Thursday, August 18, 2022

Sports at Michigan… and Who is Ohio State?

When you commit to the University of Michigan, you are aware that you are traveling thousands of miles away from home to receive a quality education. However, as much as the University of Michigan is recognized for its academic excellence, it is equally well known for its sports dominance. 

The University of Michigan has 29 varsity sports teams across several different sports, such American football, football/soccer, hockey, and more (look at the list on the left). Some sports may have games which could be free of charge to students with M-Cards and for some games, tickets should be purchased beforehand to allow you access to the games. Also, some sports, such as American Football, Basketball, and Ice Hockey, have season tickets which could be purchased before the semester and make tickets cheaper as buying in a bundle makes it cheaper rather than individual tickets. I would suggest checking out the student athletics page when deciding which game you would like to attend and how to get tickets. This blog will cover the three main sports, American Football, Basketball, and Ice Hockey, at the University of Michigan and what you can expect at these games.

Let’s begin with American football which is undoubtedly the biggest of all sports at the University. All games happen on Saturday and if it is a home gameday, get ready to spend the whole day focusing on the event itself. A typical game will last around 3.5 hours but before the game begins students will take part in tailgating, a social gathering which can consist of drinking and a meal being served. Our American football games happen at the Michigan Stadium, also known as the Big House, which is the third biggest stadium in the world. This means during every gameday more than 100,000 people are attending and the energy inside the stadium is electrifying. You will see students vibing alongside one another to songs such as “Mr. Brightside”, “Pump It Up”, or even chant phrases such as “Let's Go Blue.” Michigan plays in a conference known as the BIG 10 and is the current defending champion from the 2021 season.

Moving on to Ice Hockey! Let me start by saying, no one says ice hockey so when you hear people on campus saying hockey, they mean ice hockey, and when they say field hockey they mean field hockey. Do not make the same mistake as I did. Anyways, just like the football games you should expect the same surroundings just with a small crowd and no tailgating. However, it is always fun seeing the players fighting against each other. Hockey games take place at the Yost Ice Arena which is also open to the public to go skating and feel like a Michigan Player when there are no ongoing games. The cost to skate is normally cheap, however you have to pay extra to rent skates, if you do not have one, which is around $3.

Finally, I will talk about basketball. Luckily enough, Basketball can not be mistaken for anything else and even better is that the Basketball audience is as enthusiastic as those at the football and hockey games. That is what we like to call the Michigan Spirit. Basketball games happen at the Crisler Center which will host events during the welcome week as well. Sadly, you can not play basketball here but you can play basketball at the campus recreational building indoor and outdoor courts. Basketball games occur frequently during the winter semester and these are usually friendlies but the main championship is March Madness. It is an elimination tournament to determine the top basketball team in the nation. 

So, just like how Manchester United's biggest rival is Manchester City or even how the Big 3 compete against each other in Tennis to be the best, the University of Michigan has its own rival, namely Ohio State University, in sports that they try to always do better than. So, during any game against Ohio State expect tickets to be slightly more expensive and the crowd to be more energetic. Infact, the picture on the left is the scene from the Big House when Michigan defeated Ohio in 2021. It is also worth noting that this rivalry has turned into some sort of hatred so during any Michigan game you will hear the chant **** Ohio to try to boost the players morale. Well, that is all I have to say about Michigan sports, I hope you all enjoy your time at any sporting event that you attend and participate in what it means to be a Wolverine!

Written by Lakhvir Sohal

Summer Orientation Peer Advisor

Undergraduate Student


Overrated College Items

Last week, I talked about the most underrated items and now I’m going to talk about a controversial topic: the most overrated college items in my opinion. These are some items that I’ve seen recommended on YouTube or other websites and others that I’ve seen with people around campus that I think are not needed at all.

