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East Lansing 101: Your guide to surviving the fall semester at Michigan State University


If absence really does make the heart grow fonder, then Greater Lansing should be just about head-over-heels in love this week with the thousands of students who reconverged on Michigan State University for the first (almost normal) Welcome Weekend since before the pandemic.

By Friday afternoon, Grand River Avenue was once again filled with moving trucks, trailers and expensive SUVs — many with families parting ways with offspring who have studied remotely since 2019. Teenagers shuttled boxes, books and beer bongs into new dorms and apartments.

Beneath plumes from fruity disposable vape pens, troops of girls in white sneakers and high-waisted denim shorts marched alongside boys with short shorts and backwards caps — many also sporting MSU lanyards, t-shirts, drawstring bags and their favorite Greek letters. The sound of a single die could be heard rattling off tables that their parents used for beer pong. Lines around Harpers Restaurant & Brewpub, of course, stretched more than a full city block.

College students, for better or for worse, have returned in full force to East Lansing. And to help them navigate the fall semester, City Pulse has put together this guide to the best spots to turn up, turn down and generally make the most of the fall semester on campus. Enjoy.

Top 10 hangout spots in and around campus

A night at the Graduate - the most meticulous hotel in East Lansing

Best eats and drinks in and near East Lansing

Where to find just about anything in East Lansing and beyond

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