The University of Michigan - Ann Arbor
The University of Michigan - Ann Arbor - Comments and Student Experiences|
(1) There are two campuses, about 1.5 miles away, and busing between them on a daily basis is a pain in the booty; bus rides take 40 minutes round trip, including waiting, and they are often PACKED during peak class hours. (If you don't stand in the right place, then you may have to wait for another bus.) But ride the bus you will if you either (a) are planning to take a combination of liberal arts courses (Central Campus) and engineering/art/music/architecture courses, or (b) you are a liberal arts student who is placed in North Campus Housing. (fyi: Bursley, the north campus dorm rumored to be the third most populous dorm in the nation, is actually friendlier than those on Central Campus, and you will make lots of friends if you live there.)
Furthermore, if you are a commuter, then you may find yourself in need of eating lunch on the "other campus" (depending on your perspective) one day between classes. Don't expect to find anyone you know in the cafeteria, unless you bring them with you from your last class. But that is sometimes difficult because most people have another class to attend around lunch time.
(2) The dorm rooms themselves are nice enough, but don't plan to meet people through housing (unless you live in Bursley on North Campus, which seems to be the exception). Most people seemingly don't spend much time in their rooms, opting instead to go somewhere else for study, exercise, and relaxation. And you probably won't find too many open doors in your hall (again, unless you live in Bursley). And by the way, it is possible to get "bad" roomates here: one year, my roomate had the audacity to bring his girlfriend over on weekends and have sex in the room when he knew I'd be there. I told my RA, and he said something like, "Good luck working that one out!" And if you think that everything will work out ok because you are applying to live in "Honors Housing" in South Quad, then guess again: it's no different than living anywhere else! You are more likely to hear someone blasting "Wifey" by Next than you are to find a group of kids discussing Plato.
(3) During my time at UM, I was hard pressed to find people who actually cared about what they were studying; that is, if they had some free time, they would think about (that subject), whatever it is. Case in point: one Saturday morning, I walked into a dorm lounge to find some kids studying calculus for Calculus 112. I asked them what they were doing, and one of them replied something like, "Calculus 112. F*****g Calculus 112."
(4) Professors are nice, very knowledgeable, and speak English very well... but if you plan on taking 18 credits, then - between the possible busing, the walking across across campus, and your other classes - you very well may find it difficult to make it to any of their office hours.
(5) If you are an out of state student, then this place will cost you at least $30,000 a year (and rising). You can spend the same amount of money or less and GO TO SCHOOL AT A SMALL COLLEGE, avoiding all of the above problems, and getting in return smaller class sizes, more personal attention from the professors, conversations with people who don't have somewhere else they need to be in 5 seconds, and other students who actually (hopefully!) care about learning just for the sake of learning. (as opposed to learning for the sake of fulfilling a req or getting rich)If you are going to attend Michigan, my heart goes out to you. My advice to you is: do the best you can (go to classes, try to make office hours when you can, finish assignments, BE CURIOUS) and, by all means, join a student organization! If you do not join a student organization, then 9 times out of 10 you will be a loner at Michigan. There are 25,000 undergrads at Michigan; unless you plan on being friends with all of them (bad idea), then you need to find some way to make the school a little smaller.
The University of Michigan has good points. Many people respect the school, and graduation will guarantee success in future job opportunities, regardless. Ann Arbor is a nice town, with nice, open-minded people. There are some friendly people, but it takes some hunting. The facilities are nice, and money is spent lavishly. The campus is very safe. The professors are excellent. The academics are very easy, unless you're committed to a science-field, then prepare to work! I think more nicer, down-to-earth kids are in the sciences. If you don't like Ann Arbor, a bus to Ypsilanti is never too far away. That's about it.
The University has many, serious people issues. If you are not from a very rich, conservative community, and lived in a fairly average town, don't go here. Many kids hail from suburban Detroit, and the areas where most of the rich punks come from are Clarkston, Birmingham, West Bloomfield, Bloomfield Township and Grosse Pointe, among others. Others come from rich areas out-of-state, and internationally. Nothing is wrong with rich kids, mind you, except when they're arrogant, verbose, bratty and close-minded.
