Why she chose South Carolina over Michigan

Bree counting Wood Stork chicks in their nests

Bree counting Wood Stork chicks in their nests

Bree Tomlinson, an Environmental Studies student, and I were talking last week about December, snow and how drastically different Charleston is than our hometowns.  Both of us come from areas where this is a typical Saturday chore.  If you dealt with that for 20 some-odd years, you’d want to get as south as fast as possible, too!  Read Bree’s defining moment of clarity:

There is nothing better than a brutally cold Midwestern winter to clear your mind and outline your priorities. Before coming to Charleston, I had experienced 22 windy, snowy, truly freezing winters and I had “had” enough! I remember the exact moment when I decided that if I ever had a chance I was heading south! It was my senior year at Michigan State University and I was silently cursing my painful walk through campus. Well, more accurately, I was powering my way through knee-high snow drifts on my way to a final. I don’t think the campus administration understood that just because you plow a path at 6AM DOESN’T mean that it stays that way when it is snowing an inch an hour! So, there I was – cold, wet and VERY uncomfortable! I finally got to my exam after what seemed like years out in the tundra, with pants that were soaked to a point well above the knee. I always thought wet jeans were uncomfortable, but I didn’t fully appreciate the capabilities of a wet jean until I felt COLD, freezing cold, wet jeans! And further, I really should have listened to my mother and brought my snow pants with me to school. Who knew she was so smart and that I would need to prepare for the arctic tundra in Michigan!? So, as I sat in my seat – so very cold and still silently cursing my situation – I decided I wanted to be a snow bird, but maybe a permanent one.

So, when I decided to head back to graduate school, my mind was already made. I was going to try my hand at the south where they applied the word “freezing” to anything below 60 (not literally freezing!) I came to Charleston in 2005 to get my Master’s Degree in Environmental Studies, and haven’t looked back. I absolutely love this city, this college, and my brilliant decision! J I love that I am able to walk on the beach in December, and that outdoor activities are not limited to March through October. I no longer tramp to class in knee-high snow drifts, and the only time I have to cope with the wintry weather is during the holiday season. And then, it is expected and welcome (I still dream of a white Christmas). I don’t mean to give the impression that the only reason why I fled the north (with the retiree’s) is for the weather, but for this Michigander, it was a huge plus…the icing on the cake. I found a program that fit my needs, a town that fits my likes, and weather that keeps me sane!!!

One thought on “Why she chose South Carolina over Michigan

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