Leaving high school and determining my next step was one of the most consequential times of someone’s life. When I was sitting in my school’s college lab, I can remember narrowing down each of the 12 schools I applied to. It was a challenging process, but I was able to select Michigan with the help of my teachers, mentors, and, ultimately, the financial aid package. Well, it was mainly a no-brainer. My other options were so expensive that I would always worry about how I would pay for each semester every year.
While Michigan is a school that holds 50,000 students, there are ways to build community and grow with a group of caring people around you. Stepping foot on the campus, I immediately looked for a community. I had no problems finding that during Welcome Week 2019, where the Black Student Union had set up shop to meet the first-year students. At the old Trotter House, we were packed into a room with hundreds of other students waiting to get a plate of delicious food and meet new people. To this day, I keep in touch or regularly speak with all of those people I sat down and had lunch with on that hot summer day.
Now that I am a senior, I can look back at my time here, and I’ve realized two significant things: the people you meet here can be some of your lifelong friends, and your experience is ultimately what you make of it. From the Welcome Weeks to the Black Student Union-led events are where my fondest memories lie from my past four years. If it were not for the conversations and the people I got to be around after challenging school weeks, I don’t know where my college career would have taken me. Those experiences could have only been made if I had taken a chance. The chance to come out to Michigan and the chance to reach out and find a community that fits me are what led to my fantastic college.