This summer, I have had the pleasure of staying in Ann Arbor to work in my lab part time, as well as take classes and hostessing at Sava’s, a popular local restaurant. I have learned so much more about this city and the residents of Ann Arbor through my stay here. So much is different than during the school year, and I have truly enjoyed it.
For starters, there are probably a fifth of the students on campus than during the school year. This makes the Diag, the ugli, Ross, and the Union (which is scheduled to close for two years next spring!) so much more enjoyable to use for studying and working. With fewer people around, its also easier to find a friendly face in the crowd. I have found myself making more conversations with students and Ann Arbor residents than ever before. Ann Arbor seems friendly; dissimilar to when students are pushing each other in order to make it to their classes in ten minutes. The cloud of cutthroat competition has seemed to lift.
Additionally, with fewer people around, I have found myself running on campus more. During the school year, I tried to run at least twice a week but with more time on my hands and fewer crowds, I run four times a week now. It has been amazing getting to know this city even more on foot and I truly look forward to finding new routes and new places to explore. I would not even know some of my favorite places in Ann Arbor-including Gallup Park- if I wasn’t here for the summer. There are so many places to see and things to do that get lost in the chaos of the school year. I’ve loved being able to make the most of my time here this summer and to explore new places and fun things in this city!
Taking classes at WCC has exposed me to something new in the Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti area as well. To be honest, when I first got to WCC I was amazed by how much easier and laid back the exams were but as the end of the class approaches, it is becoming a lot to handle in a short period of time. The curriculum has shoved all of the hard material in this class to the end and I am overwhelmed to learn so much for the final exam. However, this has really given me an appreciation for my professors at U of M– they are much more composed and put more thought into class structure. A lot of the professors I’ve had really DO care about students learning and comprehending the material whereas in my WCC class, it seems the objective is to throw all the material together just so the students can say that they learned it. Though I’m extremely grateful I had the opportunity to take a class at WCC, I have learned that I prefer the teaching styles at UM better and that I truly do value learning. (Even though I’m probably going to hate myself for saying this once UM classes start again HAHA).
On top of all of this, working at Sava’s restaurant has enabled me to get to know people in Ann Arbor that I would not have known previously. I am used to only interacting with students from U of M, but at Sava’s I’ve had the opportunity to meet and get to know some amazing people who live in Ann Arbor and some students who attend Eastern Michigan University and WCC. Had it not been for this job, I would not know any of these people, who have truly impacted my life in such a positive way. Sava’s also provides an awesome environment for their employees and I feel comfortable around everyone there, making my job super enjoyable. Though I initially stayed in Ann Arbor just to work at my lab, my last minute decision to apply for a job at Sava’s was one of the best decisions I have ever made. It has provided me with the work environment I have been missing for a long time in my young professional career and I have found people and a place where I feel I truly belong. The (yummy!) food is definitely a huge perk to working there, but I am mostly grateful and thankful for my friends at Sava’s– who have given me an incredible summer.
Though the atmosphere is different once students return to Ann Arbor in the Fall, staying on campus this summer has made Ann Arbor my home. This summer has given such a great appreciation for all the places and people this city has to offer and I’m so so excited to get to spend this year exploring and enjoying it all. Ann Arbor- you have my heart.
((Here’s a list of all the fun things I’ve done/still want to do in Ann Arbor:))
- Kayaking down the Huron River
- Picnicking at Argo with my roommates
- Running along the river at Gallup Park
- Exploring book and record stores on Liberty
- Looking around the Ann Arbor Art Fair with my friends PLUS we got to sit inside a Tesla
- Finding delicious french macaroons at Teahaus in Kerrytown
- Watching outdoor movies at Top of the Park Festival with friends
- Brunch at Sava’s