A Microcosm of the World At Large

From Alexis Avila for First College Visit, a series of first college visit stories by business professionals sponsored by SmartCollegeVisit.

When I was seven, my father transplanted our  whole family from Ann Arbor, Michigan to Brookline, Massachusetts. After eleven years of learning the Boston accent and New England way of life, I decided to return to my roots and visit the University of Michigan – Ann Arbor.

Alexis Avila, center, at the Univeristy of Michigan - Ann Arbor, c. 1998 I knew a lot about Ann Arbor from growing up there and visiting during the summers. The town is hip, diverse, has great food, little unemployment, and was just an amazing place to grow up as a kid.

When I visited the University of Michigan campus as an eighteen year-old, I experienced for the first time what it was it was like to be part of the Michigan Wolverine community. While walking through the most beautiful campus I’ve ever seen, I noticed that the undergrads were from all parts of the globe – a microcosm of the world at large! The students walked around campus with a glint in their eyes that proclaimed, “I’m proud to be a Michigan Wolverine.” The students were extremely bright, engaging and helpful – that’s the good ol’ Midwestern hospitality!

Coming from a diverse background, where I moved around a bit in my life, I knew I belonged at the University of Michigan. Ann Arbor was the place where I was born, and returning to the University of Michigan as an undergraduate was really like going back to my “nest,” but this time with 20,000 other birds in it!


Alexis Avila is Founder, Director of Prepped and Polished: Tutoring, College Counseling, Test Prep, (formerly TUTORrific Academic Services), providing tutoring, college counseling, and test prep in the Boston, Massachusetts area.


College visits, visits to campus, planning college visitsFirst College Visit on Handshake 2.0, a series of first college visit stories by business professionals, is sponsored by SmartCollegeVisit, a college visit portal with tools and resources for planning campus visit travelcollege visit advice from parents to parents, not-to-miss college campus sites, and more. You’re invited to subscribe to SmartCollegeVisit updates, to follow SmartCollegeVisit on Twitter, and to become a fan of SmartCollegeVisit on Facebook.

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