Guest Blogger: Mimi Vukelich ’17
Mimi, a PA for NSO 2015, talks about her experience trying something new on campus her freshman year and finding a passion in Mock Trial. Cornell brag: Mimi was part of our Mock Trial team that headed to Nationals this spring!
When I first came to Cornell I wasn’t really sure what I wanted to be involved in. There were a few activities and organizations that interested me. People on my floor were getting involved in a wide variety of activities. I remember going to the activities fair on the OC. My friends and I circled around the OC, looking at all of the different activities. We put our names on various email lists and talked to different groups we were interested in. There is one group that, looking back, stands out in my mind but at the time it didn’t even appear on my radar; that group was Mock Trial. A week or so after the activities fair, there were flyers peppered around campus advertising Mock Trial try outs. I read them but didn’t really process what I was reading or consciously think I was going to try out. The tryout process, according to the fliers, involved a brief speech period followed by an interview.
I had done Speech and Debate in high school. I owned a suit and loved the team atmosphere of that activity. My very, very, very limited knowledge of Mock Trial told me that it was a performance based activity where the participants wear suits. How different from Speech could it be? I still had a portion of one of my old pieces memorized.
The day of the tryouts arrived. I decided to try out. First there was the speech room; half of the current team plus the coach were in that room. I gave my speech and moved into the other room, where the remainder of the team was. I sat in a chair and they were in a half circle surrounding me. I remember thinking that even though the setup of this room was a little more intimidating, I felt a lot more comfortable in this room. I got asked a bunch of questions and then was told I would be contacted later that day to know whether or not I made it.
I was contacted and told I made it and there was a brief team meeting. The first few practices were utterly overwhelming. There was so much to learn and it seem as though the returners knew everything and the other newcomers had a better grasp of everything than me. The first tournament arrived. I was worried I would mess up and disappoint my squad but I didn’t. And, at the next tournament, my squad won first place. It was a fantastic feeling.
Joining Mock Trial, as unplanned and out of the blue as it was, was the best decision I have made so far in my college career. I found an activity, completely new to me and never before experienced, that I absolutely fell in love with. Along with that came a community of people who are quirky and passionate and funny and serious. Without Mock Trial, my college experience would be so much less rich than it has become.
Thanks to Mimi for sharing her experience. There are so many opportunities to find something new to try on campus and as all Cornellians will recommend, try them out! You’re bound to find something you really enjoy and meet some cool people along the way. Whether it’s trying out Mock Trial, lacrosse, the letterpress, or helping out in the herbarium, don’t be afraid to try something new at Cornell! It might just be the thing for you.