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On the Brink: The Michigan Experience

On any given day, the Michigan student body is in crisis. Hard pressed on all fronts, working (usually) off depressingly inadequate sleep, students scramble to keep it all together while balancing class, homework, study groups, exams, clubs, a social life, and regular calls to mom and dad.

We all know the struggle–it’s real. We are the ones in the UGLI, speed-walking through the Diag, and cramming in the Law Library, tirelessly working to “make it all happen,” often fighting the urge to cry or give up and go to bed. 

But for some strange reason, here in the heart of Ann Arbor where all things verge on the extreme, we thrive.

And this flourishing that one finds in the midst of this chaotic campus is exactly why we put ourselves through the wringer day in and day out; there’s nowhere else that could even compare, no college or university that could ever imitate the deeply satisfying, deeply challenging kind of life found here at the University of Michigan.

We put ourselves through hell and back because the Michigan experience rewards us in ways that are nearly inexpressible: the camaraderie of entering the library at 8 pm on a Sunday and leaving at 4 am Monday morning, the euphoria of a Michigan touchdown in the Big House (even if the students behind you are about to fall five rows forward out of sheer drunkenness), the fellowship found in our clubs, the joy of spring break, the exhilaration of nailing that internship, the Pizza House shared in Markley at 2 am, the Insomnia Cookies and Pancheros and Sadako and Amer’s enjoyed in houses all over campus, the late nights at (insert frat here), the friendships forged that will result in Wolverines standing alongside each other at weddings and baby showers ten years from now… these are the things, the unforgettable things, that make our efforts worth it.

We live this hyper-charged, sleep-deprived lifestyle because in the chaos of the tears, panic-attacks, hours locked in the stacks and the energy poured into resumes and organizations, we are truly alive. Because this is Michigan.

Because in the end, although our lifestyle here at the University of Michigan is not easy, it is irreplaceable

Britt is a senior at the University of Michigan studying German and African Studies. She speaks English, German, Swahili and French, and is passionate about intercultural relations, travel, literacy and women's rights. Between her studies, involvement in her sorority Alpha Delta Pi, event planning for various clubs, and philanthropic endeavors within Dance Marathon and Camp Kesem, Britt is often busy and loves to unwind with a good book and cup of hot tea. She has a strong addiction to Instagram, loves eating avocados, and adores her two younger brothers.
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