Things To Do
I already mentioned the open mic night at Kaya, which can be fun, and Hunter’s and Rubbles (a downtown bar) often have live musicians. If you want to be involved in the music, Thursday is karaoke night at The Cabin bar. Not to mention, Soaring Eagle Casino right in Mt. Pleasant regularly has big name bands and performers you could see.
Mt. Pleasant has a huge park system: around ten different parks, with lots of walking trails, places to grill out, playgrounds, tennis courts, and even a skate park.
Tip: Though shorter not as oft-traveled as some other walking trails in town, the trail in Chipp-A-Waters Park (named for the Chippewa River that runs through it) leads to a small pond that, every summer, teems with baby turtles if you look closely enough.
Tip: Speaking of the Chip River, tubing is an option! All summer people will cruise down the river in inflatable tubes, sometimes in large groups. It’s a fun way to spend time with friends and explore parts of Mt. Pleasant you can’t see any other way.
Winter around here is cold and snowy, but you can go sledding at a few locations in town and there are also fun festivities around including a winter parade downtown, though I usually spend most of my winter bundled up inside avoiding the weather.
CMU puts on awesome events regularly such as speakers, free movies, concerts, and, of course, sporting events. If you’re a sports fan it is always fun to go see the Chips play in football or basketball, but don’t forget about less-followed sports such as gymnastics and lacrosse. There is even a very talented quidditch team on campus that is fun to see play.
Summer is also a great time to explore greater Michigan. Take a trip to Traverse City, Mackinac, Detroit, Lansing, Holland, The Sleeping Bear Dunes etc. and see what Michigan has to offer! (Hint: it’s a lot). However, summers don’t last very long around here. In the fall, a great weekend day trip is Uncle John’s Cider Mill in St. Johns, where you can pick apples as well as buy cider donuts, walk through an impressive corn maze, and watch cider being made.
Tip: Take a chance to drive up north and see the fall leaves- they may be one of the best things about living in Michigan.
Making the Most of MP
Throughout this survival guide, you have heard perspectives on everything from finances to stress-relief (not that those aren’t related!), and several chapters have mentioned taking time for yourself or your family. It gets repeated because it is so important, and knowing where to go in Mt. Pleasant to exercise outdoors, stick your toes in the water, grab a coffee, or try some great local food might just be the key to maintaining your sanity while you achieve amazing things as a grad student. I strongly encourage you to explore your new home. Mt. Pleasant has its flaws, as does CMU, and sometimes it feels a bit slow, but there is nowhere I’d rather have spent my last six years and I hope that you grow to love this town and school just as much as I do.
Samantha Miller is graduating from CMU’s English Department with a Masters in English Language and Literature, Children’s and Young Adult Literature concentration. She is originally from the Chicago suburbs but has lived in Mount Pleasant for six years and earned her BA from CMU in 2014 with a major in sociology and a minor in journalism. Miller enjoys studying popular culture and is a raging foodie.
Central Michigan University respects the diversity of values and opinions held by members of its community. The views expressed on this page are those of the author and not necessarily those of Central Michigan University or its officers and trustees. The content of this page has not been reviewed or approved by Central Michigan University, and the author is solely responsible for its content.