Feel that energy? It's a good thing - Houghton, Hancock and environs filled with young scholars.
I've lived in the Copper Country for almost five years now, so I feel I have some authority to share wisdom with our newest residents.
We have certain traditions here. Some of them are cultural, some of them simply logistical conventions brought about by geography and necessity.
Some of them will be taught to you. Some of them you will develop yourself alongside your friends and classmates, and those might even be the most meaningful ones.
First among them: Do not come to a stop in the Yooper Loop. You might not even know what that is yet, but don't do it.
Let me share a few other traditions of ours:
1. Breakfast. It's something I noticed within weeks of moving here, and not just because I lived across the street from the Suomi Restaurant. Breakfast is a big deal and there are restaurants just about everywhere that specialize in it. And still, if you want to get a table at one of them on a Sunday morning, be prepared to play some iPhone games to kill the time, because you're going to be waiting for a while.
2. Complaining about the weather. During the summer, you're entitled to complain that it's too hot. During the winter, you're entitled to complain it's too cold. During the spring? What is this spring of which you speak?
3. Overcoming the weather. For all the incessant whining about the weather, it changes very little in the way of actual life events. If you think your classes will be cancelled because we got 6 inches (of snow, of course), let's bust that perception right now. I will always remember the fact that Michigan Tech hosted two GLIAC Tournament basketball games in the middle of the ridiculous Leap Day Snowstorm of 2012 and nearly a thousand people made it, a significantly larger figure than the average attendance at every single school in the league.
4. Hockey. As you may have noticed, Houghton is the birthplace of professional hockey, not to mention the place where several folks you might have heard of (Esposito, for example) either got their education or got their clocks cleaned or both. Things are a little different this year, with the newly composed Western Collegiate Hockey Association and all, but that's not going to change the quality of play or your responsibility as students to enhance the quality of the environment.
You'll have a lot of help from the likes of the Michigan Tech Pep Band and fans of all ages, but you're often the deciding factor betwen a run-of-the-mill hockey night and getting the joint jumping.
Oh, and by the way, there's lots more than just hockey to watch. I recommend a sunny day spent watching Michigan Tech football and/or soccer at Sherman Field to anyone, particularly when the fall colors are painting the Portage. Inside the Student Development Complex, if you turn left, you'll find some very interesting Michigan Tech volleyball and basketball as well.
In fact, you might want to get outdoors and enjoy it for yourself and there are many opportunities to do just that.
5. Wit. This goes for more than just hockey fans. It's a good rule for everyone. Humor (or at the very least understanding) is often what greases the proverbial wheel that gets our community through the winter and into the April mud season. The F-bomb and other unprintables are not funny, particularly to the young Mom and Dad who are just trying to give their kids a chance to have a good time without having to give an impromptu anatomy lesson. Keep it clean and keep it fun.
Welcome, young scholars. We think you're going to like it here. I do. But, if there is just one piece of advice you remember from this column, it is: Please don't stop in the Yooper Loop.
Brandon Veale can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/redveale.