It is spring break for all of the students at the University of Michigan. While a lot of people go on vacations with their friends and family, I spent the majority at home in sunny, Northern California. One day I went to Santa Cruz and went to the beach. While I was at the beach I was texting one of my friends from school, saying how nice the weather was and how much I love and miss the beach. Jokingly I said, “Why did I leave this place to go to Michigan?” “Because Michigan is the best school on earth…”
As most of my friends know, I love to complain. So whenever school is hard or the weather is not so nice outside, I mention something about why would I ever leave California since the weather is nice, my parents are close, and tuition is cheaper. Every time I say something like that I get the same response, from every person I talk to. It is something along the lines of Michigan being the best school on earth and reminding me of how many people would kill to have my spot here. They remind me of all of the fun times we have had and how sad I would be if I didn’t meet whoever is giving me this lecture.
The conversation always ends the same way. “Yes I know, you are right.”
While I was thinking about posting this article on one of my last days on campus before leaving for summer vacation in April (yes, school ends in April here), I think it can be most impactful if I post it now in an attempt to get the word out to college seniors deciding on which universities to attend next fall.
1. It pushed me out of my comfort zone
I have grown up in the same town my entire life. Most of the people who were in my kindergarten class were also in my graduating class. Of those people in my graduating class, a good 20% of them (my graduating class was 600 so this is a pretty big number) either went to Cal Poly, SDSU, Cal State Chico, UCSB or Cal. Four kids from my graduating class (including myself) went to Michigan. I didn’t have the advantage of knowing everyone when I walked on campus. I didn’t know my way around the town before move in day. I had to figure out everything on my own, I had to step out of my introverted bubble and make friends, I had to use google maps to walk to class because I didn’t know where to go. And while it was hard, I learned not only a lot about the town, but also a lot about myself.
2. It introduced me to so many new things
Most notably, football. Although it took me up until November to stay at the game for more than a quarter, I can finally understand when people make references about football and certain players and recognize Chris Evans when I see him walking around my building.
3. I met so many people I would have never met before
The diversity of people on the campus is crazy. One of my dearest friends is someone who lives in a similar suburb to mine an hour away. Another one of my close friends lives in a tiny town in the middle of nowhere in Michigan. One is from Montana. One from Chile. One from New York City. Northern California suburbia isn’t like this. Their perspectives and attitudes on life are so different and so refreshing to hear.
4. It inspired me to learn
Michigan is an innovative campus. People are constantly collaborating and coming up with ways to change the world. The professors at the University are some of the most renowned in their field. It is inspiring to sit in a lecture and listen to someone be so passionate about what they are talking about. They did go through 8 years of college in that subject. Most of them are even doing research in their field and tell you about it and give you the opportunity to talk to them and see what they are doing and how they are applying what you learn in the classroom in real life. A bit different from high school, huh.
Hopefully this post speaks to all you high school seniors, or Michigan current or past students reminiscing on college. Go Blue!