Embracing Failures and Thriving by Luis

17 Jan 2018 2:34 PM

Guest Blogger Guest Blogger

When I started at Iowa State a year and a half ago, everything seemed so new, and filled with possibilities. I was enthusiastic about making new friends, connections, and pursuing the interests that I once thought would become my passions. Iowa State was my new beginning, the place where I could finally be who I am and live out my identities to the fullest. Although my intentions were to be as successful as I could during my first semester, I was not able to navigate college as seamlessly as I thought I could. I am from Puerto Rico, where culture and the ways of doing things are slightly different, I could not effectively find my way in college at the beginning. My first semester was truly a mess. Apart from receiving low grades, I had not made any connections that could potentially help me one day. It was, without a doubt, an unsuccessful semester.


One of the main reasons I couldn’t effectively navigate college, was because I had no awareness of the resources available to multicultural students and didn’t know anyone who could help me acquire them. I also didn’t find a group of people who I could identify and share my experiences with.

Luis is a Sophomore in Political Science

Photo of BOLD Learning Community MembersThat was until I found the BOLD (Bridging Opportunities in Leadership and Diversity) Learning Community. The BOLD Learning Community is in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, and focuses on helping first-year multicultural students navigate college as seamlessly as they can. They do so by providing resources that help them develop holistically, that is as a future academic and a person. They provided me with a platform where I could be myself and express my worries without the fear of judgement. The resources they provided, helped me in the discovery of where my true passions lay and helped me shape the future that I want for myself. More on to the point, after I had an unsuccessful first semester, I put myself in a slump. I told myself that I was not good enough and that I could never achieve the goals I had set out for myself. I had become a victim of my own circumstances and it wasn’t until I hit “rock bottom”, that I could finally break out of that and know my self-worth.

As cliché as it sounds, grades don’t define the person you are. Although, they are important, it’s ok to fail sometimes. As multicultural students, we know how it’s like to sometimes face challenges that prevent us from thriving. Specifically, in college, the road is not always clear, and it’s difficult for us to find a sense of community and the adequate resources that enable us to succeed. So, it’s ok to fail, just as long as you rise above it and ultimately helps you grow as a person. After I stopped blaming the world and myself for my failures, I could finally thrive.

Today, I’m a peer mentor for the BOLD Learning Community, a Speaker’s Bureau panelist and a participant in the THRIVE Leadership Initiative and have many plans to join other organizations.

Green box with black text (text) You'll never be brave if you don't get hurt.  You'll never learn if you don't make mistakes.  You'll never be successful if you don't encounter failure.

Life is a complicated thing, faced with many adversities and situations that might not always be under your control, so let’s rise above it and thrive in 2018.

In My Words     College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Latinx