Throughout your time as a UMich student, you learn plenty of lessons in the classroom on multiple subjects to help prepare for your future. However, the University of Michigan has many traditions that students learn outside of classes and lectures. Here’s our list of all of the things students learn in their four years (or more) here- feel free to add yours in the comments!
1. A walk in the fountain makes us an “Official Wolverine.”
At orientation, we walked through the fountain outside of the Michigan League. The tradition says to walk towards the Diag and campus, and upon graduation, walk through the fountain the opposite way toward Rackham, joining the graduate, or professional world.
2. Don’t step on the M!
The myth says, if you step on the brass M in the center of the Diag you will fail your first blue-book exam, but fear not! There’s a way to reverse the curse. If you do happen to step on the M, you must run naked from the M to the pumas that sit in front of the Ruthven Museum of Natural History at midnight, within the time it takes the Bell Tower to strike midnight. However, since the bell tower no longer rings at midnight, the only true way to avoid this curse, is to avoid the M.
3. Stacks is where one goes to be productive.
Whether The Stacks are our go-to or they’re saved for midterms and finals, this prison of shelves was the place to go when we need to be productive with promised peace and quiet.
4. Places called the “Ugli” and the “Dude” are actually great places to study.
No, Ugli is not an insult, and the Dude is not a person. If we’re looking for a place to study, the Shapiro Undergraduate Library, affectionately called the “Ugli,” and the Duderstadt Center, better known as the “Dude”, are great places to pull an all-nighter.
5. Singing “Hail to the Victors” with 109,901 of our closest friends is an experience unlike any other.
This fight song is embedded into our minds, and we look for any opportunity to pump our fists with pride while screaming that we are the “Champions of the West!”
6. Winter is not 3 months long
Especially after the polar vortex of 2014, we learned that winter is in fact, not 3 months. It is 6 months. We also learned that you need about 5 jackets, including an extremely warm winter coat, plus a variety of light and medium jackets for the 30, 40, and 50-degree weather. We learned that the only good to come from the polar vortex was that this winter we had the first snow day in 30+ years.
7. Kissing under the West Hall Engineering Arch is forever.
If you kiss someone at the stroke of midnight under the West Hall engineering arch, you are destined to marry. Many alumni have confirmed this to be true – maybe it’s in your future.
8. Mason Hall is stressful
Before walking up what feels like 90 flight of stairs (just take the elevators-trust us) we were bombarded with the farmer’s market, an entire tree’s worth of flyers, and 30 other student organizations- including the various dance groups we have to maneuver through without being trampled.
9. Sava’s is the go-to birthday restaurant
Want something that’s not cheap but not too expensive with a nice atmosphere and delicious food when celebrating a friend’s birth? Sava’s is the place to go.
10. The #2 at Zingermans is a crowd pleaser
This world-famous deli is so good even the leader of the free world, Barack Obama, decided to eat there this spring. His favorite? The #2 Reuben, of course.
11. The Law Library is basically Hogwarts
A beauty that is possibly the most Instagrammable scene on campus is the one and only Law Quad. The Hogwarts-esque quad is home to law students and undergrad students fitting in a study sesh. Just be sure to keep quiet, we’ve heard they even kick people out for sneezing.
12. Painting the Rock is a student org must.
The tradition of painting the Rock that sits at the corner of Washtenaw and Hill has been around for years. However, if you participate in painting the Rock, you should not expect your artwork to last long- as it changes almost every day.
13. Ricks, Skeeps, and Charley’s are go-to’s for undergrads.
We learned throughout the years that Rick’s is for upperclassmen, Skeeps is for underclassmen, Charley’s is for everyone. We may learn in the future that Rick’s is also for returning alumni during visits hoMe.
14. The intelligence and talent at this university continue to amaze us.
Our world-class faculty are award-winning and teach us to believe in our potential. We are certain our fellow classmates are going to do incredible things, and a few have the possibility of ruling the world.
15. Michigan Time is perfect for the fashionably late.
The 10-minute grace period in between classes allows us to get to and fro. It also gave us that extra 10 minutes to sleep in. We adopted Michigan Time and are consistently 10 minutes late for everything, yet still feel on time. We don’t know how we’re going to transition to the real world when 10 minutes late to work is no longer going to fly.
16. The Arb is a magical escape.
We learned that the Arb is beautiful and peaceful. It is the perfect place to walk around when we want to escape from the day-to-day stresses of classes and homework. It’s also very easy to get lost!
17. The Diag (in the fall & spring) is not just a shortcut, it’s a destination.
During the long winter months, The Diag is a simple cut-through to the other side of campus, however, as soon as the sun comes – The Diag becomes a playground. Laying in the grass, tightropes, hammocks, puppies, yoga, dance classes, protests, high fives, squirrel feeding – you name it, The Diag has it.
18. The squirrels are hungry.
Our squirrels are not like your squirrels at home. Our squirrels are fatter and happier than those other squirrels. They became this way from us humans feeding them and stealing the occasional slice of pizza from someone’s backpack.
19. The Cube powers our campus.
“The Cube” sits outside of the Union and you’ve heard (and believed) the rumors. It is said that President Mary Sue Coleman spins the cube every morning to keep our campus running. See for yourself:
20. Our “House” is “Bigger” than yours.
Whether you’ve cheered on the greatest football team in the nation to victory or attended other events here, the Big House holds a special kind of magic. It’s the magic that connects us all as we proudly adorn ourselves in maize and blue.
21. “The” Ohio State. Enough said.
Ohio State is not our friend. It’s not even our acquaintance. It’s our biggest enemy, the fuel to our fire, the evil in the world. If there’s one thing we know leaving Michigan, it’s the disgust we feel with the color combination of scarlet and grey.
22. North Campus is another world.
We learned that North Campus is actually beautiful, and it’s nice to get off central campus if only for an afternoon to see the nature. North Campus is home to engineers, art students, drama majors, music majors, architects…and lots of deer. Nicknamed “Narnia,” North Campus makes us feel like we’re in a different world, which is a beautiful thing when we’re trying to escape the hustle and bustle of Ann Arbor.
23. Seeing Mary Sue Coleman makes us more star struck than any celebrity sighting could.
You learned that President Mary Sue Coleman is arguably the best person on campus. If you are lucky enough to run into her, it’s necessary to take a picture- or even a selfie and tell all of your friends. She will leave a great legacy this July and will be greatly missed. However, we must remember the words she is known for, “For today, goodbye. For tomorrow, good luck. And Forever, Go Blue!”
24. This is the best four (or more) years of your life
Whether you take a bit of extra time or stick around for a graduate or Ph.D., the time spent as a student at the University of Michigan is proven by almost all of our alumni, to be the best time in your life. So good, that our alums continue to return for homecoming, commencement, and football Saturdays for years to come.
25. Being a Wolverine lasts a lifetime
We’ve all been there. You’re somewhere across the globe, thousands of miles away from Ann Arbor, and you see someone wearing a Michigan shirt and cannot help but shout “Go Blue!” The connections that our Wolverines have, in the classroom, at work, or while traveling, is a special bond you share with over 500,000 friends. For those who leave Michigan, but for whom Michigan never leaves, this will always be where you belong.
Congratulations Class of 2014!