"From a Peer" messages are written by BOLD students and student workers to share information that they find meaningful. We are proud of this opportunity to feature BOLD student voices in our community. If you are a CU Engineering student and have ideas for content or would like to contribute, please contact BOLD@colorado.edu.

GoldShirt and BOLD Scholars Fall 2022 Celebration

By Amanda Figueroa Diaz

On December 1, the BOLD Center and Engineering GoldShirt Program celebrated the end of the Fall 2022 semester by bringing together Scholars and soon-to-be graduates.

The event took place at Rustandy Auditorium. Students enjoyed a game of bingo and ate delicious empanadas. The atmosphere was relaxed, as most were excited to spend time with friends and take a breather from final exam preparations. 

The soon-to-be graduates took the stage to give a quick word of advice to their fellow Scholars. 

  • It’s okay to drop a class and focus on your mental health. Adding a semester can even be beneficial. You may discover new academic interests, have the chance to study abroad, or  simply be in a better position to absorb and truly learn material that was previously harder to digest.
  • Make friends. Don’t be afraid to reach out to those around you and pursue passions outside of engineering. It will make your academic journey much more manageable if there are things you look forward to outside of school. 
  • Stay focused. Stay motivated. Engineering is hard. There will be times when you want to give up, but if it is a path you want to take, don’t let the obstacles discourage you. Failing a class or an exam doesn’t mean you can’t become an engineer, it simply means you need to reevaluate how you study and reach out to professors and tutors. 

At the end of the night, the GoldShirt Fall 2022 ceremony reminded us that our goal shouldn’t just be to reach the finish line. We should make as many memories as we can, spend time with friends, and learn lifelong lessons. That is what makes these years in school worthwhile.


10 Engineering students on how they’ll celebrate the end of the fall semester

By Amanda Figueroa Diaz

Sun rising on CU Boulder campusThe semester is coming to an end and we can’t wait to enjoy a well-deserved break and recharge. It can be especially hard to stay motivated, however, after returning from Thanksgiving break for the last two weeks of classes. 

In an effort to learn more about what keeps engineering students motivated during this time, we posed a simple question: How will you reward yourself after getting through this semester? 

Here are some responses from students at the BOLD Center: 

  • Learn to play guitar 
  • Refurbish a classic car 
  • Buy new clothes 
  • Buy loafers 
  • Dance on a mountaintop 
  • Binge watch all the shows I couldn’t watch during the semester
  • Bake myself a chocolate cake 
  • Paint a portrait of myself 
  • Take a roadtrip to California 
  • Not setting a morning alarm 

Follow us on instagram (@theboldcenter) and let us know what motivates you during these last two weeks and how you plan on rewarding yourself after getting through the semester.

You matter. A lot.

By Amanda Figueroa Diaz

You Matter ShirtSometimes it’s easy to believe your worth is based on an exam score. The pressure is on to get good grades, to find the right internship, to get the best paying job after graduation. 

But what happens if things don’t go your way the first time around?

We’re told to try again, to not give up. And while persistence is necessary for success, so is reminding yourself that you are more than your academic performance. It is normal to feel discouraged and unmotivated at times. The BOLD Center team wants to remind you to take a moment to see your worth and the worth of those around you. 

On Monday, Nov. 7, the BOLD Center gave out free shirts to anyone who stopped by. The catch? Make sure to tell someone how much you appreciate them when you wear it. 

The shirts had a simple message: “You Matter. (a lot)”

At BOLD, we recognize that words matter. We want to promote inclusivity and recognize the hard work of students, staff and faculty in our community. This week, take a moment to tell someone just how much you value them. Write it down or say it out loud, whichever you prefer. You never know who needs to hear those kind words.

Self Care During the Semester

By Bruno Armas

You have officially made it to week 12 of the semester! It might feel like it was just the first day of school, and then you blinked and it’s today. Maybe you're feeling an abundance of stress and are in short supply of motivation. With the third round of midterms just around the corner, it is more important that you take care of yourself so you can finish out the semester strong.

