I looked down at my feet submerged in water, and then up at the Diag as I waded through the Michigan League fountain. It was official; I was going to be a Michigan Wolverine. I was told by my orientation leader that walking in this specific fountain towards campus would be the first of many Michigan traditions that I would take part in. I was also told that I would make this same walk through the fountain again once I graduated, except this time I would be walking in the direction away from campus. At the moment, all I was thinking about was how thankful I was to be stepping in some water on a hot June day. As I have progressed through two years at this University, though, I cannot stop thinking about how thankful I am to have the opportunity to cross that fountain once, and how thankful I will be when I can say I crossed it again with my degree in hand.
The University of Michigan is filled with traditions, each unique and special. Attending this University engrains these traditions in us Wolverines and makes us a part of the Michigan family. These traditions become a part of you, and you will carry them with you for a lifetime.
We can start with football Saturdays. Home games in Ann Arbor are insane. Michigan football fans from far and wide flood the streets and form a giant maize river. Music blasts, people laugh, and everyone comes together to support the team, the team, the team.
Painting the rock is another colorful Michigan tradition. If you walk by the giant rock sitting at the corner of Washtenaw and Hill, it will be painted differently each time. The rock originated as a memorial for George Washington and was then tainted by some Spartan fans, initiating the painting of The Rock. It is a cool site to check out because you never know what it will look like next! Hopefully you can paint the rock with your friends in the future!
Walking near the Union brings one in contact with a lot of art. One of the most famous being The Cube. The Cube is a kinetic structure that sits on one of its corners, and it is highly prone to spinning. According to the tradition, the University president spins The Cube on their way to their office each day. One can also find a lot of students giving The Cube a spin. It is a fun thing to take for a spin!
Of all of the University of Michigan traditions, not stepping on the “M” in the Diag is the most important, GPA-wise at least. Legend has it that if you step on this M, you will fail your first BlueBook exam. Even after students complete their first BlueBook, they continue to avoid it. Better safe than sorry, right?
I could go on and on about traditions at the University of Michigan. I think the greatest tradition, though, is the fact that the University runs on “Michigan time”. Michigan time is the tradition of starting class late. All classes and events start 10 minutes after the designated time. Trust me, those extra 10 minutes are glorious on freezing winter mornings.
All of these traditions encompass such a large community of alumni, faculty, students, and fans at the University of Michigan that make up the leaders and best of this school. For more information on some of the traditions at the greatest school in the world, check out this link to unique resources at UMich!
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