Can you describe your background?

My name is Margot Bolaños-Gamez. I am currently a 2nd year studying Environmental Science and potential Global Studies double major. I am from Houston, Texas, and a Mexican-American from my family background.

What challenges do you face as an FLI student and what have you learned to overcome some of them?

As an FLI student, some of my major challenges consisted of adapting to a higher academia rigor, the city of Chicago, and whom to reach out to with various kinds of needs that came up as a 1st year. How I came to overcome many of these was through the community I fostered in the CAAP program by reaching out to students that I knew from my same courses to study and encourage each other together. Similarly, many of them are from Chicago and they helped me adapt and see the beauty and choices that this city has to offer! Additionally, reaching out to CCSS’s staff for any concern or resources was crucial in many instances because I learned of multiple resources available for FLI that I had not known about before.

What advice would you give to your first-year you?

A piece of advice I would’ve personally wanted to tell myself as a first-year would be regarding the pressure of finding that first internship and wanting a specific GPA. Understanding and hearing from myself that while hard to accept it is okay to struggle with certain courses because not every student comes from the same academic background. That instead of feeling failure it is precisely the fact that I am not giving up in those courses that demonstrates how strong and capable I am to grow and exceed new expectations.

What is your proudest moment so far?

My proudest moment by far is being part of the family, the “home away from home” that I have here in the UChicago community. Despite the distance, the pandemic brought in our lives we are still in contact and stronger than ever United in both the struggles and the successes in each of our lives.

Interviewed by: Eseme Segbefia