“I know I’m not a number,” – Martha’s story

Hello prospective Lutes! My name is Martha Spieker, and I am a sophomore double majoring in Political Science and Hispanic Studies here at PLU. Over the past year and a half, I have come to love my family here, and I know that I am excited to find such a supportive group of inspired people. Before I continue, I think there is one thing that I should be clear about upfront: PLU was not my first choice school. In fact, it is the closest school to my hometown of Gig Harbor, Washington that I applied to. I came to PLU primarily because of their great financial aid package.

Yet the more that I am here, the more I realize how amazing of a place this school is. Yes, it is academic. Yes, it does follow the liberal arts model. But the combination of these and other factors has been the best part of my experience. Last year, as a first year, I already felt I had opportunities that I wouldn’t have had at nearly any other institution.  I took an American Government course from a great professor, Imagewho also helped me travel on her J-Term trip to Washington, D.C. I got to tour the White House, go to the Inauguration, and meet with various influential think tanks. This helped focus my interests in politics in a way that little else could have. Back in spring semester, I had a P.E. class with seven students, where the professor would join in the games. My other classes only had twenty students and I felt connected to professors who really want me to succeed—no matter how many times I visited their office hours to correct an essay. Professors have suggested internships, encouraged concentrations, and guide my study away plans (I’ll be in Granada, Spain this spring!). Here, I know I’m not a number, but a real person (and seriously, people are SO nice. If you aren’t saying hi to at least four people when you cross campus, you’re asleep). I’ve been on the Outdoor Recreation Spring Break trip to Utah and Arizona, interviewed a couple who graduated in 1953, mentored a student at local Keithely Middle School, and hiked Mount Rainier. What fantastic experiences I’ve had, both inside and outside the classroom!

As I continue in my education, I am certain that guidance and access to activities will only continue to help me find my passions. The possibilities are endless—it only requires an ambitious Lute who can see the unbelievable opportunities that PLU has to offer and takes advantage of them.

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