Here are some tips to help you finish out the semester:

  • Create a nighttime routine. Try to incorporate calming activities such as 15 minutes of reading or a cup of tea. Repeating this routine can help signal to your brain that it is time to start winding down for the day.
  • Take small naps. Naps can help reenergize you for the day. Limit them to 15-25 minutes for optimal results.
  • Organize your calendar. Designate time for studying and free time. Be aware of how much time you have left to prepare.
  • Take breaks. If you feel tired, hungry or lonely while studying, take care of those needs. Trying to persevere through those feelings may do more harm than good. Take a break from studying. Eat a meal or snack if you need one. Call a friend if you are feeling lonely.

Many on campus are experiencing the same emotions you are at this moment. You are not alone in facing these struggles. Do not hesitate to reach out to BOLD staff, your peers or faculty for help. And remember to celebrate your progress and achievements!

Sharing Tradition: El Dia de Los Muertos

By Amanda Figueroa Diaz

Dia de los muertos skullDuring the month of August, the Aztecs paid homage to the goddess of the underworld, Mictecacihuatl. They believed that if they appeased her, they would prevent her from returning to the world of the living. Learn about the history of the Aztecs, their affinity for the skull, and how it all led to the Day of the Dead. 

Long before the arrival of the Spanish, the Aztecs held a month-long ritual celebrating their deceased ancestors. They paid homage to the deity believed to watch over the bones of their loved ones, the goddess of the underworld, Mictecacihuatl.

To this day, millions of Mexicans and Mexican Americans continue the tradition, known as el Dia de Los Muertos (Day of the Dead). 

In the United States, while many focus on the October 31 celebration of Halloween, Mexican families prepare for the following two days that make up Day of the Dead. 

November 1 is known as el Dia de Los Inocentes (Day of the Innocents) or Dia de Los Angelitos (Day of the Little Angels). It is reserved for the young children that have passed away. November 2 commemorates the deceased adults - los muertos

Families celebrate the spirits of loved ones by creating home altars. Ofrendas (offerings) such as candles, food, photos and trinkets welcome the spirits into the home. Flor de Muerto (flower of the dead), sweet-smelling bright orange and yellow marigolds, are placed on graves and throughout the home. Papel picado (colorful peckered paper) is used to liven the streets and cemeteries. 

The concept of death is not associated with morbidity as it is in the United States and other parts of the world. Instead, families decorate their homes with color to cheer up the visiting spirits.

The Aztecs, like other Mesoamerican peoples, believed that grief was disrespectful to the dead. Skulls represented the promise of rebirth and were displayed in temples and on artwork, scrolls and even clothing. During Dia de los Muertos, they are a significant reminder to enjoy life and embrace mortality. Death is an inevitable rite of passage that should not be feared or met with tears, but with smiles and celebration.

Today, families that celebrate Dia de los Muertos carry forward this tradition and express the sentiment that loved ones only truly die when we forget about them.

Thoughts on Halloween and Cultural Appropriation

By Bruno Armas

Appropriation is the action of taking something for one’s use, typically without the owner’s permission, and not having an awareness of the significance to the owner. Cultural appropriation is the act of taking or using things from a culture that is not your own, especially without showing that you understand or respect this culture, and using it for your own purposes. For example, wearing a Native American headdress as part of a costume. If it is a part of someone’s culture, it should not be a part of your costume.

Before you head out for your Halloween activities, ask your yourself these five questions:

  1. Am I using a symbol/object not from my culture?
  2. Do I know what the symbol/object represents?
  3. Am I using the symbol/object appropriately?
  4. Do I benefit from wearing this costume? How?
  5. Will my costume make others feel uncomfortable? How so?

With these guidelines in mind, everyone can enjoy a fun and inclusive Halloween that is reflective of our values. Happy Halloween!