The North Campus Experience
Out of the many fine alumni who have posted or visited this website over the years, I consider myself privileged to have been lucky enough to study a major, clarinet performance, that called for me to spend most of my time on North Campus. Many words have been said about the fine night life, restaurants, and other amenities available on Central Campus. This diary is not about those parts of the city. I'm talking about driving up Division for a little ways, crossing the bridge, and heading further north past Maiden Lane and experiencing the fun times to be had there.
For one thing, North Campus has trees, and snow, and snow and trees. Walking to class is like walking through beautiful parkland. There are many hills and valleys which helps make the walk more physically demanding. There are paths through the woods where frequently groundhogs, deer, squirrels, cats, and other creatures can be seen prowling around. I had a garden senior year and took pride in clearing out brush and improving the property bit by bit, even if only temporarily. One winter the trees on North Campus were completely encapsulated in ice and glittered in the sunlight like living icicles.
In the summer these same trails are great for biking and running, or during the winter if you bundle up well. I and my friends would run through the engineering campus, Northwood III and beyond, and bike up Nixon into farm country. The hills at the Huron Parkway golf course are great for sledding in the winter, and Qdoba is just a little ways further down the road. There is also the North Campus Recreational Building (NCRB) behind Bursley for anyone with an Mcard and a desire to pump iron or play raquetball.
In May the pools open at Huron Towers and Highlands, the two main apartment complexes closest to North Campus. As long as you play it cool and know some of the residents at the respective apartment complexes it is OK to swim in the pools, and the pools are well-maintained and deep. There is also a large athletics complex on Fuller Road where intramural soccer and softball are played.
When not traipsing through the woods, North Campusers love to get together for parties both tame and wild. One great way to meet people was coming together for a game of Mafia and wine before carpooling out to play laser tag and video games. I met some of my friends that way. We also took advantage of whatever DVDs or downloads were available—The Office, Dexter, 30 Rock, Family Guy—and bonded over those shows while serving up soup and sandwiches. My Nintendo 64 skills never got better than they got in college.
Not everyone is an engineer, a musician, or a visual artist. But for those Michigan students lucky enough to spend an extended period of time in North Campus, I consider the experience second to none, and I hope to see some of you “up north” soon.
and a rap by little ol' me lamar
of your limp-wristed throwing style.
I'll take trivia and Charleys over mafia and wine any day.
I lived on North Campus one year. Stealing, I mean borrowing, cafeteria trays and hosting our own "Winter Olympics" after a night of bar hopping is an evening I still remember as one of the more spontaneous blasts I had as a student.
dont let yuri wright see this post...his colorado visit will no longer seem so boring
Yeah dude, but the girls? Just live on central campus, everybody.
Maybe I have a thing for prodigiously talented musician girls with cute foreign accents.
+1. Fautists. Bam
You mean Asians? Not my thing.
to people of one race as opposed to another? Maybe I was thinking of a certain person or maybe I wasn't. I'll never tell.
Better to find a prodigiously talented gymnist on the Central Campus but I do understand that it's slim picking beyond the musicians on North Campus.
I have a new grievance! This author just made me swallow a full bottle of Tylenol. Off to get my stomach pumped.
Despite having several blood relatives (including my godfather) who spent their time on North Campus, when megangoblue and I drove by it last week I was like, "ha, this is where BlueDragon went to class".
Honest question, have you been to Bloomington? It's very nice (the SPEA building looks a lot like old-school North Campus, though). I'm on the Fort Wayne campus next semester, which isn't nearly as nice.
The last time I was in Bton was in high school. I know people who go or have gone to school there and they turned out OK as far as I know. IU Jacobs SOM has four bands and four orchestras!
And the 3 blocks that constitutes anything around it. But there's not much and it's like 9 hours away from anything else that matters.
I work in a restaurant up around north campus...
That said, I'm glad I lived in Squad my freshman year and that I have lived on Central Campus ever since. North Campus scares me.
I had to drop a class this semester because it was so depressing to go to North Campus. Nothing good architecturally came of the post-WWII years.
