Quick Note: Hi! I’m starting this new series where I interview students at various universities across the US (and maybe abroad) in order to allow people to get a feel for the schools and just to get a wide variety of opinions on here. Hope you enjoy 🙂
Located: Ann Arbor, Michigan. Acceptance Rate: 27%. Graduation Rate: 90%. Student Interviewed: Raheem Ahmed.
Interviewer: What’s name and where are you from?
Raheem: My name is Raheem Ahmed and I was born in Freeland, Michigan.
Interviewer: What year are you in your education?
Raheem: I am freshman at University of Michigan.
Interviewer: What’s your major/prospective major?
Raheem: Biology and Pre-Med
Interviewer: Tell me about a book that has stuck with you throughout your life.
Raheem: Sleeping Freshmen Never Lie because it was awful. It was also the first book I felt forced to read and it sucked.
Interviewer: Tell me about a film that has stuck with you.
Raheem: Toy Story because it talks about how life is tough but the best way to get through life is to surround yourself with good friends and no matter how hard life gets, you always have friends around you.
Interviewer: Who’s your celebrity crush?
Raheem: Candice Patton, she plays Iris on The Flash.
Interviewer: If you had all the money in the world, what would you do with it?
Raheem: Spend it, sleep, and never work a day in my life.
Interviewer: Do you have any weird talents?
Raheem: I have no normal talents. But if I had to pick one, it would be making admissions officers cry.
Interviewer: Are you currently binge-watching anything?
Raheem: I’m currently watching Glee again because it’s trending on TikTok and it made me want to watch it again.
Interviewer: Do you live on campus or off campus? (If so, do you like it?)
Raheem: I live on campus. I know that most people complain about the bad dorm food and having to live with a roommate, but I actually really like it. I feel like you get to live near other students and get a sense of unity. You just feel more connected to the campus because later on it kind of becomes like high school where you don’t live at school and you just drive back and forth between school and home.
Interviewer: Why University of Michigan?
Raheem: UMich is the big school in Michigan, so I grew up hearing about it. But, on a more personal note, when my dad first came to Michigan from Pakistan, he applied to do his residency at UMich and was rejected. This more or less led him to push my brother, my sister and I to apply. Both my brother and sister weren’t interested in going, but after hearing about all the good things that UMich has to offer, I fell in love with the school. Also, in terms of education, Ross is a very strong business school and I thought that it would lead to a good career. The biology and pre-med programs are also strong and there are plenty of opportunities to learn and grow.
Interviewer: What was your first impression of University of Michigan?
Raheem: My freshman year of high school, my sister was touring the school and our whole family went with her. I was struck by how beautiful the school was and I enjoyed myself, but, I couldn’t shake the feeling of being immensely overwhelmed. I knew that the programs for business and biology were good, but I was so used to smaller class sizes in high school that seeing the large lecture halls. I was also used to having all my classes in one building and seeing all the buildings around added to the overwhelming feeling. It also hit me that when I was finally at college, I would have so much more freedom but I would be away from my family and I wouldn’t be living at home. It was just crazy to think about.
Interviewer: What was that greatest challenge that you faced when you arrived on campus?
Raheem: It was definitely making friends.
Interviewer: What’s something that you love about your school?
Raheem: I love the school spirit. Everyone is really proud to go to school here and it feels like people actually want to be there. You can’t go anywhere without hearing someone say “Go Blue”.
Interviewer: What do you think about college classes?
Raheem: College classes are definitely harder and such a pain. But I like them better because there’s no unnecessary in-class work. You learn the essentials and what you need to know to be successful in the class and I enjoy that much more than high school classes.
Interviewer: What’s the atmosphere like at your college?
Raheem: People around UMich are very brilliant. Everyone wants to be the best at what they’re doing or studying. Since everyone wants to do well, people are often looking to help each other do well together.
Interviewer: So far, what’s your best memory at college?
Raheem: I woke up one Friday morning after two stressful exams and my scores had been posted at 8am that morning and I saw that I had done well on both of them. Seeing that I had done well helped me feel a little less like an imposter and allowed me to feel like I truly belonged there.
Interviewer: Have you experienced something that has changed your perception of your goals?
Raheem: I originally came in as a business major in the Ross School of Business alongside being on a pre-professional track. During my first semester, I found myself falling in love with the sciences classes that I took and it led me to want to pursue a career in the sciences, rather than business.
Interviewer: What is something you would still like to try at your school?
Raheem: At UMich, we have an arboretum, which is like a garden and it has a large hill in it. During the winter, people go sledding off of that hill and it’s something that I’ve always wanted to try because I’ve never been sledding.
Interviewer: What’s something you wish you could change about your school?
Raheem: While I understand that UMich is a very big school, I wish there were smaller class sizes. A 400 person Chem 1800 lecture often makes you feel like you don’t really exist in the classroom. It also made me feel like I was disconnected from the teacher and the subject.
Interviewer: What’s something that you’ve learned about yourself so far about your time at University of Michigan?
Raheem: Never give up.
Interviewer: Tell me about the traditions at your school that you’ve had the chance to participate in?
Raheem: At orientation, we got the chance to walk through the fountain near the bell tower towards the Undergraduate library and the Diag to symbolize that we were entering our time as an undergraduate student. At graduation, you do the same, but you walk towards the Rackham graduate school to symbolize being done with your undergraduate and moving forward to whatever you might be doing afterwards.
Interviewer: What advice do you have for anyone who would like to attend your school in the future?
Raheem: Don’t be afraid to apply. Even if you don’t think your grades or scores are “high enough” for UMich, they don’t look at you as a number or a statistic. At the end of the day, you are a person to them. So give it shot.