Despite daunting orientation sessions warning me of an inevitable breakdown, I made it through my first semester at the University of Michigan. Maybe it was Google Maps, maybe it was my ability to look like I knew what I was doing, but mostly I learned the ropes by messing up a few times. The best way I know how to live life is by diving headfirst with an undeniable amount of confidence in myself. But there are definitely some things I didn’t know in January that I’m glad I do now.
1. Ross is not a person, but a business school
If you’re looking for Ross you will never find him, no matter how loud you yell his name across the Diag.
2. Crosswalks at 10 a.m. on South U are merely light suggestions
Prepare to dodge death glares from angry drivers.
3. Heavy breathing in the law library is frowned upon. Flirting is slightly less frowned upon
Passing notes—not just for the third grade. Works like a charm.
4. Don’t for any reason, under any circumstances, ever, wear heels to class
I don’t care how cute they are, no shoes are worth blisters the size of Australia.
5. There is a Panda Express in the basement of the Union
Also, there is a basement in the Union.
6. Urban Outfitters does not accept Blue Bucks
Even if it did, you already spent all your money on 57 Odwalla bars.
7. Being surrounded by people who are smarter than you is a good thing
Class is a competition, baby. Win class.
8. If you run through the Arb around 7 p.m., you run the risk of being chased by a herd of deer
Nothing spikes your adrenaline quite like sprinting away from Bambi’s vengeful descendants.
9. The wolverine is not Michigan’s mascot. It’s the Canadian goose
Conformity fights frostbite, folks. Join the Canada Goose jacket cult.
10. Boldness is rewarded
Don’t be afraid to make the first move. If you want that guy’s number, pretend to be his No Thai delivery and get it.
11. If you’re not a certified hipster, some coffee shops will deny you at the door faster than Chris at Rick’s
Confidence is the key to conquering both. If you want your Americano in an authentic mug, stop whining and put on a beanie, damnit.
12. Frat boys often travel in packs more frequently than females
Bluetooth speakers are always in tow, along with unnecessary laughter.
13. North Quad is not the same thing as North Campus
Step off the bus. Your professor’s office hours are just around the corner.
14. Spending eight hours in the library isn’t unusual—It’s called Wednesday
Bring snacks if you want to survive. Maybe a pillow and blanket if you’re ambitious.
15. Making dinner is easy if you’re content with shoveling copious amounts of dry cereal into your mouth
Turns out the Special K Challenge doesn’t work when you eat the whole box.
16. If you pass a guy doting a leather satchel, he is most likely in law school
Befriend him. He can help you get into the coffee shops.
17. Always wear headphones en route. Music is optional
Develop a “Swagger Walk to Class” playlist. “Old Thing Back” should definitely make the cut.
18. When the sun comes out, so do the hammocks
Can’t find a tree? Post up on a porch.
19. Acai bowls are trendier than Adidas
If you want to secure your social status, go to Amer’s and order a Berry Bowl.
20. Change is only synonymous with growth if you let it be
Seek new experiences and challenges. Take it from me, it’s a complete blast.