By Jack Ritchey
Listen Up Lansing Staff Reporter
It seems high school students, even in the biggest college communities in the state like Greater Lansing, might not even notice they live alongside college towns.
Holly Carmody, a lifelong resident of Lansing and recent political science Michigan State University graduate, says the hustle and bustle of the fall semester beginning at MSU in East Lansing is somewhat lost on Lansing youth.
“In high school at least, I just know everyone’s focused on their own lives in the fall to really notice what’s going on at MSU,” said Carmody, 23. “I mean I don’t have any older siblings so I wasn’t really concerned with any of that; maybe if I did it would have been different, but yeah.”
She says even growing up in Lansing, she didn’t really pay attention to MSU happenings until she was a Spartan herself.
This sentiment could be commonplace for high school students who live in or near other college towns.
Nick Dunne, a communications junior at MSU, grew up in Ann Arbor. He says though the city turned noticeably busier come end of August, the fall semester of the University of Michigan was more of an event to him as an MSU Spartan than an Ann Arbor high school student.
“Well the weekends I would go home from East Lansing, I would hang out at U of M with my friends there, but in high school at Skyline I didn’t really do any college-type stuff,” said Dunne, 21. “I do have one memory of driving around Ann Arbor when I was 14 in driver’s ed. I had to do like my second day of driving ever around the city when it was like move-in week for U of M students, so that was terrifying.”
Dunne says this experience was one of the first times he actually appreciated the fact that Ann Arbor was a college town before he graduated high school.
Despite this possible lack of noticing the influx of college students by those not yet college-age, certain Lansing businesses feel a boost in business come the fall.
Steven, an Uber driver and Lansing resident who preferred not to share his last name, says there’s a lot more people to tote around in Lansing and East Lansing come the fall.
“During the summer at least, I’ll work like 9 p.m. to 3, and there’s usually steady people throughout the night in both cities,” said Steven, 34. “But it’s definitely busier in the fall. There will usually be bigger groups and I’ll be able to work like all the way through the night sometimes.”
Steven says that being an Uber driver in the fall in a college town is an excellent second job if you have the time.