The Michigan Daily - Thursday, September 4, 1986 - Page 7
Moving to Ann Arbor
S'City slickers' adjust to town
By MARTIN FRANK
Ann Arbor has about 100,000 residents. But for students
coming to the University from a big city-like New.Yoirk,
Detroit, or Chicago - the city seems small.
Like any student coming to campus, "city slickers"
must adjust to new surroundings and deal with different
changes than students from smaller towns.
For instance, students from large cities find Ann Arbor
much quieter than their home towns. The pace is much
slower than the histle and bustle of cities. LSA junior
Joshua Laird, from New York City, finds himself walking
much slower than he would back home.
"I enjoy taking my time getting to places. It's much
more mellow here, which is nice because you get tired of
rushing from place to place. Not to mention all the tension
in the city," Laird said.
City kids must acclimate themselves to walking, for
subways do not exist here, he says, and buses are largely
necessary to get to class (except, of course, those on North
Campus). Laird says he had to get used to walking long
distances to get from place to place. He said his feet hurt
Another change is meeting new people-an adjustment
everyone makes. For the first time, city slickers are in the
minority. They are out-numbered by students from the
suburbs, small towns, and farms - people city dwellers
never meet on a large scale before coming to Ann Arbor.
"I underwent culture shock when I first came here,"
says LSA sophomore Garrick Harshaw, who is from
"I was seeing people from all walks of life with diverse
backgrounds rather than the city person from Detroit. I
had never been around these kinds of people before,"
Harshaw said he managed to adjust by treating the
situation as a challenge to get along in the real world. "I
look at this as a test to see how well I'll do in real life
because I have to deal with all types (of people) there, so I
might as well get used to it now."
Other big city kids, however, draw criticism for being
arrogant and willing only to talk about the museums and
skyscrapers of their home towns.
The social life for students coming from the city also
requires some adjustment. Outdoor parties as well as
fraternity bashes are foreign to those who have been con-
fined to apartments and nightclubs.
City slickers must also get used to cities that do sleep.
"The cultural offerings in Ann Arbor (for example, the
University's art museum) are really great, except the
whole city closes after 1 a.m." said Jeffrey Borwn, an LSA
junior from Washington, D.C.
Laird mentioned Greenwich Village in New York where
"People are crowding the streets at 5 a.m. In fact, it
almost seems like it's rush hour."
Despite all the adjustments, city people eventually end
up blending with other students, producing the big city in
a small town atmosphere of Ann Arbor. "Ann Arbor is the
perfect midway point between a rural school and a school
located in the big city," Laird says.
Daily Photo by CHRIS TWIGG
Some students coming to the University from a small town picture Ann Arbor as a booming metropolis with
cars and pedestrians streaming by, as on Main Street ...
Students adjust to worldly city
By JUDY WOLFE
Though Ann Arbor is an average-size city, it is as
cosmopolitan as a city with millions of people. This can
make Ann Arbor intimidating, even to a new student from
a similar-sized city.
Survivors of the adjustment to Ann Arbor - and almost
everyone does survive - say the best way to get to know
the city is to explore it. Unlike a small town, you may
never get to know every street, but knowing a few makes
you feel at home.
"I went out and did things like (a) shopping trip, and got
lost more than once," said Rachael Knight, a senior from
Bay City, Michigan. "But that's the only way to get
to know your way around."
"I sometimes laugh when I think about how I used to get
lost walking a few blocks," Knight said. For example, she
recounts one incident when she and a friend went shop-
ping on State Street and forgot how to get back to their
"Our road runs right into State Street, so if we had just
walked straight, we would have found our apartment in
about three minutes. But instead, we decided to cut across
campus. Bad idea. It ended up taking us 20 minutes to get
home," she said.
Larry Maiselman, a junior from Schenectady, New
York, also said he had to feel his way around - get in-
volved in clubs, get a job, and go to parties - before he
Freshman orientation, he said, was a good opportunity
to make the initial adjustment because he met other
people who felt lost. "I didn't feel like I was in this strange
town all alone," he said. "It's a lot easier to explore Ann
Arbor if you do it with someone who is in the same boat as
Opportunity to grow
Despite the fears and anxiety, moving to a larger town
is an opportunity to grow. Like meeting other people.
"Where I come from, everyone is the same, but when I
came to Ann Arbor, I met people from all over the world
who had very different backgrounds than I did," said
Cindi Parynik, a senior from Riverview, Michigan.
"There are people here from the cultural centers of the
world, and you can talk to them about so many things. I
met most of the people that I know from other countries in
class, but you can also meet some people by sitting in the
Diag or going to bars," she said.
Parynik said that in Riverview she never had the chan-
ce to talk to someone from Japan, Africa, or India about
their cultures - something she's had the chance to do in
Ann Arbor. Through conversations, she said she had a bet-
ter idea of the world outside Riverview is like.
"If I had stayed in Riverview, I never would have
become aware of those other people," she said.
"I knew that not everyone had grown up in a white,
middle class town, but until I came to Ann Arbor and met
these different people, I wasn't aware of how extremely
different some cultures are," Parynik said.
"It's strange to think that there are still countries where
blacks are not given any equality (like South Africa) and
others where this is true of women and others where
voices come over loud speakers in the middle of the day to
give the citizens a psychological boost," Parknik said.
"Gaining this kind of knowledge from people in Ann Ar-
bor may not help you to get into grad school or get a job,
but it can help you see the world from a different perspec-
It can also be interesting to be walking home from class
one afternoon and run into a rally in the middle of town
with someone speaking about nuclear war or see hundreds
of people walking down the street protesting African apar-
Michael Greyerbiehl, a senior from Hemlock,
Michigan, said he was most startled at first by people who
came up to talk to him in the street. "I could handle the
rallies and marches, but when strangers just started
talking to me (about everything from religion to
revolution), I just got confused," he said.
"Nothing like that happens in Hemlock. Only the people
who know you talk to you, and I really don't know what to
expect from someone in the streets of Ann Arnor with blue
hair who just walked up and started talking to me," he
"I guess it's just something you get used to after living
in Ann Arbor a few years. But when my friends from
Hemlock come for a visit, they still get surprised by these
people," Greyerbiehl said.
Daily Photo by ANDI SCHREIBER
. . . but when they come from the big city, students expect to see young entrepreneurs like Keli McLoyd, age 6,
selling homemade lemonade on the streets like Golden Street.
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