  1. Wall decoration – I don’t get the point of decorating your room and making it look so nice and fancy with different wallpapers and lights. Like you are not going to spend time looking at your wall during the semester, “Hey, let me spend time looking at how beautiful my wall is”. In addition, it is a hassle to put the pictures on the wallpaper and then also removing them. I’ve heard some people damaged the wall when they removed their stuff and so they had to pay extra. If you want to do it for aesthetics or just because you want a nice environment, then go for it. I can’t tell you how many dorms I went to that had these fancy room decorations. 

  2. Canada Goose – During the winter semester, you will see more than half the people around campus wearing “Canada goose” winter jackets. I genuinely see no point in you wearing this really overpriced coat. A coat of Canada goose could cost you anywhere $800+. That much money for a jacket that essentially provides the same amount of warmth as a normal $100 or even cheaper winter coat.

  1. Brita (Water filter) –Frequently, I saw people on my floor in the dorm use Brita to collect the water and then transfer it to their water bottles later. The Brita has a carbon filter to make the water “Cleaner”. I see no point in this as The University of Michigan has very clean water and it is very safe to drink. These Brita filters are costly, they cost around $20+ on Amazon and in addition to that, you have to replace the filter when one finishes and a filter can cost you $4. 

  1. Buying a Microwave (dorm students) – Okay, so a lot of dorms have microwaves on each floor. However, my dorm (Alice Lloyd) didn’t have one on every floor but instead had one on the first floor. A microwave is very useful, but I rarely needed it because I had an unlimited meal plan from the dining hall. I didn’t mind going down to the first floor and warming my food and back to my room once a while. In addition, sometimes I just used my friend’s microwave who just lived next to me. There are options to rent a microwave so you could for that option.

  2. Throw pillows – These are probably the most unnecessary items you don’t need with you. You will only use them for a nice dorm picture. Most of the time, they end up on the floor. 

Honorable mentions – A coffee maker (all dining halls have coffee machines and they just take up space if you do buy them), cooking set (dorm students)

Written by Harshit Nanda

Summer Orientation Peer Advisor

Undergraduate Student


My Top Favorite Study Spots On Campus

With the exceptional quality and standard of education that it provides, the University of Michigan campus offers incredible spots for students to study and make the best of their time during their years here. The Ann Arbor campus is huge and it is packed with numerous study spots all around. But in this blog, I am going to talk about the top 3 spots that have made it to my favorites over almost the couple of years that I have spent here. As an Engineering grad student, most of my classes are located on North Campus and so, most of my top choices will be more inclined towards the same.

The one place where you can find me ALWAYS except for my in-person class hours is the Ford Robotics Building (FMCRB). It is the newest building on North Campus with an astounding design and architecture and it just opened up in 2021. With state-of-the-art workspaces spanning multiple floors, comfortable lounges for relaxing, and options for booking meeting/conference rooms, this building is the hub for many students working their way through their degree requirements. I have literally spent days in the building while finishing my 50-hour or 100-hour exams with absolute comfort, and the main reasons for that are the adjustable sleeping couches available at the workspaces as well. This facility has a day cafe (Eigen Cafe)  and is also equipped with automatic coffee and frozen food vending machines, which is like a lifesaver when you are struggling through your assignments.

The next place on the list has to be the Duderstadt building aka THE DUDE. As the name suggests, it is a really cool place that forms sort of the center of the entire North Campus. It houses the main UofM library with plenty of books and gadgets for issuing and provides ample spaces for self-study, group study, meeting pods, and hybrid conference rooms as well. This building generally has a closing time of 10 PM but before the mid-semester and end-semester exams, the Dude is open 24 hours. The Dude is very closely connected to multiple buildings like EECS, GGBL, Lurie building as well as Chrysler center. In short, it is pretty much the hub of the North Campus community. It is also equipped with multiple vending machines for coffee and snacks that are available at all times, and there is the Mujo Cafe which is open every weekday from 8 AM to 7 PM as well. 