North Face, designer clothes and expensive, trendy backpacks and handbags dominate this campus. Mind you, I only saw one North Face jacket in high school. When I went shopping for a new jacket on campus, I found they cost $300-400. I got a Columbia at JCPenney that was just as good for $110...If kids do buy Columbia here, I find it's the expensive Titanium...The story of U of M. Ok, what's wrong with expensive clothes? I'll be frank: They are alienating, and generally say you're an a**hole. I can't say I've ever met a nice person who wore North Face! It's true!
Marry someone from high school if you do intend to come here. Ok, I'm exaggerating, but believe me. Most of the girls here either snooty, aggressive ie. type A, studious or generally untalkative and unfriendly. I had two b**chy girls like them at my high school. Now, b**chy girls are THE majority. I have a pompous aunt I hate who loves to brag at family get-togethers about her Benz and Cirque du Soleil, some play. My brother used to date a UM girl from Grosse Pointe, an affluent area. To illustrate how juvenile and sleazy she was, she once told my dad her father "wears more expensive cashmere sweaters than you." Would you want to marry that for the rest of your life?
Now, you could say I'm unfriendly. No. A lot of people pretend to not notice you walking down the street. So very rude and snobby. Nobody talks to one another in class. The discussions are filled with idiots who use words and arguments that sound smart, but don't facilitate communication and generally form a one-sided, pretentious dialogue. I knew smart kids from my high school, and I thought I'd meet smart kids at U of M, but apparently, they went somewhere else and left me here, holding the bag, laughing at me...lol.
I had a Japanese class, and we had to tell the GSI what we wanted to do after college. Everybody said something pretentious like, I wanna be "a stock broker on Wall Street," "A lawyer in Manhattan," "A rich, successful businesswoman," "A pediatric surgeon." It was like battle of the most powerful careers. I wanted to puke. I decreased the blood pressure in there by making fun of myself...that I was going to work at 7-11...ya, lame, but unfathomable to these twits.
The job market might be a good or bad consideration. I really hope I don't get trapped in jobs where I have to work and live with former UMers. Yuppie jobs, I mean. I'm getting far away from these people. It's already decreased my social skills, and I can't stand it. People don't tell you why money is a bad thing to obsess about. When money starts making you a hostile, bad and unlikeable person, it's not good.
Here's a warning to any smart *and* down-to-earth people. Don't go here and support the Wolverines. Don't go to a totally sh*tty school, but go somewhere a little less prestigious, like State, or any other average school. Don't get lured by the high competition to get in here. It's an achievement to get in, but not to actually study here, and note, this applies to all *elite* schools. This is a school for elitists and rich kids, and that's why it's so high in those bullsh*t rankings. To any ordinary joe, I'm telling you, it means *nothing.* Engineers are an exception, because the field depends on up-to-date knowledge, so rankings are important there. Other than that, you actually don't learn much that applies to future careers, unless you're out of LSA, in BSchool, or the sciences, all of which are highly competitive, btw. Unless you're a bonafide genius, believe me, A science degree (excep. for engin.)without a grad degree in medicine or a phd. is practically not worth your time. Even if you say you're not social, or shy, don't go here, this school will make you worse, if not mean. Speaking of mean, I have a comment on affirmative action at the university. Pure bullsh*t. The very lawsuit purports the need for the continued existence of the program. These kids claim unqualified black kids are taking their spots, yet don't qualify to any other elite schools? (For the record, I'm half East Indian/ half black, yes, that's right, it's rare) Not to mention, many athletes are black, but really couldn't even get in, even with AA! Of course, to whites, and I don't exclude some of the Asian and Indian kids, it's ok to let in a black to play ball, but for academics, heaven no, Negroes must go! Call them scholarship athletes, but I call them mercenaries-in-disguise...The lawsuit is a thinly-disguised, selfish attempt to basically dismantle diversity at UM, in the sullen hope rejection letters will turn into acceptance letters. Wtf? I'll stil guarantee there's 1,000 kids smarter than any one of those lawsuit filers who would get accepted before they do. If you ask me, and this is non-racist, white students have more to worry about from Asian and Indian students. If the trend keeps up, it's whites that will need AA. Words of wisdom kids...eat up, I'm out.