After years of working hard and dreaming about it, starting classes or returning to classes at top-ranked Michigan is exciting. As thrilling as it is, you know being a student at a highly-ranked university where excellence is mandatory comes Olympiad intensity from the first class. The pressure to succeed is overwhelming and you’re navigating an environment far different from high school or undergrad. Ann Arbor also may be a new city for you if this is your first year at Michigan.
Excellence at Michigan Means Long Study Hours
Getting an elite education in the land of the Wolverines means finding and remembering volumes of information from multiple sources. You’ll have seemingly unending study hours and limited time for part-time paying work. Whatever money you have left over from any part-time work goes to school and living expenses so your money is as limited as your time.
You need more than one-minute tension releasers and places beyond Michigan’s on-campus study lounges to go to unwind but on a student’s budget. Only through rejuvenating regularly will you not only survive but thrive while at Michigan.
To stay mentally and physically healthy during your studies, you’ll need to build time into your packed schedule for the sole purpose of relaxing. In fact, it’s important you develop habits now that prevent professional burnout later.
No Shortage of Downtime Activities
About 35 miles west of Detroit and surrounded by natural beauty roads and over 150 parks, Ann Arbor is a diverse city where small college town meets big city amenities. The medical campus sits along the Huron River and the Arboretum (aka “The Arb”) amidst miles of nature trails.
Cultural activities, sporting events, public golf courses, restaurants, pubs, a farmer’s market and extracurricular activities provide students an abundance of free time options. Students can have fun and network with other students, another essential first-year graduate school activity.
Here are things to add to your plan to relax and revitalize—in your own way—on and around Michigan’s Ann Arbor campus.
Visit Campus Recreational Facilities
No matter what kind of fitness you’re interested in, you’ll find something that fits your style at the Recreation Sports center. Competitive athletes can participate in Intramural Sports or Club Sports.
With intramural sports, you can form your own team and play in weekly matches in an intramural league, if you have time to commit to a season of that. If not, play in tournaments that fit your tight schedule. Student-led Club Sports teams compete against colleges and universities nationally, and you have 30 you can choose.
Fitness fans and those starting a program have plenty of choices, too. You can get unlimited classes providing from low-impact to hard-core fitness options. Set your own pace and goals with personal training.
If you love the outdoors and want off-campus forays into the surrounding natural environment, then check out Adventure Leadership Trips and Adventure Leadership Teams. Plan escapades to the Great Lakes or local campgrounds yourself with equipment rentals.
Experience Local Arts, Entertainment and History
Venues on and off campus provide multiple opportunities to participate in Ann Arbor’s diverse cultural scene, considered one of the nation’s best. In fact, it’s the only city the country to host the Royal Shakespeare Company and students perform with the medical and science communities the Life Sciences Orchestra.
Museums and historic sites abound in and around Ann Arbor, both on campus and around town. Visit historical places near campus or a few eclectic, artsy ones. Or, take a short trip to Detroit to enjoy its unique culture and see Motor City and Motown museums.
Back in Ann Arbor, enjoy the vibrant restaurant, club and craft beer scene inexpensively. If you’re feeling truly adventurous, take a weekend road trip to do Chicago on the cheap.
Renew Your Spirit with Volunteer Work
One of the best things you can do for your personal well-being is volunteer to help others achieve theirs. It’s sounds cliché but you truly can help yourself while helping your your community.
Volunteering helps you develop networking skills that are critical for later success, especially if you’re a grad student. Many organizations in and around Ann Arbor both on and off campus need your helping hands.
If you are a medical student or have medical school ambitions, volunteer locally with Michigan Medicine Services, or globally with the Medical Brigades. That way, you can revive your spirit and begin making a difference with your education from leading Michigan.
Remember, as busy as you are, your most important self-care requirements are sleeping well and living in a comfortable home. That not only reduces stress but helps you succeed so consider furnishings from CORT Furniture Rental to make your life easier.