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Local Campus Spotlight: University of Michigan

Why it’s great to be a Wolverine

The University of Michigan has it all: a smart, active student body, a great social scene and a phenomenal football team. None of this is new, but it makes being a Wolverine that much more exciting. So, I’m going to take you behind the scenes of what it takes to be a true Wolverine.

Michigan students have the motto of “work hard, play hard.” When we’re not at class during the week, you’ll be sure to find us at one of over 20 libraries which range from the Law Library, the quietest library on campus, to the Shapiro Undergraduate Library, or UgLi, where students go to socialize while they work. On nice days, students also enjoy studying on the Diag, which is the central area of campus. Classroom buildings and libraries surround the Diag, and the grassy areas within it are the perfect place to talk with friends, study or even take a nap (my favorite!).

It is also very common to form friendships on the Diag, but these aren’t your ordinary friendships: they’re friendships with the Ann Arbor squirrels. After years of being fed by students, the humongous creatures will actually approach students in hopes of getting fed! Luckily for them, the Michigan Squirrel Club meets weekly, which aims to maintain the student-squirrel friendship by feeding them peanuts. I have never attended a Squirrel Club meeting, but I have still tried – and succeeded at – hand-feeding the squirrels. Next time you’re in the area, you should try it; they don’t bite (really)!

Squirrel Club has one of the largest memberships of any club or organization at Michigan, but there are still hundreds of others from which to choose. We have professional and community service fraternities, dance teams, student governments, a cappella groups and almost everything else. Because the selection is so overwhelming, Michigan hosts an event called Festifall each year on the Diag, where each organization sets up a booth to showcase itself. It’s fun to check out the selection, but just be wary of how many email lists you sign up for.

After classes and activities are done, Michigan students make sure to balance out their hard work by playing even harder. There are fraternity parties almost every weekend, but Ann Arbor is also host to many 18+ bars, clubs and concerts. Since the beginning of the school year, we have had artists such as Avicii, Tiësto, White Panda and Chiddy Bang perform, and that’s only part of the list! And for those of you who want to have a more chilled night, you can attend UMix every other Friday, which is a free, non-alcoholic event put on by the university with food, music and activities such as karaoke.

It is impossible to talk about social life at Michigan without mentioning the greatest part of the week – football Saturdays. On game day, the campus is packed with families and Michigan fans, tailgates, parties and vendors, all of which adds to the excitement of the day. The only thing more exciting than getting ready for the game is winning it!

But behind our great football team are the more than 100,000 fans that show up for each game at Michigan Stadium, or “The Big House.” With the student section constantly cheering, waving pom-poms and sporting our finest football apparel (think Michigan t-shirts, face tattoos and maize and blue necklaces), we sure get a 10 out of 10 in showing our school spirit.

Of course, we are lucky enough to have quarterback Denard Robinson to help us keep that excitement. Not only does he lead us to victory, but he also leads our school spirit. Robinson loves smiling at and pumping up the crowd, which makes us even more excited to support our team. Also, he’s extremely nice and approachable – he’s always willing to say hi to or take a photo with a fan.

I could go on about Michigan forever, but academics, the social scene and football games are the main highlights – at least in my opinion. So if you’re ever in Ann Arbor, make sure you throw on a maize-and-blue jersey, explore the campus and, most importantly, GO BLUE!

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