The Student News Site of Northern Michigan University

The North Wind

The North Wind

The North Wind

Meet the Staff
Molly Birch
Molly Birch
Editor-In-Chief

My name is Molly, and I am in my second year at NMU. I come from Midland, MI, probably one of the most boring places on earth. However, we do have the only Tridge in the world, so that’s pretty nifty...

The North Wind Editorial Sessions
About us

The North Wind is an independent student publication serving the Northern Michigan University community. It is partially funded by the Student Activity Fee. The North Wind digital paper is published daily during the fall and winter semesters except on university holidays and during exam weeks. The North Wind Board of Directors is composed of representatives of the student body, faculty, administration and area media.

Opinion-- A list of regrets before I graduate
Opinion-- A list of regrets before I graduate
Sal WiertellaMarch 1, 2024

What makes someone a Yooper anyway?

In the recent Huffington Post article, “You’ve Probably Never Heard Of A Yooper, But Here’s Why You’ll Wish You Were One,” the author Kate Abbey-Lambertz lists 15 things that define a true Yooper.

Emily Pagel: News Editor
Emily Pagel: News Editor

The article stems from the fact that the term “Yooper” is officially being added to the 2014 Merriam-Webster dictionary. “Yooper” will be defined as a native or resident of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. I am a native Michigander, born in Sterling Heights and raised in the small farming community of Sandusky. (Not to be confused with Sandusky, Ohio. We don’t have a theme park with giant roller coasters.)

But I’ve lived in the Upper Peninsula since 2008, which under the definition makes me a yooper, if not at least an honorary one.Living in Marquette, I feel we are almost excluded from much of the culture that is Yooper nation. We are the largest city in the Upper Peninsula, standing at 21,532 residents, I wonder how muddled our version of Yooperism is.

I must admit I adore the Yooper dialect, if not at least an admiration for the word “eh.” When I travel out of state people often think I’m Canadian.

Story continues below advertisement

But, to be honest, I feel most of my day-to-day interaction with the Yooper dialect is others making fun of it. I have to travel out of Marquette and into the backwoods of Ishpeming to really notice anyone with a thick dialect. Some Yoopers just know how to say it better than others.

Pot pies used to be my favorite food as a kid, until I discovered the pasty. Pot pie in handheld form, yes please.

I’ve learned there is no such thing as too much ketchup on a pasty. And homemade is better than anything frozen or that you can buy at Jean Kay’s. (Though they will suffice, when I need my quick fix.)

As a kid I knew the Upper Peninsula to be the hunting destination by trolls like myself. It wasn’t until I started to attend NMU that I realized its also known well for its conservation.

From the Hiawatha National Forest and Save the Wild U.P. to National Wildlife Federation, Yoopers everywhere are preserving the land they love. NMU even has its own conservation on campus with the Native Plants study area. I’ve traveled every corner of Michigan and have yet to find a place as beautiful as the U.P.

Lake Superior may be vengeful and freezing 365 days a year, but it’s also the place where I met my best friend.

A place to walk. To think. To breathe.

Marquette beaches comfort me, I’m sure any Yooper can agree.

Waking up to see sunrise at Picnic Rocks or driving out to see the Northern Lights at Little Presque, the waves of Lake Superior follow.

For me, being a Yooper is more than sporting a “U.P. Someplace Special” sweater or slapping a “Yooper Pride” bumper sticker on my car.

It’s the sense of community and respect I have for the largest city in the Upper Peninsula. Its more than adding “eh” to the end of every sentence and “MQT” is more than three letters plastered onto everything; it’s home.

I suppose I am a “Trooper,” raised a troll, reformed to a Yooper, the best of both peninsulas in this great state of Michigan.

More to Discover