Welcome to college in Minnesota. No matter if you’re brand new around here and still have a tan, or you’re a long-time local, you’re in for a real treat.
To help get you all settled in and ready for the frozen road ahead, we’ve put together this guide to prep you for a life around the state that puts the extra in extracurricular. So, whaddaryawaitingfor? Let's get into it.
Now, easily the most important thing to do once you get to Minnesota is to make some new friends. BUT, to make friends with a Minnesotan, you gotta know a thing or two about 'em. You can't just spout off a bunch of facts from the state's Wikipedia page about populations and state birds and all, you gotta go for a much deeper dive.
If you’re not already set on living in the dorms, you’re going to need to know where to lay your ever-growing head at night. So let’s talk about the hot rentals around the area.
According to Rentcafe, the state’s capital of St. Paul has one-bedroom apartments going for around $1,076/month. Minneapolis is a bit pricier, with one-bedrooms going for around $1,223/month, and two-bedrooms for around $1,635/month. But of course that’s right inside the city, and you can always find lower prices out in a number of nearby suburbs for a few hundred less.
PRO TIP: If you put two to three bunk beds in every room and grab a bunch more roommates, your rent will be dirt cheap!
To live among Minnesotans, it’s best if you understand them. So the first thing to know is that around here, folks speak their minds a little differently—with a big spoonful of passive-aggressive. For example, if you ask Karen what she thinks of your wild new hairstyle and she says, “that’s different” or someone calls your cooking "interesting," it's their polite way of saying "it’s terrible." It’s because people around here just don’t want to be mean, and it’s called "Minnesota Nice."
Of course it’s hard to ever really be mad at a Minnesotan with all their adorable quirks and that unique little accent. Here, words like “bag” and “flag” are pronounced more like "plague" through a strong blend of Canadian/Norwegian/American accents. And just like in the movie ‘Fargo’ (which is in North Dakota), you’re sure to hear a few "youbetchas" or "dontchaknows" out in some of the more rural areas.
But one of the most important things to remember is that around here a salad isn’t what you may think it is. In Minnesota, when a local ask you to bring a "salad" to a potluck or cookout, they're usually talking about a cream-based salad, like Jell-O salad, or ham salad, or, yes, Snickers salad. So show up with greens, carrots, and a vinaigrette and youbetcha you’ll be laughed at—only in a nice way.
Now that you’re getting all nice and settled into Minnesota life, it’s time to focus on those studies. But everyone knows how distracting roommates, video games, and fridges can be when you’re trying to focus. So why not try some of the great sights and local hot spots for a little study sesh? Here’s a few places we recommend:
One of the best things about college is the weekends. And Minnesota is a gorgeous state with a ton of incredible things to do, see, smell, and eat. So why not soak it all in? Here’s a few of our favorite local things to do:
Maybe you know what field you want to go into after graduation, or maybe you’re still undeclared. Either way, we’re so sure you’re going to want to stick around after the ceremony that we should probably talk about the local market and which careers are hot right now around town.
You already know that Minnesota has a bustling metro area, but the state also has 17 Fortune 500 companies including UnitedHealth Group, CHS, 3M, and Best Buy. Plenty of employment opportunities are created by these companies alone, but what does the job market as a whole look like?
For starters, the local unemployment rate is a low 3.1%, which is down from the 7.9% it was back in 2009, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The state's minimum wage is also a couple dollars higher than the federal figure, at $9.65/hour, according to minimum-wage.org. All great news so far.
Some of the fastest-growing job fields, as listed by Zippia, include home health aide, personal care assistant, operations analyst, nurse practitioner, massage therapist, credit counselor, and physical therapist. The highest-paying jobs around here include OB/GYN, psychiatrist, general practitioner, dentist, CEO, nurse anesthetist, benefits manager, and architect.
Can you work with those? If not, nothing to worry about, the opportunities around here are as plentiful as the lakes.
All right folks, there you have it—your supremely helpful, though far-from-complete, guide to the Minnesota college life. It's true that we can't pack in absolutely everything that's important to consider before making a huge cross-country move, but we hope we helped you get the ball rolling.
Good luck. Youbetcha we'll be rooting for you.