Michigan has been struggling to integrete N Campus since the day it was acquired, and has continually failed. I wish the trustees had the foresight in 1952 to buy up land east of Geddes instead.
I know a couple people who chose other art schools because they didn't want to be isolated on North Campus. Atmosphere makes such a difference in your college experience, and North Campus has all the college charm of a commuter school.
You can't really flatly make claims about North lacking college charm. When I think of how much I love UM, the two things I think of(in order) are the Big House and then walking about North Campus. So while you might not enjoy it, I certainly do and am sure there are others that would agree with me.
I lived on North Campus my freshman year, and despite my initial distaste for the area, I really grew to love it. It's beautiful up there—that should not be understated in my opninion—and I'm actually a big fan of the architecture (the engineering schools/Dude library are some very cool buildings, and the Lurie bell tower and IOE building/fountains are two of my favorite locations on campus outside the Diag, Union and the Big house).
However, best part of living on North campus as a freshman is the experience. Yes, it's inconvenient to have to take the buses, but once you figure out the system it's fairly easy. But, the fact that you are on north campus helps build a great community. The shared 'misfortune' of being on north campus gives everyone a similarity, which leads to some great friendships.
A lot of people complain about North, but I never—or at least, to the extent of my memory—heard a single person who has lived up there complain about North Campus. Quite the contrary actually, almost everyone who I've talked to who lived on north loved it. It's almost always the people who live on Central, who are scared by the prospect of taking the buses anywhere, or by waking up 15 minutes earlier than they would have before. I've lived on Central for the last 2 years, and I wouldn't want to live on North again, but as a freshman it's a great option, and I definitely not change it if I could now.
I can understand if you don't like the architecture of north, more modern architecture is not for everyone, but it isn't just seen on north—Ross Business School comes to mind, and you can't even compare North to the architecture seen in the LSA buidling (not Angell Hall, the administrative building) and Dennison, which are very ugly buildings in my honest opinion. And, the open areas and woods on north are really nice. I still go up there for late night studying, as the Dude is one of my favorite places to study on campus, despite not being an Engineer/Architect/etc.
Spark Notes: I like North Campus a lot, and people rip on it too much.
I spent a vast majority of my time in class on NC, but lived 3/4 years on SC. NC has its drawbacks, but architecture isn't one of them. Have you ever seen the FXB or Eng. Coll building, library or Lurie Bell Tower? Tell me how these are any less appealing that Dennison, UgLi, East Hall, Inst. for Social Research, Student Activities Building or LS&A building.
Also, Geddes runs East-West, so it might have been difficult to purchase property east of it.
Flim Flam! That place is SO awful, it's legendary. Super cheap, though.
Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but Film flam has gone out of business.
Man, you move out of state and a few months later everything you know becomes a lie.
I love the log ride and show area. The North part of the park is much better than all of the coasters, and where the chicks are.
BlueDragon (OP), I'm glad you have fond memories of your NC experience. There are some nice spots up there (especially around the music school).
Here are *my* memories:
* Taking a @%#$ing bus at least once a day to NC from Central Campus (enginerd as an undergrad). Often uncomfortable, always at least a little time wasted ...
* Walking from the bus stop to Dow/EECS. This was before trees and nice new buildings. Yuck.
* Very few women ... need I say more?
* In cases where I had a car, parking in a muddy commuter lot and walking by the Aero complex on my way to class. Scenic! (Not ...)
Would I do it again? Sure -- I was very pleased with my engineering program. Sure wished it could have been in the old East Engin / West Engin buildings, though ...
I didn't mind the bus rides as much. They gave me a chance to think. The bus routes could be brutally timed though, in the evenings or the weekends, so having a car or at least a bike with gearshifts became important to me for flexibility on NC.
