At the end of senior year, as that May 1st deadline approaches, anxiety hits the fan. You have a big decision to make: where you want to spend the next four years of your life. I applied to five schools, having only one dream in mind-University of Michigan.
I’m from Bloomfield Hills, Michigan which is about 45 minutes from the Ann Arbor campus. Growing up in a large suburban area where most kids go to Michigan or Michigan State, I kind of assumed I would end up in state, but at the same time, I wanted to go against the norm. During those awkward, brace-face years in middle school, I was convinced that I was going to school in New York. I liked the idea of living in a big, glamorous city on my own.
Not only did it have more opportunities for me to pursue my future goals, but the idea of being a little closer to home was also a plus. I have a lot of family that went to and are currently students at Michigan, so that helped the decision. But when I took that campus tour during junior year, I became set on being a Wolverine.
Fast forward to the summer before senior year when the common application came out. The only school on it that I applied to was Michigan. I remember sitting in front of my computer for hours on end, making sure my application was as perfect as it could be.
When I received my acceptance later that March, I felt like I had accomplished my life goal. I couldn’t even fathom that I was going to spend the next four years in Ann Arbor.
So now I am a second semester freshman. Finals are done.
I survived and spent break counting down the days until I got to go back to my 12×12 dorm room with my roommate-a.k.a. my best friend ever. My roommate and most of my friends are from out of state, and it wasn’t until I saw earlier this fall how sad they all were about not being home since summer that I realized how lucky I am to go to college so close to home.
I am probably one of the more independent kids you will meet, but having your parents and queen bed only 45 minutes from school are things I would never turn down. I have to note that my mom offers to come up and take me to lunch much more than I ask her to, but anyway….
If I have noticed anything about freshman year, it is that kids complain about the constant boredom with the dining hall food and how much of a nuisance it is to do their own laundry. Going to school so close to home eliminates those complaints for me. Between going home for holiday dinners and random weeknights when I don’t have too much homework, I’m probably the only freshman you will find on campus that doesn’t have a major problem with the dining halls.
On nights when there isn’t much going on at school, I always bring home some friends, because I feel my out of state friends welcome any opportunity to have a home cooked meal.
On to the laundry issue. I will have to admit that I have never used the campus laundry room. I know that if I need too, I can, and I will make the effort to do it, because I HATE dirty
clothes, but between the holidays and my mom coming up to campus, it’s just “convenient” for her to take it! I mean doing it does take away from my homework time!
Aside from yummy meals and clean clothes, being an in-state student is such a different experience. Perks include: understanding what you need to prepare for the winter, being able to store things at home you don’t need right away, and having the opportunity to see your family more than two or three times a year. Having family so close to you makes the college experience as a whole a lot less scary.
Anyone who goes to Michigan will tell you it’s the best place on Earth, but to me, having it in your backyard just makes it that much more amazing.
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