Coming to the Central Campus, my most preferred location to sit and finish my work is the Rackham Graduate School. This building is the epitome of aesthetics and it provides a calm and serene environment for students to sit and concentrate on their work. The Rackham Graduate School is located in the heart of downtown Ann Arbor. Even though there are no cafes or vending machines inside the building, all you need to do to grab some lunch is simply step out of the building - and right there will be cafes lined up on the streets. Students from all levels of study at UofM are allowed to use the study spaces in this building. However, this building does not offer computer or workspace facilities. I personally prefer this place for all the quiet and vintage vibes of the study rooms. 

Having mentioned the three most preferred study spaces for me, I would also like to mention that with the magnificent infrastructure that the UofM campus beholds, we can choose to study anywhere. Some of the places that are quite common for the same purpose include Fireside chat cafe and lounge at the Pierpont commons, luxury facilities available at the Palmer commons, the magnificent law library as well as the Ross Business school atrium (perk: they’ve got their own Starbucks!!). 

Over the summer until fall, you can also spot multiple students sitting outdoors at the Grove (North Campus) and the Diag (Central Campus) for group study and work sessions as well. Some might also use hammocks for the same. So what are you waiting for? Find your study spot now!

Written by Pritha Pal

Summer Orientation Peer Advisor

Graduate Student


Apartment/House Essentials

At some point during your college journey, you may be living off-campus. Perhaps, leasing a room in a house or maybe having your own apartment. You may be living alone or with some of your friends. In whatever case, the process of setting up your apartment can be quite exciting (especially if it is your first time having your own apartment). During my sophomore year, I lived in a house near North Campus. It was a really great experience, but during my first weeks, I realized I needed some things that I didn’t know I needed. Here I will break down some of the apartment/house essentials you must not forget about when packing or shopping for your new place. 

When it comes to the Kitchen you should pack:

  • Plates and Soup/Cereal bowls

  • Mugs and glasses

  • Silverware

  • Silverware organizer 

  • Cutting knives and board

  • Vegetable Peeler

  • Measuring Cups

  • Bottle/Can Opener

  • Food storage containers and bags

  • Pots and Pans

  • Trash Can and Recycling Bin (don’t forget trash bags)

  • Dish soap and Sponges

  • Paper Towels

  • Hand soap 

  • Dish towels

  • Any other utensils you may need: Spatula, Slotted Spoon, Ladle, etc. 

The following are some recommendations (they depend on your personal needs and preferences):

  • Microwave 

  • Fryer

  • Blender

  • Rice Cooker

  • Toaster

  • Coffee maker

  • Waffle Maker

  • Scale

When packing and shopping for items for your bedroom, you should consider:

  • Unfurnished apartment:

    • Desk and Chair (make sure it’s comfortable or get a beanbag)

    • Nightstand

    • Mattress (if not included)

  • Furnished and Unfurnished Apartment:

    • Sheet set and blankets

    • Pillows

    • Curtains or Blinds (Check if any are included)

    • Lamps

    • Rug

    • HDMI cable and cable extension

    • Air Conditioner

    • Mirror

    • Shoe storage

    • Storage Bins/Baskets

    • Trash can

    • Clothes hangers

    • Hampers

    • Shower curtains and hooks

    • Bath and hand towels

    • Bathroom and Bedroom cleaning supplies: Toilet Brush, Plunger, Disinfecting Spray, Vacuum

    • Any Decorations you like: Posters, Pictures (make sure not to use nails when hanging things to a wall, it’s usually not allowed. You can use 3M hanging strips as an alternative.), Decorative Pillows.

  • Some non-essential recommendations for your bedroom:

    • TV (May be considered essential)

    • Desktop Computer (could be good to study with a bigger picture)

    • LED Lights (They look great!)

    • Physical Calendar (If you are old-fashioned and like to set up reminders)

    • Minifridge (So good)

    • Plants (So you are not the only living thing in your bedroom)

    • If the landlord allows it, get a pet (I have Betta fish named Blue, the best decision I ever made despite the fact that he doesn’t do much)

If you are leasing an unfurnished place, you should first take a look at what is included. Depending on this you can make an informed decision on what to buy. If you are living with roommates you should consider discussing your needs with them. Perhaps you could split the bill on a Sofa, TV, Dining Table, or any other living room equipment you may need. No matter what type of apartment you will be living in, don’t forget cleaning supplies, and again, remember to check what is included in your contract and talk to your roommates about who is responsible for bringing what (Personal Experience: Having two toasters and two microwaves is kind of useless). Good luck setting up your apartments.

