In 2012 I moved from Brighton, MI to East Lansing to finish my undergraduate degree in Industrial/Organizational Psychology and Human Capital at Michigan State University. After graduation in December 2014, I had absolutely no idea what I wanted to do or where I wanted to live. I continued working at my internship, managing a business incubator in East Lansing, and loved every minute of it. The only downfall was there was not a full-time position open for me. For months I battled with what city I wanted to be in, especially because my significant other, Kevin, was living in Pennsylvania finishing his degree.
August 2014, I took a full-time job in Lansing but was still questioning if it was the right path for me. In late 2015, I felt that I had plateaued at my job and kept feeling that I was stuck in a rut. Now seemed like a better time than ever to pick up and start a new life in Pennsylvania with Kevin.
Right before I was about to quit my job and move two states away, I got a call from a former colleague asking if I would like to work at the business incubator, where I did my internship, full-time. He told me that he was not going to let great talent slip away to another state and possibly never return to Lansing. I was so incredibly happy and thankful, and I took the job.
Two and half years later, I am still managing the business incubator for the MSU Foundation and Spartan Innovations and assisting with economic development, entrepreneurship, venture creation, and real-estate. There is never a dual moment with the type of position I have, which makes every day unique and exciting.
In mid-2017, Kevin was finishing up school and was preparing to move back to Michigan. At this point I was living in a one-bedroom apartment in Lansing that would become very cramped once Kevin moved back. As I started to look for a larger place to live, it became obvious that I was ready to own a home, instead of renting. The first house I put an offer on was in Lansing and it ended up becoming a blessing that we were outbid. We felt a little discouraged but kept look and that’s when we found Lake Lansing in Haslett. As soon as we found the lake we knew that Haslett was the place for us. Not only did Haslett have a lake, but it also had great schools, great housing prices, and was a close commute to work.
October 2017, I purchased my first home in Haslett, three blocks from Lake Lansing and five miles from my office. Kevin moved back to Michigan in December 2017 and is working in as welder in Lansing. We are so happy we chose to stay in Michigan and plant our roots in the Lansing area with our two fur children. I am excited to see the continuing urban development of the Greater Lansing area and honored to be a part of some of those changes.
I moved from Long Island, New York to Michigan’s Capital Region to pursue a career in the arts. I guess sometimes you are drawn to a place, even if you’ve never lived there before. I assume the same thing happened with my great great great grandparents. They came to Mid-Michigan from England in the early 1830's when Michigan was still a territory, and considered part of the American Frontier. From the 1830's to the 1960's, all of my ancestors on my father’s side of the family lived, worked, created, and played, in Mid-Michigan.
The first time that my wife & I ever lived in Michigan was when we moved to Lansing in 2017. The same thing that brought my ancestors to Mid-Michigan in the 1830’s is what brought my wife and I here 185 years later… opportunity. For my ancestors, it was agricultural opportunity, for my wife and I, it’s artistic opportunity.
In larger, “arts cities” like New York & Chicago, where the cost of living has skyrocketed, it has become increasingly more difficult to live there to pursue a career as an emerging artist, or establish an arts organization. It’s just too expensive. Individuals graduating every year with degrees in the arts are going to have to find new places where they can pursue their artistic endeavors.
The Capital Region has a strong and dedicated arts community that still has room to grow. It is a place where emerging artists can live, work, still have time to create, and pursue their careers. Living in the Capital Region allows artists the opportunity to not only work here, but quickly travel to other cities in close proximity like Grand Rapids, Ann Arbor, Detroit, Kalamazoo, & Chicago to present their artistic work there as well. Combine that with the Capital Region’s affordability, and you have the potential to see an influx of artists move to the area over the next decade, not just from around Michigan, but from around the country.
I followed my ancestors back to Mid-Michigan, and like them, I’ve come here to help create something new, and build something that lasts, a place that future generations can enjoy and thrive in. The Capital Region, and to a greater extent Michigan, has become the Artistic Frontier. It is a place where artists, and people who work in the arts, who are willing to invest their time, labor, and creativity, can not only improve their own lives, but improve the Capital Region, making it an even better place to live, work, create, and play.
The 5:01 is looking for guest bloggers to share their experiences on the benefits of living, working and playing in the greater Lansing area.