California vs. Michigan

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–>     A lot of people ask me why I chose to leave sunny California and move to
Holland, Michigan to go to school. My response usually baffles some
people because they don’t understand why I would want to be so far from
home and have little opportunity to visit friends and family during
breaks. Well, to put it simply, I wanted to be more independent, try a
new setting and atmosphere, and branch off from my comfort zone. Though
it is difficult not going home for Fall Break, Thanksgiving, Winter
Break or Spring Break, I have come to realize that I have amazing
friends who welcome me into their homes for some of these occasions,
which makes me extremely grateful for the great people on Hope’s campus.
Since people do wonder and ask me about the differences between my life
back in California and my life here in Michigan, I though I would share
some differences between the states.

1. WEATHER: California is always warm! When I’m at home where some of my friends stayed in California for college, they will complain when it gets cooler than 60 degrees. I quickly learned that you have
to appreciate those days in Michigan because they are very rare later on in the
year. There’s also absolutely no snow in Southern California… the closest we get
is hail ever seven years or so. Also, there’s no real change in seasons. Spring
and summer are pretty much the same. Fall has some falling leaves and winter
consists of a few rainy days but mostly clear skies…not exactly a “winter
wonderland,” but it’s nice if you want to go to the beach on Christmas Eve.

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–>

2. PEOPLE: I have noticed while being in the general Midwestern area that the people out here, especially in Michigan, are a lot more down-to-earth and generally friendlier than those I
was around in California. Nearly everybody in Michigan, especially at Hope,
smiles at me and opens the door for me, but in California, you get weird looks
if you say “hi” to a random person and there’s no real concept of common
courtesy. There are also a lot of stereotypes of Californians, which is not
always fun because they are usually negative ones.

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–>

3.  
WATER: If you’ve ever looked at a map from
second grade until now, you will realize that California is next to the Pacific
Ocean, whereas Michigan is near the Great Lakes. A major difference
between the two is that the Pacific Ocean actually has waves while Lake
Michigan does not have waves at all in comparison. You are actually able to
surf and boogie-board in California, but there are hardly any boats and
ski-does there, which is a real shame. Michigan certainly has that going for
them. The beaches are completely different as well. Those in California have beach
shops, restaurants, clothing stores, and some sketchy random stores. A huge issue in California is that it is
nearly impossible to find a parking spot at the beach. It’s all metered parking and is
a real hassle when you have to parallel park while impatient people are waiting
to go around you. Michigan beaches don’t have nearly as many people and the
whole atmosphere is different. People are there to just hang out with friends;
those in California are there to get tan skin.

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–>

4. ENTERTAINMENT: Holland, MI is known for Tulip
Time and having a cute city with not a whole lot of other attractions. However,
in Orange County, CA, there is Disneyland, Knott’s Berry Farm, the multiple
beaches (Huntington, Newport, Laguna), South Coast Plaza (a very high-end
mall), Sawdust Festival, and Hollywood. This past summer I was lucky enough to go into Hollywood a few times to see the filming of Jimmy Kimmel Live, Jeopardy! and Conan! It’s such a great experience and I recommend it to anyone who is in the area (plus, it’s free!). Like any other place you get accustomed to, it gets tiring and monotonous. Though California may seem exciting and
all, it gets boring. Once you have explored and been
to those places, you don’t have the urge to really go back, at least for a
while.

These are just a few comparisons between the equally awesome states, but I thought I would share a little of my life and the differences I have come across while being at Hope. That’s all I have to share fore now, so follow me on Twitter and I’ll talk to you soon!

Published by Leslie Kempers

Hey Everyone! My name is Leslie Kempers and I am from Santa Ana, California. I am a Senior this year and am majoring in Exercise Science so after my time here at Hope, I will be pursuing a career in physical therapy! I have previously been involved with Nykerk and CASA and am excited to see what this year has in store for me. This place has become my second home and I have cherished every moment here at Hope College. Go Dutchmen!!!