Welcome to the University of Michigan


As seniors in high school apply for colleges, each senior is asked the same question over and over again. The question every high school senior is asked is: “Where are you applying to college?” Whether or not high school seniors want to answer the question or even feel comfortable enough to tell a stranger where they are applying, each senior is compelled to answer the question seriously. In fact, it would be disrespectful to not answer the question as a result of the college question becoming such a common question.

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However last year as I applied to college, I was proud to say that I was applying to the University of Michigan. Ever since I was born, I have always been a Michigan fan; thus making Michigan my dream school. I have always waited for my turn to go to college and now I am living out my dream at Michigan. College is everything I expected. I have met so many people, have learned a significant amount already and just have simply enjoyed living on my own. However there is one thing that I am still struggling with. When applying to Michigan, I understood how competitive the application process was, but I thought the competition just ended there. No. The University of Michigan is even more competitive than the college process.


How is the University of Michigan competitive? Every single student at this university worked extremely hard in high school in order to get admitted to this university; therefore each student is a very hard worker and intelligent. Each class is extremely competitive, for each student tries to get an “A” and be better than the other students in the class. This competition is explained in Louis Menards “Live and Learn: Why We Have College?” for he provides three theories about what the purpose of college is. Menard’s three theories include:  college separates the best from the worst, college creates competent citizens and provides equal opportunity, and college is extremely hard to get into, thus there are no democratic values involved in the application process for college. The theory that is most appropriate here, is the first theory that explains that college is meant to separate the best from the worst because competition is essential for people to succeed.  The University of Michigan helps drive its students to get the most out of their potential as a result of the competition.


While at first the competition at Michigan was extremely difficult to grasp, it is now becoming more feasible for me to understand. I understand why college needs to be competitive for it helps get the most out of all of its students. The competition at the university of Michigan is what makes this university a remarkable place to study, for it helps every student try their hardest and hopefully succeed. Although I did not expect a significant amount of competition, it seems that competition is essential for me to succeed. If the University of Michigan was not competitive, then the students would simply not be prepared to enter the workforce after graduating. While equal opportunity is ideal for students around the world, competition is essential for students to reach their highest potential and succeed.


3 thoughts on “Welcome to the University of Michigan

  1. While I agree that the University of Michigan is a very competitive institution in which each student is trying to be better than the next, I believe the University of Michigan’s main goal is to foster a unique learning environment described by Menand’s theory 2. At the end of the day, we are at one of the top colleges in the world and everyone who graduates from here will be extremely successful down the road, no matter what GPA he/she earns. This is because the classes here are aimed to make us think and develop skills that will prepare us for whatever profession we choose to go into. Some students may not earn the grades they want, but ultimately they are expanding their knowledge ten fold which is what matters most, rather than a number that will be irrelevant in just a few years.


  2. Personally, I agree with most of the statements you made about competition and college and loved your relation of Menand’s theories to our University. However, likewise to Cody, I believe that Theory 2 would fit the University of Michigan’s criteria a little more than Theory 1 or even Theory 3. College and especially the University of Michigan teaches us about valuable skills and gives us important insight on things before we are immersed with societal pressures and work. Michigan being a great school in all areas gives us a place to develop into a better person intellectually and socially. Unlike Theory 1, University of Michigan, in my opinion, is much more than just a “sorting hat” for employers and graduate schools. Whether you graduate at the top of your class or barely squeeze by, University of Michigan can give us lots of knowledge and experience to make us society’s “Leaders and Best.”


  3. I agree with many of the points you made in this post. I think that competition in college is necessary in order to ensure that each student is living up to their full potential. It is this competition that drives students to do the best that they can. However, I think that is also important to look at the nature and the principles of this university. It is not just the competition that makes this such a great school, but it is the values that they try to instill in each of their students. Specifically within LSA, if college was solely based on competition, there would be no need to have distribution requirements. One of Michigan’s top priorities is helping build well-rounded, capable students. So yes, I do agree with most of your points in this post, but I personally believe that the University of Michigan is a combination of both theory 1 and theory 2.


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