Peer Advising Intern Greta Luf: “Try something outside of your comfort zone”

Freshman year is typically a rough year. You are navigating new territory, new course loads, and new friends in a shoebox of a room and a cityscape of a campus. It is an overwhelming collective of activities, lectures, and events every waking moment of the day. Finding a place to call home and find a supportive space is hard, and not something that always comes immediately, and took me a lot of tries to find my spot on this campus.

My freshman year started in Fall 2020 over Zoom. My way to connect with others was through social media or people I already knew going to UMass. Early in my 8:00 AM a speaker from the Mock Trial Club came into my Controversies in Public Policy course to announce that they were holding tryouts and information sessions within the month. I knew nothing about the club, what they did, or what the point was beyond some relation to court. Nonetheless, I went to the information session and left more confused than how I entered. I decided to tryout with the little information I understood because I thought why not.

The tryout came, I figured I bombed the tryout, one of the captains made me redo some parts and told me to try things I had not prepared. The sheer idea of putting myself out there felt like a win at the end of the day. If a rejection email came, there were five more clubs to try out for in the coming weeks. However, I was lucky because that rejection letter did not come, I had made the team.

The next months I spent with a caring and supportive group learning the ins and outs of trial procedures and objection arguments. It was the first time I felt connected to UMass beyond signing my acceptance letter back in May or wearing a sweatshirt with our school’s logo. I found my spot on this campus and my closest friends. The coming years I became a captain for the club and have been able to help people find their place too.

The best decision I made at UMass was to try something outside of my comfort zone. It was a lesson I fortunately learned early on and take with me in classes, jobs, and life in general. You never know where you are going to find something you love until you dive in.

By Greta Luf
Greta Luf