Go Blue. For many, just two words, or a well-known phrase. For me, these two words inspired me throughout high school. In the spring of my freshman year, my brother decided to attend the University of Michigan as a Ross School of Business pre-admit. From my first visit to Ann Arbor with him, I knew I wanted to be “a leader and the best.” I fell in love with the town, the culture, and of course, the #73 sandwich from Zingerman’s.

When you’re a senior, people tell you that everyone ends up where they are supposed to be. They tell you not to set your heart on one school, because the process is unfair sometimes. They tell you that you’ll be happy wherever you gpo. For me, I didn’t believe any of it. I knew that there was only one place for me to go to college. When that day came, December 18th 2015, I have never been so anxious for anything in my entire life. I struggled to pay attention in class, and could not stop refreshing the wolverine access page. As I walked out of math class, and opened my acceptance letter, it was the best feeling I have ever experienced.

It started out as an obsession. Wearing a different Michigan shirt to sleep every night, or watching every sport game Michigan was playing in. It was a far-fetched dream. It started to become real my junior year of high school. When I replaced my Saturdays of watching Big 10 football games with practice ACT’s and homework. I promised myself that I would never be the girl who let her dreams derail her. But I was. I put an immense amount of pressure on myself every time I walked into that room to take the standardized test; I thought at the time would literally kill me. Test after test, I walked out feeling defeated. I let my hopes of going to my dream school cloud my brain and I thought it was over.

If this process taught me anything it’s that you are more than just an ACT score, or an unweighted GPA. College counselors often talk about using holistic review, and wanting students that are well balanced. I never realized how much this was accurate until the day my dreams come true. To anyone who has experienced anything like what I have, don’t give up. I know this sounds preachy, but if you have a dream, don’t let one thing stop you from achieving it. Your ACT score might not be ideal, but look at the whole package, don’t limit yourself to a number on a computer screen.

Throughout the years, I have seen the University through my brother and his experiences. Now, being here, I have been able to make my own memories, and live the life of a U of M student. Looking back on it, it was silly. I could’ve ended up at any of the other schools I applied to, and been happy. But there’s something about this place. It’s the way you feel when you walk through the diag. The kids around you in your classes. The teachers that end each class with yelling go blue. The energy in the Big House on any given Saturday. It’s what makes this place so special, it's why I had to be here.