Architecturally NC these days has its moments. There was construction that went on in some part of the complex the whole time I went to school there, in addition to periodic tree trimmings, and one time they even did a controlled burn of the forest brush immediately south of Northwood III and north of the engineering buildings. The new bus stop is good, the column by the art and design building not so good, and some of the engineering complex buildings and fountains are cool. I like the Walgreen Drama Center (the building with the green cube attached) since it created a lot more rehearsal and performance space for performing arts students when it was completed. I got to perform, rehearse, and go to classes and concerts there. The music building itself is bricks and lockers, and large empty rooms with chairs and music stands. It's good for what it's intended to do but it isn't an architectural wonder in its own right. The picture windows in the 2nd floor classrooms and lounge are decent though, and there's good reading spaces and materials in the library to work.
the old engineering buildings.............I had to point it out the old 'artifacts' to the tour guide. It did, however, bring back pleasant memories when a girl friend at the time pointed out to me the clever formulas, i.e. the 'heat of the meat' times the 'mass of the ass' equals...., wanna be engineers had scrawled on the walls at the time..............
I was on north campus for two years (03-05) and loved my time in the architecture building. 3rd floor was always lively every night of the week even into the wee hours of the morning. Commuting in from Canton everyday it was always an adventure getting up early enough to grab a spot in the dirt lot. Most of the time it meant parking 10 minutes away and walking to class sometimes in the bitter cold. The late night walks were even better after the bus routes had stopped.
It was a bit ironic studying architecture in one of the (if not the) worst buildings in the entire university as far as architectural mechanical systems go. Hot in the summers. Frigid in the winters...but it was home for two years. The best (and most physically and intellectually challenging) two years of my life.
We were apart from the main campus but we were still Michigan fergodsakes! Best part was having Big Ten burritos on hand at Pierpont!
Good times I will always remember and cherish forever.
The Third Floor... where legends are born.
I lived in the Bur-lodge freshman year. The bus schedule on the weekend is brutal, and almost caused us to miss the kickoff of the Colorado game in 97.
However, I made lifelong friends so I guess it was worth it.
I lived in 5th Ham freshman year ('96). Met several friends that I still keep in close touch with. Hung out with a roving band of Hippie chicks... good times. There were definately plenty of secluded spots to spark one.
I was happy to live off cental campus for the rest of my time there though. I just wasn't meant to be an engineer I guess.
I got accepted last week, and to be completely honest I reaaaaally prefer not to be stuck on North Campus as a freshman..Obviously it's all Michigan and I'm not going to bitch too much, but I've heard all freshmen will be on North next year, so I'm hoping that information proves to be false. Anybody know more on this topic?
to North campus has been the drill for 30+ years.
Majority absolutely, but I personally know a few kids from the past few classes living on Central Campus their freshman years.
I'm a senior, and from what I've heard Baits 2 is going to be closed next year, which would mean more Freshman would live on Central Campus I would think. That being said, Markeley is all Freshmen, and East/West/South Quad always have Freshmen, and Oxford too (although that might be worse than North Campus). I don't think Michigan would ever put all Freshman on North, at least not any time soon
Thank you very much!
I know less than 20 years ago there were freshmen all over the Hill, and Central Campus dorms.
That's just not true. The Hill is full of freshmen, and there are plenty scattered throughout East/West/South Quad as well.
Anybody saying that NC has no girls is clearly an engineer, not a musician. I'm pretty sure the School of Music has more women than men.
I love North Campus and lived there for four years (Highlands!). I miss walking around by the Huron River behind Baits I and playing Mafia on Friday nights in Baits II. I don't know about the engineering and art schools, but the SoM is a really tight-knit community. Plus, there's some great food if you can find it (Broadway Cafe, anyone?).
The Bur-Lodge cafeteria had some pretty good food I recall. Certainly better than what they served up at South Quad.
This is true - Bursley probably has the best food of any dining hall. I lived in Baits, so that was the only time I had to go to Bursley (fortunately - I really didn't like that place otherwise).
>> I don't know about the engineering
Well that much is obvious. :)
Let me describe my time on NC for you: go to class, go to work, study & do homework, get 5-6 hours of sleep, repeat.
I have had decent paying jobs since graduation and stuff, but I'm not sure I ever want to work that hard again.