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216 Park Avenue
Petoskey, MI 49770

Come enjoy Downtown Petoskey on Lake Michigan and Little Traverse Bay with unique shops and restaurants in the Gaslight Shopping District. Serving Bay Harbor, Bay View, Harbor Springs, Walloon Lake and Emmet County.


Returning from College

Andi Symonds

January 10, 2018


 For various reasons, all of my appointments and interviews cancelled today, so I sat in the studio, looked out the window for a bit, and decided lunch was a good option. I sat down, ordered, and to my surprise a young man, I know, sat next to me, and I quickly realized he was home from school. Well, let’s say, home for the holidays. Not starting classes for a couple of days, he decided to hang out and enjoy the environs of a familiar stomping ground.

It gave me pause to remember my undergrad days and how many times young people – most young people - looked forward to home cooking, someone else doing laundry, and no homework. My own children would return and sleep for hours simply because they could.

Gaslight Sunset 7.jpg

Within the confines of Downtown Petoskey, these returning students offer a welcome relief to staffs of all businesses shouldering the excess weight of winter tourism. The young folk come back to be your server, bartender, cashier, or cook, or anything else that may require an extra staff. Their familiarity with the business at hand makes for a quick turnaround in assistance to customers without the need of extensive orientation. In other words, the returning student falls right back into place.

Photo from North Perk Coffee Facebook

Photo from North Perk Coffee Facebook

 It’s also a treasure to listen to their adventures, especially after the first semester of a freshman year. The stories of bad food, difficult classes, and having to do laundry, (oh my!) pilfer through frozen ears of parents and others having lived that life, or now just wanting to relax back into a routine of empty-nest-hood. But really, the stories are treasures. The eyes of the student loom large as they describe being on their own and learning of a life they’ve only heard about or fantasized would be so carefree.

Downtown Petoskey is always a returning home to so many of these students, and we should be grateful for their presence and hard work. Their new routines of life aren’t always easy, but their life becomes easier when we welcome them back with open arms and warm wishes. 

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