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Taneisha Spiller

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University of Michigan, Class of 2023

Sociology - minor in Law, Justice, and Social Change

 What did you think about college before you attended? How has that view changed now that you are in college?

Before I attended college I always assumed that college would be like a shark tank, where everyone was only concerned about themselves. I’ve always been under the impression that no-one would help you and that you’ve only got yourself. During my first year of college, I realized how untrue that statement was. The kindness that I’ve received from my professors and peers is unbelievable. College has taught me the importance of communication and the support of others.

What is your major and why did you pick this field of study? 

I am currently majoring in Sociology with a minor in Law, Justice, and Social Change. As a student pursuing a career in law with the dreams of owning a law firm, I chose this major because it best prepares me for entering law school.

How do you think being a first-generation student has affected your college experience?

Being a first-generation college student has motivated me to keep going. It is what drives and motivates me to keep going with times get rough. It has opened up so many doors for me and I have made lifelong friends who are also first-generation. When there are times where I feel lost, members of this community have always been in my corner. 

What has been the most impactful experience during your time in college?

My most impactful experience has to be when COVID first reached our campus. Trying to move back to Chicago from Michigan on my own was absolutely terrifying. Being in the middle of my first year, I’ve never felt more alone. During this time my English professor extended her family to me and they helped me move back home. The kindness from her and her family will always be with me. 

What do you love about U of M?

The biggest thing that I love about my college is the friendships that I have made along the way. 

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Any advice for students applying for the Renaissance Scholars program?

If you’re applying for the Renaissance Scholars program my biggest advice is to be yourself. Everyone has a story to tell, just make sure you tell yours the best. 

Are you a Renaissance Scholar? Current scholars and alumni can share their stories here. 

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