This was by far one of the most challenging but rewarding years of my life. College doesn’t get any easier but it sure is a lot of fun with good friends, fun work, and not witnessing a loss of either Michigan Football or Basketball at home! 2012 was a great year and I hope that I can either learn from or build off of everything that happened this year to me.
When it comes to school, I still consider myself more than blessed to go to a school like Michigan. 2012 in Ann Arbor has just made me love my school that much more (yes, it is possible!). Just a few days ago I was back at my high school talking to the students about how the business program at my high school had shaped me into who I am today (and I really do owe so much to them). But a girl came up to me after I had finished speaking and asked me simply,
What made you choose Michigan?
And I was taken-aback by it. Because as someone who’s from the State of Michigan, I can’t say I get asked the question often, unlike my Californian or New York friends. So I’m not used to answering the question. I just remember that I applied to four schools, but it came down to Michigan and Georgetown for me. Two polar opposite schools when it came to size, culture, and location. My whole thing in high school was that I wanted to get away from Michigan. Georgetown had a pretty campus, I really loved DC and I had family close by that area. Being in suburban Michigan for so long was really taking a toll on me and I was getting so bored. So in that sense, Georgetown was perfect for me.
But once I actually thought about it, Michigan really had everything I needed. I needed to be at a big school. I went to a relatively large high school and I was used to that atmosphere and liked the challenge of knowing as many people as I could. I liked always getting to meet new people and never being forced to be around the same people day-in and day-out. Michigan was clearly large enough for that.
Education was a big part of it as well. With a preferred admittance to the Ross School of Business, it would be hard to decline. Business and marketing were things I had wanted since my sophomore year of high school. Knowing exactly what I wanted to do since I was 15 and showing my passion for it had gotten me in and I couldn’t just forget that. The education I’d get at Ross would be first-class and I knew my tuition would be worth it.
The next one was spirit and culture. Not that Georgetown didn’t have it but Michigan soared off the charts when it came to spirit. School spirit had always been my thing and that was a big deal for me to have at whatever school I went to. The traditions of Michigan were so defined that I really could appreciate it and liked that aspect as well. Not to mention as a sports fan, Michigan was by far one of the best schools to go.
And I finally decided that maybe being in the State of Michigan wouldn’t be so bad. I was far enough away in Ann Arbor to be myself, away from my family..but at the same time, if I really had the urge to go home on a weekend or two, it would be easily doable. And although I didn’t appreciate that as much at the time, I really do now!
So in the end…I chose Michigan. It was clearly the best decision I ever made.
And here I am, two and a half years after my first day of college, typing to you my experiences for 2012. Michigan’s done me well this year and has continued to surprise me, even when I think I’ve figured it all out. I am still amazed to see that the friendships I’ve built from freshmen year just continue to get stronger and stronger every day, and I know for a fact that even after I graduate, I’ll be able to call these people my very best friends and keep in touch with them. And even classes have surprised me. Kind of anyway. I knew I was going to hate Finance right off the bat and love Marketing. Go figure on that one. But as much as I hated Finance, I was surprised to find out how much I actually learned from it. It still isn’t interesting in the slightest bit to me but I did learn from it and didn’t do nearly as bad as I thought I would. But speaking of classes, I’ve also realized how spoiled we are with good professors, especially at Ross. I appreciate the hard work and passion they have just to teach us and enlighten us. I don’t know how they have the patience to do it but I’m sure glad they do. So this is a big shout-out to the professors I’ve had this year, especially the ones I’ve bonded with. From all your students (not just me!), thank you.
I feel as though, for some reason, this year was the year that I broadened my network farther than I ever had. I’ve never been a fan of the business school mindset of “networking” because I believe in building real relationships. And I’m proud to say that I have done that with the people I’ve met in 2012.
2012 was also the year of work. This summer at Under Armour was definitely one to remember. Baltimore was an amazing time even though I felt like I was on the move so much that I didn’t get to appreciate the city as much as I wish I could have. Working at UA was a huge challenge but I thrive under pressure. Meeting all of the people from Under Armour, hanging out with all the interns, being at the company, going to the All-Star Game, working through both frustrations and huge successes taught me so much more than I thought I would learn. The experience was invaluable and I consider myself so incredibly fortunate to have had it. Thank you, Under Armour and everyone who was a part of this memorable summer!
There have been many successes in 2012 accompanied by just as many failures. But my ability to learn from my mistakes has improved greatly and this year truly exposed me to the saying of, “Everything happens for a reason.” Everything negative this year turned out to be a blessing in disguise. Taking a risk in February ended with me getting an internship at an unbelievable company. Not getting a position for something this fall turned out to be the greatest gift as I wouldn’t have been able to put the time I had wanted into it because of how busy I was with everything else. I’ve learned to take life as it comes and work for everything I want.
So, what do I wish for for 2013? Well, on a snobby Wolverine level (just let me be, okay!) I wish for a continued successful season from Michigan Basketball and to shock everyone with a National Championship. Laugh all you want, but I think this squad has the best chance we’ve had in a VERY long time. I also hope that Michigan Football’s Team 134 will have us all smelling roses and it would be a great belated 21st birthday gift if Michigan would beat Ohio State in front of my own eyes as it will be my last ever game at Michigan Stadium as a University of Michigan student.
I also, on a more serious level, wish success to all my friends in their ventures. Whether it be getting that perfect internship, starting that business they’ve been looking to begin or to accomplish that dream of traveling, I want it to come true for them. I wish for my family to stay healthy and happy, and hope they have a great time traveling…even if it is without me.
But for me? I just hope to keep doing what I’m doing. To keep seizing opportunities and to keep working hard as I know first-hand that hard work does pay off. I hope to spend the rest of my junior year and the beginning of my senior year making good memories as I know they will be some of my fondest. I have a feeling 2013 will be a good one.
Cheers to 2012, and Happy New Year!
— Dr. Suess