Overcoming Obstacles

Overcoming obstacles to finish a degree

Luis Muela attended his first year of college three years before he was able to return to school and work toward completing his degree. He began at IUPUI majoring in business, but found as classes progressed that he had no passion for the subject and didn’t want to spend more time and money pursuing an unwanted path. Besides encountering a lack of inspiration, personal issues such as financial security and legal status arose that also prevented him from being able to move directly into his sophomore year. For three years, Luis worked full-time at a bank and continued to settle the issues that were keeping him from pursuing his degree. His legal status was eventually resolved, and from there he was able to secure financial aid, which allowed him to once again become a full-time student while serving tables in his spare time.

Luis Muela.

I’ll feel like I can do anything, like all the hard work will pay off for me eventually career-wise.

Luis Muela | Visual Communications

During his three years away from school, Luis was able to refine his interests and narrow down a major he felt excited about. Luis wanted to nurture his creative side, so he applied to the Herron School of Art and Design—the only fine arts accredited school in the state. He now majors in visual communications to build a career in graphic design, which he hopes to begin in Indy and expand into larger opportunities with companies such as Google, Spotify, or Pandora. Luis said, “Earning my degree will make me feel accomplished because of the struggle I went through to even get to this point. I’ll feel like I can do anything."

As a returning student, Luis said that he made a point to get to know the campus and its resources. He emphasizes how much it has helped him and admits that it is something he didn’t realize the first time. He explains, “Now that I am using them, I can see the difference they’ve made for me since I’ve been here. Now that I am in classes with professors providing information and opportunities, it has broadened my horizons on what I can do with my career and opened my eyes to things that I had never considered before.”

When asked if he could offer any advice to someone considering going back to school, Luis said, “Do it now and don’t wait. All of my peers graduated last year, and I kept thinking that if I would have stayed in school, I would have been done by now. I feel like I lost four years that I could have been working toward my career goals. Time flies and you don’t want to regret putting it off.”

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