Written by Sergio Mendez

Summer Orientation Peer Advisor

Undergraduate Student


Places to Hang Out with Friends

After a week of busy studying, where can you go hang out with your friends over the weekend? Here are some ideas:

If you want a relaxing, quiet evening, the Museum of Art (UMMA) on State Street and the Museum of Natural History in the Biological Sciences Building might be the ideal places. UMMA is one of the largest and finest university art museums in the U.S., and it is free for everyone. Inside the museum, you will see art from across time and space, from Chinese ink paintings to contemporary installation art. They have a new exhibition once in a while so you can always see new collections when you visit the museum. 

On the second floor of the Museum of Natural History, there is The Hall of Evolution. That is the place where you can see the skeleton of dinosaurs! There is also a Planetarium & Dome Theater within the Museum. 

If you love outdoor adventure, jogging in the Arb or kayaking in the Huron River sound like great choices. 

Nichols Arboretum, also known as the arb, is a large park located across from Mosher-Jordan (MOJO) Dining Hall and by the hospital. There is a 2.6-mile loop trail perfect for walking, hiking, or biking. The large field within the park is a perfect place for a picnic. During the spring and summer, you will see all kinds of flowers blooming in the sunshine. 

Kayaking in the Huron River is also a popular activity during the summer. The water might be too cold for the winter. If you decide to kayak, I suggest you make sure that your phone is waterproof and avoid wearing glasses because if you lose them in the water, it will be really difficult to find them. Also, remember to keep a distance from tree branches. The last time I fell into the water was because my kayak was stuck in a tree branch and flipped over. 

For the nightlife enthusiasts, the nightclubs around campus might be a place you can grab a drink with your friends and dance away your stress. Cantina and Necto are 18-plus while most nightclubs are 21-plus. Cantina is located on the south side of the central campus and Necto is on the north side and is famous for LGBTQIA+ Friday Nights. Necto invites famous DJs once in a while. Last year, I had a memorable night at the Vicetone concert. 

There are no set rules for having fun. Maybe an ice cream date at Ben & Jerry’s or a movie night at The State Theatre is perfect for you. Hope you all can enjoy every weekend you spend at the University of Michigan. 

Written by Yiran Yang

Summer Orientation Peer Advisor

Undergraduate Student


U-M Dorm Essentials

When we move into a dorm, a lot of us hope to move everything from our home to here. However, the space of a dorm is limited, so we obviously can only place things that are necessary for daily use. Here I want to share the must-haves of living in a U-M dorm in my eyes. You may find that some of the stuff is very unexpected or is something that you don’t use when you are at home but is actually so important in dorm life.

Laundry Bag/Basket

For all the dorms on campus, you don’t have a private washer or dryer inside your dorm. Instead, you will need to carry your clothes and towels to the laundry room that is located on one of the floors. Therefore, you may need a laundry bag or basket to do laundry or even just to put your dirty clothes in your dorm.

Shower Shoes/Flip Flops

Many people may have already mentioned this, but it is very true that shower shoes are so essential when you live in a dorm.

Mesh Shower Caddy

You may not need this when you are at home, but you need this for a dorm. A shower caddy makes it easy to take shampoo, conditioner, body wash, lotion, combs, toothbrush, toothpaste, cleanser and so forth from your dorm all the way to the bathroom. (At U-M, most of the single or double dorms for undergraduate students do not come with a bathroom inside their rooms.) Mesh Shower Caddies are always recommended because there may be some water left on the bottles sometimes. The mesh can get rid of the water and keep bottles clean.

Desk Lamp

Although all the dorms do come with a ceiling light, it can still be a little bit dim when you study in your dorm, especially if your bed is full-lofted. A desk lamp can be necessary to light up the space around your study desk and protect your eyes. 

