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Why Does the University of Michigan Produce Such Successful Students?

December 9, 2010

In recent years the country has taken strides to lessen and limit racism and prejudice as much as possible. People of all raises, ethnicities, religions, genders, and other beliefs are all viewed as equal and their opinions are, for the most part, equally important. This gradual tolerance of the beliefs of others has not only been beneficial in terms of equality, but also has allowed people to be exposed to a greater variety of thoughts.

One of the best ways to deal with problems and find good solutions is by using knowlegde you have gained from others in forming a good solution. We as humans learn from our own personal experiences as well as those of others and form opinions on issues based on this knowledge. Therefore, it would make sense that if we had more knowledge we would be able to have better ideas on truths and form more beneficial solutions for different issues.

“But the peculiar evil of silencing the expression of an opinion is, that it is robbing the human race; posterity as well as the existing generation; those who dissent from the opinion, still more than those who hold it. If the opinion is right, they are deprived of the opportunity of exchanging error for truth: if wrong, they lose, what is almost as great a benefit, the clearer perception and livelier impression of truth, produced by its collision with error” – John Stuart Mill

This quote by Mill explains how allowing people to express their opinions is beneficial to society regardless of whether the opinion is right or wrong. He explains how if it is correct then it allows society to replace their false thoughts with the truth and if the opinion is false then it allows people to compare it to the truth and strenthens their belief in the truth. I believe this is the best way for people to learn. By being expossed to a vast, diverse variety of opinions people can for the best opinions of different issues and form ideas as to what they believe is the truth.

When a person is only exposed to one side of an issue it leads them to have a more narrow minded view of the topic and their opinions will be based on their limited ideology and therefore they will not be able to form solution that will be the most correct and beneficial to everyone. By being exposed to the views of people of different cultural backrounds, geographic locations, etc. it allows people to compare their opinions on certain topics with those of others and this will help them strengthen their correct beliefs, replace their false ideas with correct ones, and learn to look at issues from new perspectives.

This is exactly why the University of Michigan produces the best students. The school prides itself on its large and diverse student body that consists of people from various states in the United States as well as various countries in the world. Being a student here allows you to go to class with people of various backrounds who have very unique and sometimes different opinions than you on the same issues. Therefore, sitting in a class, such as the discussion for Political Science 101, allows students to express their thoughts and exposses the students in the class to many thoughts that may be completely true, partially true, or false. This allows students to pick and chose ideas that they believe are true and leads to them having the best and most truthful set of knowledge and views on a wide variety of topics.

5 Comments
  1. erikamir permalink
    December 9, 2010 5:31 PM

    I would definitely have to agree with you that Michigan does produce some of the best students in the country. There is much room for expression on campus whether it be in a lecture, discussion section, or just the many rallies that we have around campus. The great thing about going to a liberal university, is the different opinions in which Mill says we will all benefit. This is why Michigan is leading in departments such as philosophy and psychology. Michigan students change the world and I am proud to be a part of such an institution. Go Blue!

  2. lski9 permalink
    December 9, 2010 5:33 PM

    I don’t think you can have one aspect that anyone can point to as the reason why the University of Michigan produces the Leaders and the Best. Still, it is very important to have this diverse community to progress learning because I do agree that have many diverse conflicting ideas adds to the atmosphere of any class room and adds ideas that will help one progress and advance themselves in and out of the classroom. Mills is right that people need to voice their opinions because often brainstorming with many different tools and ideas leads to the best plan of action, and there isn’t a better place to hear conflicting ideas than the University of Michigan.

  3. jacobjam permalink
    December 9, 2010 7:40 PM

    I think you have pointed out a great aspect of the University of Michigan. After attending the school for almost a year and a half, I think that any student can see what the “Michigan Difference” truly is both literally and figuratively. It can be seen that this institution prides itself on the diversity it has not only because this diversity creates a simply well-rounded school, but that this diversity improves and allows the school to progress as well. Mill clearly states this as one of his main theories. The diversity through out campus creates new ideas and intellect each and everyday which in turn drives the students to become more aware and build new ideas of their own. It is because of Mill that we see why such diversity becomes so immensely successful to an academic institution, and it is something that must always remain.

  4. jpriest04 permalink
    December 9, 2010 10:26 PM

    Your analysis of Michigan students is very interesting. Claiming that the reason the University of Michigan turns out such excellent students is because our ethnic diversity has led to diversity of thought seems a little extreme to me. I agree that people from different backgrounds (and different countries) may offer very different insight into a topic, and that this variety of insight can undoubtedly foster new thoughts, perceptions, and beliefs; however, I do not agree that this alone is what makes Michigan students so successful. Instead, I offer the argument that these students achieve excellence from their own hard work and dedication to their studies; they are, generally, quite passionate about the majors they are pursuing, and this passion is what leads them to work so hard, and thereafter, achieve so much. Therefore, even as exposure to different opinions and ways of thinking may help foster the growth of Michigan students, it does not alone determine their success; rather, it is their passion, dedication, and hard work that do.

  5. Christine Irish permalink
    December 9, 2010 11:53 PM

    While I would love to think that we, as students at the University of Michigan, are shining beacons of hope and perfection in a still biased world, I would hesitate to do so. Try telling any minority student that racism and prejudice are not issues here. Though the U encourages learning from difference and diversity, a lot of students still have a lot to work on in that department. As a part of the IGR program here, I’ve helped facilitate dialogues between groups of diverse students. While everyone tried to be “PC” at first, it soon came out that deep down we all still have prejudices and biases. There’s nothing wrong with that, but it’s important to acknowledge that before we can move on to working on correcting those issues.

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