CM’s Guide to the University of Michigan

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Welcome to the holy grail of public universities. The University of Michigan has dominated the college scene since being founded almost two centuries ago. Just like Eminem, it all started in Detroit, MI before moving to Ann Arbor. While our guide from last year gave you the basics of how badass our school happens to be, this guide takes on a fresh perspective from our large, snowy campus.

Overall Experience

“The University of Michigan has been eye opening. I’ve built a tightly-knitted friend group that I’m sure is meant to last a lifetime or two. At the same time, being a Detroiter usually surrounded by people who look like me, I’ve experienced what it truly feels like to be the odd-one-out.”

— Lamontre Jackson, Sports Management major, Class of 2017

“It was certainly an adjustment being a small town girl. Michigan is such a huge university it’s easy to lose yourself in the crowd. But, the longer I’ve been here, the better my experiences have gotten.”

–Emily Batdorf, Program in Environment major, Class of 2016

“The university certainly has its ups and downs. We can work on being more inclusive of other people. I feel that overall it’s been tough, but definitely fun and worthwhile. There’s a balance about it that I’ve come to love.”

— Deashia Johnson, Psychology major, Class of 2018

“My experience at Michigan has literally been like rocky road ice-cream. There’s been some hard times, and when you think you got the hang of it, you’re whacked in the face with something else. Rocky road all over again. But I love to hate it here.”

— Purabi Devi, Sociology major, Class of 2016

“Being here has been an enlightening experience for me. It’s a wonderful school. There are great resources to take advantage of and amazing professors. On the other hand, I also can’t help but acknowledge the systems of privilege and oppression that are in place, and it’s such a big problem. We are a liberal school, but it’s surprising that we still have people who can roam around completely unaware or uncaring of those systems that keep us segregated.”

— Tierra Christian, Undeclared, Class of 2018

Student Scale

Quality of academics: A-

Professors: A –

Classes: B+

Quality of social Life: A-

Extracurriculars: A+

Greek Life: B-

The Vibe: Proud Scholars Prepared for Success

Regardless if our campus resembles a wolf pack of obnoxious frat bros and a symphony of raspy-voiced sorority girls, we’re still prepared for success. We’re the number one public research university in the U.S. with the most wins in college football history, as well as the birthplace of Java Script. Academics? Check. Athletics? Check. To uninformed outsiders, we’re often seen as a clan of nerds with scotch taped glasses and pocket squares filled with used Kleenex. In whatever way we are viewed, our success individually and collectively, can’t be denied.

What it feels like to Go Here

When you’re a wolverine, you come to know the bittersweet taste of school life all too well. You won’t know the meaning of “struggle” until you’ve spent several consecutive nights in the Fish Bowl scrambling to finish three final papers all due the next day. But the social scene makes up for those sleepless nights. Whether you’re one who fancies a good drink or you’d rather see a culture show, the campus always provides hidden gems, you just have to dig for them. You might not want to go outside when the Michigan winter hits, but walking to the stadium on football Saturdays in the cold October air and hearing the excited cheers of Go Blue radiating around you, somehow makes everything worth it in the end. On a serious note, sometimes the climate can shift to politicized debates, activism and social movements started by minority communities. It can be overwhelming at times, but it can also be what grounds you in your own self-identification.

Never Have I Ever…

1. How much are students partying?

Nearly every weekend you can find a gang of students going out to Rick’s, Skeeps or Charlies — aka the holy trinity. Upperclassmen who think they’ve upgraded to a classier partying status head to bars on Main Street, like Rush and the Raven. Moral of the wolverine story: work hard, play hard.

2. What will you get in trouble for at your school?

Plagiarism. The university may be liberal on a lot of fronts, but academic dishonesty won’t even be remotely tolerated. Oh, you’re studying feminism in South Asia in one of your classes? But you’ve already written a paper on feminism in India that you got an A last semester. I know what you’re thinking, I can just change the date and course title and turn this in again. Negative.

3. How much sex are students having?

On average, students may be doing the horizontal tango probably 2-3 times a week. Well, at least that’s about the amount of times a week I hear my neighbor’s bed creaking in the middle of the night, followed by sounds that usually scare me half to death.

Top 5 Quirks

1. Football is life, and you’ll feel the same even if you don’t like football. You don’t have a choice.

2. Art Fair taking over the campus during the summer for about a week, but it actually feels like four weeks.

3. Political activism and movements: #BBUM, Die-In and candle light vigils.

4. Zingerman’s: every wolverine must go. Again, you don’t get a choice.

5. Spring Music Fest: see Common and 2Chainz without breaking the bank.

Top 3 Majors

1. Economics

2. Psychology

3. Business

Bragging Rights

1. #4 Public School in the nation according to US. News & World Report Top Public Schools.

2. 13 presidential visits since 1892 as reported by The Ann Arbor News.

3. Launched the #BBUM movement initiated by members of the Black Student Union.

Getting In

Imagine attempting to go through airport security with scissors and a six ounce can of shaving cream. That’s about how easy it is to get into Michigan. Everyone likely had fabulous grades and met the average GPA requirement coming out of high school. However, grades are just the tip of the iceberg. A lot of value lies within community involvement that sets you apart from all of the other 3.8 GPA applicants. So, along with your grades, your performance outside of class must be impeccable. If you were the major in the marching band, the president of yearbook club or even the unofficial captain of your water polo team, that unique touch and leadership puts you way ahead of the pack in your application. “Everyone here has the grades, but it’s really what they did outside of the grades that probably made the difference between them getting in and not the other guy or girl,” senior Lamontre Jackson said. Show the admissions board that you’re more than just another common app that flows through their system.

Senior at the University of Michigan studying English and psychology, and minoring in gender studies and entrepreneurship. Love expressing my sexuality and fashion, and hope to one day be the Editor-in-Chief of my own fashion magazine.

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