The University of Michigan - Ann Arbor
The University of Michigan - Ann Arbor - Comments and Student Experiences|
My only reservation about Michigan is that it markets itself as "The Leaders and Best" which isn't something a school that legitimately has the Leaders and Best would have to say (e.g. Stanford, Harvard, Princeton, etc.). Furthermore, most of the programs here are only really well ranked because of the graduate school rankings. Many undergraduate programs are significantly worse (though still above average) in comparison.
Outside of Engineering and Ross, U of M is merely above average. I would rank the 3 most important schools as follows: LSA is comparable to USC, Engineering is comparable to Berkeley, and Ross is comparable to Duke.
Also, if you think that U of M students are less intelligent than you expected, YOU'RE HANGING OUT WITH THE WRONG U OF M STUDENTS.
I've noticed that many English, Nursing, Arts, (Insert group here) Studies, etc. students on StudentsReview like to complain that they're not being intellectually stimulated. THAT'S BECAUSE YOU'RE IN THE WRONG CLASSES. If you think Math 115 is too easy, take Math 185 (Honors Calc 1). If you thought your english classes were a blowoff, try taking an engineering class like EECS 281 and then tell me how you feel.
The fact of the matter is, easier classes attract a lower student intelligence population. Don't take IGR, WS, DAAS, or any other Bullshit department classes if you want to challenge yourself intellectually.
For those that are in Engineering and Ross and still think they're not being challenged, you're probably experiencing the Dunning-Kruger effect, but in case you're not, there still exist outlets for highly successful peer groups.
I'd suggest 2 of the business fraternities (90%+ of people in AKPsi or PCT could get into Bulge Bracket firms), most entrepreneurial organizations (e.g. MPowered, Shift, StartUM, etc.) or start your own venture (I know tons of students who've started their own businesses), join a consulting group (these tend to have highly competitive admissions), or just take very difficult classes (e.g. Math 217, EECS 381, etc.). On the whole, U of M benefits greatly from having such a large student body because it provides such a breadth of student quality and experience. Your experience here varies greatly depending on where you see yourself and how much effort you put into college. Go Blue!
Honestly, don't allow it to fool you: the university is a predominantly white institution that expects relentless praise for its few social justice efforts (ex. a presentation about micro-aggressions). The campus's LGBTQ environment amounts to a few organizations and a nightclub that has a "gay night." Never mind the fact that most students spew sexist, racist, heteronormative, classist, and/or transphobic comments on a daily basis. Personally, I've never experienced so much blatant homophobia in my life, and my town is easily the most reactionary in its county.
This segues into the next problem: the student body. Dear Christ, has there ever been a more complacent, egotistical student body? Excluding the Ivy League, of course. However, unlike the Ivy League, gaining admission here is not a significant accomplishment. The academic requirements are above-average. The slogan "Leaders and the Best" is just that?a slogan! Tragically, most students believe they ARE leaders and the best...somehow. One would imagine that the students, at some point during their four years here, would listen to their peers' comments and observe their (lack of) academic passion and realize the superficiality of the slogan. Instead, you have the vast majority of students parading around as though everyone owes them everything. This doesn't even comment upon their collective classism and exclusionary behaviors. Obviously, not everyone here is like this, but most are?probably around 75% or so. Why subject yourself to that?
As for academics, they're lackluster. As others have noted, the graduate programs here excel and earn the school international renown. The undergrad programs, especially those involved with LSA, aren't anything special. Only one of my classes, an art history course, has challenged my perspective, and it's worth noting that this is my only class taught by a passionate professor. The others disappoint me. A GSI teaches my math class. Every time I bother to attend the "class"?I've given up hope on his ability to teach long ago?students correct his basic mistakes during notes. Then, he silently slumps around the room after he assigns group problems. Ugh. I'm currently in an upper-level English class, and my professor (yes, professor, not GSI) consistently confuses "its" with "it's." Worse yet, she often fails to remember characters' names and their roles from the novels we read. How the hell does the university have the audacity to brand itself as a world-class undergraduate institution when it employs village idiots as professors?!
Thus, one might ask what the positives are. Ann Arbor. It's very beautiful and has several amazing restaurants, bookstores, shops, etc. There are also several nice nature areas engrained around the city. It's a wonderful location to live as an adult. The university's campus itself is also quite stunning, though it feels like a perpetual construction site. But you can at least enjoy the areas that aren't currently polluted by noise.
The academics are also very easy, so that might appeal to a certain type of slacker. The entire place feels like a high-end resort that's filled with snobby suburbanites. Don't expect your experience to be different if you're enrolling in LSA, excluding the obligatory mid-term "hell week."
I can easily state that enrolling here was one of my life's worst decisions. I blindly accepted the university's lies, but within my first week here, I realized that I had made a mistake. It's not the superior intellectual institution that it once was, nor is it the bastion of social and artistic progress it once was. Seriously, to future freshmen who have recently become disillusioned and are considering a transfer, do it! I allowed it a semester to prove its worth, and if anything, it only has further appalled me. At least apply to other universities now so that you have the option to transfer later. I didn't. Now I have to waste another semester here before I can transfer to a better university next fall. I have no idea how I'm going to survive another semester here.To reiterate: if you're a grad student, apply here; if you're an undergrad, apply to another university. To one that will treat you as an individual. To one that lacks an arrogant student body.
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