Institutional Spotlight: University of Michigan

by Jaynab Akhtar

   One of the first things people think about when they hear “University of Michigan”  is football. The other thing they will most likely think is “Oh, it’s such a big school.” The University of Michigan is more than just Big 10 athletics and huge lecture halls, however. As a freshman who is close to completing her first semester at Michigan (haha...finals!) I’ve found a place for myself at this world-class institution.

To debunk a few myths, the entire school is not football-crazy. Yes, weekend tailgating parties are rather rambunctious affairs, but academics comes first for most students. Libraries and study spots are utilized just as much on weekends as they are during exams. In a similar vein, there is absolutely no pressure to attend parties or join Greek life if that isn’t your cup of tea. It is perfectly possible to find your own way of acclimatizing and fitting in.

A fear most incoming students have is that they will be physically lost on campus or will become an unknown face in a lecture hall. A free bus system for students provides transportation throughout campus, and Google Maps never fails! Lecture halls are another manageable experience; many professors pause throughout lectures to answer questions and keep students engaged; they are also accessible during office hours, and genuinely care about fostering communication with students and addressing concerns. Most lectures are also split into smaller discussion sections that delve deeper into topics to help increase students’ understanding, and study groups and tutoring centers are available for additional support.

The city of Ann Arbor is also a great place for trying out restaurants, catching a performance at a theatre, or exploring museums. Just make sure you’re balancing downtime with schoolwork! The workload and intensity of classes can be challenging at times, but it definitely teaches you to manage time and prioritize things. The University of Michigan isn’t perfect, but it’s a great place to be. Go Blue!
The Law Quad at the University of Michigan

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