My time as a student at the University of Michigan is about to come to an end, and as such; this will be my last post ever with arts, ink. For my last post, I’d like to write about how it all began. I’d like to write about how I got from a nervous-excited senior in high school to an equally nervous-excited senior in college.
I can’t remember if I received my acceptance to the University of Michigan a few days after most of my friends, or just a few hours, but I remember all of my friends being overjoyed about their recent acceptances while I was afraid I hadn’t gotten in. I’d like to say I was afraid because I really wanted to go to school here, but that would be a lie. I didn’t know where I wanted to go to school; I just knew I wanted good options.
When I did finally receive my acceptance, I did what any other social media savvy kid in 2011 would do, I wrote a Facebook status.
Would you take a look at that? I didn’t even use proper punctuation. It wasn’t even my most liked status ever. People were happy for me, and I was happy for myself, but it wasn’t like I’d said I was going to Michigan. All I’d done so far was get in.
Then came the tough decision. I applied to four schools and had luckily been accepted to all of them. I had the options that I so craved, but now I had to actually figure out which school I wanted to go to, and while some might say I’m not great at making decisions now, I was even worse four years ago. My parents had very strong feelings about eliminating two schools from the running, so they were quickly crossed off my list. That left me with two schools, and one of them was the University of Michigan.
Most of my friends had gone to visit and tour the schools they were looking at, but I didn’t do that. I had no idea why I liked or didn’t like either school left on my list. I had people telling me their opinions left and right, and none of them were very partial. I became stressed, and the week before my decision was due I began fainting from my anxiety about having to make a decision, which only added to my stress.
My brother tried to make life easier on me, so two days before my decision was due he took me to his alma mater, the other school on my list, and showed me around. I loved the campus. It was big and green and beautiful. There was a living-learning community that I had been accepted to that I liked very much, and it really seemed like the perfect place for me. However, many of my other family members had a different opinion. They had all gone to Michigan, and they believed, in order for me to make an educated decision, or in their opinion, the right decision, I should see both campuses. So, the next morning, the day before my decision was due, my mom took me to Ann Arbor to see Michigan. Her tour was a little briefer. We walked around campus, but my mom isn’t the best at directions, so we didn’t go far. I thought the town seemed nice, but it didn’t really feel as much like me, and I couldn’t really get an idea of what to expect since my mom’s experience would be very different from my own.
That day, I don’t remember why, my sister was having a party. My whole family was there, so after returning from Ann Arbor we went straight to my sister’s house. Everyone knew my decision was due, so one by one they each asked me what I’d decided. I got sick of the questioning, and I still didn’t have an answer, so I went outside and asked my mom what to do. I felt pressure to go to both schools, and I didn’t know what to do. My mom told me to try telling everyone I was going to one school to see how it felt, but I was afraid that idea would backfire terribly. So, I decided to go a different way.
I found a 1994-penny (not even a quarter, I was cheap) and flipped it, heads for Michigan, tails for the other school. I had hoped I’d know where I truly wanted to go as the coin turned in the air, but instead I found myself just as undecided, but happier that I’d finally have a decision. The coin landed on heads and I told my entire family all at once that I would be a Wolverine. They cheered loudly, hugged me tight, and broke into a round of “Hail to the Victors”. Somewhere between the first and second verse, I couldn’t take it anymore. I left the house crying and didn’t stop crying until the next morning.
Of course, I calmed down. I joined the Residential College. I attended orientation and wore my MCard around my neck the whole time. I began to like the fact that I was going to the University of Michigan. I wasn’t one of those people who fell in love with the school right away; it took me a little bit of time. But soon, I began to embrace the maize in blue. With each passing day, I became more and more proud of my school. Now that I’m leaving, I’m so glad that penny landed on heads. If I didn’t come to Michigan, I would be an entirely different person. Sure, that person could’ve been cool, too, but that person isn’t me. That person wouldn’t have made the same friends, taken the same classes, gone to the same football games. That person wouldn’t have made awkward Matrix-like motions to avoid walking on the M on a busy day. That person wouldn’t have gone to the same parties or the same restaurants or the same bookstores.
So, thank you Michigan. As bittersweet as these last few days before graduation are, I’m glad to have been able to call you my home for the last four years. It might have been a rocky start, but we made it in the end, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. And don’t worry, wherever I go, I’ll always go blue. Hail!