Us Michigan students are a rare breed. We study hard, party hard, and most importantly, love our school more than anything else in the world. There’s nothing like the sea of blue and maize on game day mornings, and seeing everyone come together to root for their favorite football team. However, the Michigan culture goes far beyond school spirit.
As a University embedded into the city of Ann Arbor, it has unique qualities you just can’t find on any other campus. There is no Ann Arbor without the University of Michigan, and no Michigan without the city of Ann Arbor. Us students have a common understanding, as we know all the secret treasures and beauties of living on this campus. Here are 15 things about college life you can only truly understand as a Michigan student.
1. Amer’s Taste Testers
Amers Delicatessen is a restaurant that serves everything under the sun. Whether you’re in the mood for omelets, sandwiches, salads, acai bowls, frozen yogurt, French fries, smoothies, crepes, or just a cup of coffee, Amers is the place to go. However, It’s almost impossible not to taste test every single frozen yogurt flavor while waiting for your meal to come. Were all guilty of doing it at one point or another, and most of us students help ourselves to taste testers every single time we walk in. With the perfect amount of frozen yogurt in each small cup, Amers is the best place to get a small bite that satisfies your sweet tooth.
2. Obsession with Fat Squirrels
I know every campus tour discusses how their college is known for squirrel watching, and has a plethora of clubs centered around these creatures. However, Michigan squirrels take it to a whole new level. These fat little animals don’t only eat everything in sight, but aren’t afraid of human contact.They will come right up to you without a care in the world, and certainly aren’t camera shy.
3. Size Large at Espresso Royale
Naturally, you’re going to find a coffee shop on every corner of Ann Arbor. Some people are Starbucks addicts, other prefer a quick cup of coffee in the library. However, I personally am an Espresso Royale fanatic. If there’s one thing to know about this shop, it’s that their large iced coffee is the size of my face. It’s enormous, delicious, and will keep you wired for an entire week.
4. The Ref Room
Everyone has their favorite place to buckle down and study on campus. However, the ref room provides a “home away from home” for many students, a place to hibernate for hours on end. With its long wooden tables and silent atmosphere, it’s easy to study with friends while being productive at the same time.
5. Zingerman’s Sandwich
There’s simply nothing like it. The Zingerman’s menu is a crowd pleaser in itself, and amazes me every time I see it. Everyone has their favorite sandwich, whether it be the #73, #18, or #84. They’re all legendary, and if you haven’t enjoyed one of their massive sandwiches yet, you’re doing something wrong.
6. Mden On a Friday
With the crazy spirit on campus comes the constant need for Michigan Apparel. Every student has shopped in, or at least walked by Mden on state street, a two floor store filled with any Michigan merchandise one could possible imagine. However, if you think that buying a cute outfit on the Friday afternoon before the game is a good idea, think again. It is a zoo, with a guaranteed checkout line that wraps around the entire store. Think ahead, and shop in advance!
7. Dressing up like You’re Going to a Club For a Sports Bar
“Skeeps”, a famous sports bar known by every upperclassman, is a social hot spot. At any other college, one would throw on a comfy sweatshirt and jeans to go to a sports bar. However, its members put on their cutest clothes and trendiest heels to show up here. Although it’s not expected, it’s a known fact that everyone dresses like they're going clubbing to socialize at Skeeps.
8. Pizza House Cheesy Bread
Pizza house has a special place in the hearts of all hungry Michigan students. It’s an iconic restaurant, one that satisfies everyone’s late night munchies. When looking at the menu, there’s one item that every single person sitting at the booth always agrees on, cheesy bread. With a side of Mariana sauce, it’s the prettiest dish I’ve ever seen. There will never be a time I am not craving this beautiful creation, and am grateful to have discovered its magic.
9. The Smell of Revive
If you plan on avoiding the freshman 15 and want to take a healthier route, Revive is the cure to all your problems. With its sandwiches and make your own salads, it’s impossible not to love this cute little restaurant. However, its known for one thing above all else, its smell. Everyone around you will know if you ate at Revive because the smell of the restaurant will follow you wherever you go for days.
10. The Diag
If there’s one thing you saw on your tour of Michigan, it was the diag. As the center of campus, people walk through the Diag once, twice, or multiple times throughout a day. There is always something happening here, whether it be student’s promoting clubs/organizations, rallies, or just people lounging around. If you don’t know what the Diag is, you are not a true Michigan student.
11. Fishbowls at Good Time Charley’s
After a long week of classes, it is known that students enjoy kicking back while drinking Fishbowls at Good Time Charley’s. These massive drinks are a staple for the restaurant and a fun to meet friends for some happy hour fun. Don’t forget to order the blue fishbowl!
12. The Markley Wind Tunnel
Many of the freshman are placed in one dorm, Mary Markley Hall. As if the winters aren’t cold enough in Ann Arbor, there is a strong wind tunnel under the ark that's unavoidable. The coldness is a slap to the face, so make sure to bundle up and always look down!
13. Painting the Rock
There is a massive rock present on the corner of Washtenaw Street. Multiple times a day, students come to the rock and paint over the entire thing with any color, design, or message they want. The actual rock is hidden under so many layers of paint that it's grown significantly in size. If you pass the rock more than once a day, it’s very likely it will have a different design each time.
14. Weddings in the Law Quad
An autumn afternoon in the law quad is a picture perfect sight, and everyone knows it. This is why when you walk through this Hogwarts style location, you are bound to see a couple exchanging their vows. The post-card worthy scenery is like no other, and while the weather is still nice and warm, couples love to get married here.
15. Don’t Step on The M
There's been a myth present at the University of Michigan since the beginning of the time. In the middle of the Diag there is a golden M on the ground. Rumor has it if you accidentally step on the M, you will fail your first college, or "blue book" exam. The notion resonates with each student deeply, and no one dares to step on the M within their academic years at the University. Do it if you dare and learn the hard way, but personally, I recommend avoiding the M at all costs.