Extension Cord

Sometimes the electrical outlets in your dorm rooms can be located in a tricky place, which makes it hard to connect some of your devices. Having an extension cord makes it more convenient to either charge your computers while studying or charge your phone next to your bed. However, keep in mind that U-M housing only allows students living in the dorms to use the extension cords that are size 16 or less and UL certified. 

First Aid Kit

A lot of people may neglect the importance of this thing, but always have a first aid kit in your dorm! You can’t predict what will happen next. A first aid kit can save your (or your roommates’/friends’) life in many emergency situations.

Water Filter Pitcher

If you live in a residence hall, sometimes the water fountains may not be close to your dorms. Instead of going all the way down to get some water, you can just get some tap water and drink directly after it gets filtered with a water filter pitcher. Normally, if you fill a regular-size water filter pitcher, the water is sufficient for you to drink for at least a day. But don’t forget to change the filter periodically. 

I’m sure there are more things that are essential or can improve your dorm life quality. These are just a list of things I think are necessary. Hope this list can help you get prepared for your dorm life. Enjoy your dorm life at U-M!

Zoe (Zhiyi) Zheng

Summer Orientation Peer Advisor

Undergraduate Student


How I Approach Organization


Think about the amount of information your brain takes in and manages on any given day. As college students, our class notes, deadlines, and daily responsibilities are already enough to drown us in information and things that we have to do. After plenty of trial and errors (missing deadlines, forgetting about hangouts I scheduled with friends, feeling overwhelmed by the many things I have to do that I ended up procrastinating for an entire day…), I have found a few organization tips that work well for me. Many of you might already know some or all of these, and not everything will work for everyone, but I hope that it will at least spark some ideas on how you might want to approach your organization.

Google calendar (or other kinds of calendar/scheduling tools), use them whenever you can - My recommendation is to take the time to explore the features that your calendar provides and think about how you can make the best use of them. With Google Calendar, for instance, I really make use of its notification reminder setting. For large projects or exams that require preparation, I will have notifications going back 7 or 10 days before the event. For an event like hanging out with friends that requires no real preparation, I will just put a notification for 2 hours before the event. Since I can download and link my Google Calendar to my phone, my notifications will also appear on my phone which can be very helpful if I am not around my computer.

Example of how I use the notification feature

Phone alarms, use them as a final reminder for events - I find this particularly helpful for really important events or for little things I often forget (eg. bringing along bags to reuse when I go grocery shopping, bringing along my watch and stethoscope on certain days of nursing class…). It’s a great final safety net to remind me of something, since the likelihood of me missing it is much lower than with calendar reminders (especially when the alarm ringtone is extra loud and annoying).

Some of my alarms

Sticky notes (virtual or physical), use them for general time management - I use 5 virtual sticky notes on my laptop: 

  1. “HW” is a summary of all the homework (HW) I have to do for my classes

  2. “Things to Do” is a list of some important things I should do in the near future

  3. “Daily to Do’s” give me an outline of my to-do activities each day

  • Breaking down your day into tasks can make it less intimidating for you to start a task, especially if you’re like me and often feel overwhelmed by the number of things you need to do that you don’t know where to start

  1. “Questions” is to remind me of questions I want to ask the next time I’m in class 

  2. “Exam/Projects” is an outline of all important assignments I have for the semester

I refer to these notes throughout the day, the week, and the semester to make sure I’m staying on track with my main tasks and responsibilities.

Typical setup of the 5 virtual sticky notes that I use

Google Drive (or other cloud/folder system): use to organize notes and files - I use Google Drive religiously to organize notes and files for school, extracurriculars, and work. Google Drive and Google Docs are commonly used at U of M, so I do see an advantage in using them since if a peer or professor sends me handouts/documents, I can easily add them to my personal folders. Having this centralized system of file management makes it much easier for me to locate things when I need them.

Example of my Google Drive folder for the Winter 2022 semester

Written by Phat Nguyen

Summer Orientation Peer Advisor

Undergraduate Student