical school. I can even see myself potentially living here long term.

But first thing's first and that's medical school.

Harminder Sandhu is a first-year College of Human Medicine student from California. As an Office of Admissions blog contributor, Harminder offers an inside look at the college from the student perspective. Read more of Harminder's posts


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