Life at Michigan Tech

Life at Michigan Tech

Bianca Kroll

Majors, minors, a place to live, having fulfilling meals, finding a roommate, and finishing high school to get into a college. College is a hard step into a new direction of life or even a new chapter in life. It’s a hard decision to make but one to better their future.

  One college that has caught the attention of students who like math or science is Michigan Technological University. This college is engineering-focused as many would say. Lots of students who are strong in math and science usually chose this college to further their studies. Though there are other majors and minors that students can choose from, that isn’t just engineering or science-related. There is a lot to experience at Michigan Tech.

  Students live in the city of Houghton while attending Michigan Tech. Houghton is located within the Keweenaw Peninsula. Also having Hancock as the sister city of Houghton. Houghton has a beautiful downtown that students can explore and buy the necessary things they need. The city also provides students with stores that are not too far away. 

   The travel to Michigan Tech can be very long or very short depending on where you live in Michigan.  Second year student Maddison Allen says that the trip is one she enjoys. She loves seeing the landscapes and animals that pass her by while driving. “I honestly love driving through the Upper Peninsula and think it’s beautiful, but it can definitely be tedious to have to drive 18 hours a week during a short break in order to make it home,” Allen said. She notes that she saw a few bald eagles while driving and made the trip even more enjoyable. First year student Kyle Magennis said that driving up to Tech can be quite long. “With a 9-hour travel to Tech, it’s quite a long drive and very hard to do without a driving buddy,”  Magennis said. He even said that it can be calming but knows what the winter can hold for him. “Most of the time, the drive is pretty calm, but with winter coming very soon, it will get very difficult and probably will take over 10 hours,” Magennis said.

  Michigan Tech offers many halls and apartments to stay in when living on campus. There are three different halls: Douglass Houghton, McNair, and Wadsworth. The Hillside place is where the apartments are located for the upper students. Students who are undergraduates live in the dorms or halls when they arrive on campus. While graduates get to stay where they would like. Oftentimes, the dorms erode in chatter as students gather in the common game and music rooms. In the apartments, students who are graduates usually live in them. Students are provided with individual rooms, a kitchen, internet, and cable. They also are provided with furniture. A lot of the halls and apartments provide everything a student needs with a receptionist desk, dining halls, many bathrooms, game rooms, common rooms to study, and just an overall fun place to stay and hang out with new people. Allen said that when she first moved into Wadsworth Hall it was difficult. She didn’t start well with her roommate. “I had a pretty rough first semester with my roommate, but the housing director is very kind and helped me to move to a single for my health and other conditions that affect my wellbeing (aka chronic migraines)” Allen said. She was able to stay in a single room that way she could be with herself and not worry too much about a roommate. “The walls are very thin, so I’ll often hear neighbors, but everyone is really understanding and will turn music down if needed,”  Allen said. Even with the bathrooms provided, Allen said they aren’t that bad. She said doors can be locked when in shower stalls to give privacy. “The bathrooms in the dorms aren’t horrible because there are lockable stalls for each shower to give privacy, which I thoroughly enjoy,”  Allen said. Magennis that his housing started in McNair an interesting hall. “Housing started off in McNair, a (in my opinion) pretty weird hall, but the dining hall did have better food,” Magennis said. “The bathrooms weren’t anything to write home about, however. My current dorm Wadworth, and with a dining hall that is open every day and even a class in the basement, some days I never have to leave my dorm (which is very nice in these colder months.) The bathrooms are much better though”  Magennis said. When he first started at Tech he was moved into a temporary dorm then finally was placed into his dorm that he would be in for the rest of his freshman year.

  Michigan Tech offers over 140 degrees such as humanities, social sciences, business, economics, computing, engineering, forestry, environmental sciences, health professions, mathematics, natural and physical sciences, and technology. Students can choose from these many options to find what they want to study for.  All these options can help students get to see what is available to them and what they can do. Allen said that her first choice was to major in mechanical engineering as it was the broadest engineering major. “I actually started as a mechanical engineer because it was the most broad engineering major, but I soon learned that it wasn’t for me and changed last semester to my current major after going undecided,” Allen said. She thought that she had a plan but she decided to change her major to wildlife ecology and conservation. She also said that she is minoring in statistics to help her calculate and organize field data. Magennis chose his major as mechanical engineering and plans to stay in that. His minor is mathematics and systems in engineering. He plans to use these skills to help him in his future career. 

   When Michigan Tech is mentioned it’s easy to think of freezing weather. Up in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, it’s said that the winters are the worst. The cold air and snow that piles into all of it. Of course for those living there, know what to expect and how to prepare for the weather. But those who choose to live there during college are not sure what to expect. Some will think it’s so easy and not bad since they live in Michigan already. But the winters can pose quite a threat to those who aren’t prepared ahead of time.  Allen said that the first winter she had wasn’t too bad. “Honestly we had a really easy winter my first winter. The only main difference is the cold”  Allen said. She said she has been able to tolerate the cold, as she does labs in 20-30 degree weather for class. She also said that she knows she’s got used to it because she wears sweatshirts when it’s in the teens. “As it is always pretty cold, there is nowhere for the snow to go, so it just builds up and builds walls of snow after plowing around the roads,” Allen said. She said that her first year she was amazed at how the snow built up and that houses in neighborhoods could not be seen. Magennis of course joined Michigan Tech this year but does have some experience of the weather. “The weather started out nice but that quickly gave way to cold temperatures and lots of snow. It’s not much different from Holland, but it is definitely much more hilly and quite snowier” Magennis said. Though he has not been there long he can already understand how different the weather can be and is ready to take on the challenge. 

  Living in an unusual place can be a lot for someone especially if they aren’t completely sure about it. Michigan Tech may be hours away from home, but the people there make it feel like it is home away from home. Many are willing to help and give the support needed to feel safe and at home.