A lot of people have goals and dreams but for one reason or another, they never pursue them. It’s a shame since we all have what it takes to succeed. But that means working hard and staying determined. Sometimes, people feel they’re too old. Even when it comes to earning a college degree, there are no limitations.
Age is only a number
Studies from reputable organizations have proven that roughly 512,000 students enrolled in an undergraduate institution were at a minimum, 50 years old. That number accounts for just under three percent of all enrolled students although it’s climbing.
Encourage rather than discourage
Unfortunately, friends and even family members often discourage the elderly from pursuing a college education. In their minds, what’s the point? After all, what could an older student possibly do with a degree?
For individuals who go back to college in their 70s, 80s, and even 90s, it’s not so much about what they can use their degree for but more of accomplishing something great on a personal level. At the same time, they get to learn new things, which keeps the mind sharp.
A perfect example
Guiseppe Paterno, who hails from Sicily, Italy, recently earned a college degree at the ripe age of 96. By doing so, he became the oldest student in the country. This man was also a World War II veteran.
Serving his country
Even when young, Paterno was driven. While a lot of his friends went off to do whatever, he joined the Navy while in his 20s. From there, he became a worker for the railroad. But as his age crept up on him, he realized there was still something he hadn’t achieved.
That’s when Paterno decided he wanted to go to college to earn a degree. He knew that now in his mid-90s, he didn’t have a lot of time to waste. So, he pushed forward, enrolled in school, and studied hard right along with a younger generation of students.
His amazing story
Fortunately, his story was picked up by Inside Edition. This entertainment news station created a video that showcased part of his journey. Although Paterno looks somewhat frail, when he walks across the stage to receive his college diploma, he’s beaming, as he should be.
At the graduation ceremony, this man couldn’t stop smiling. Along with receiving his diploma, a beautiful wreath consisting of greenery and red ribbons was placed on his head. Everyone, including the nay-sayers, was so excited for him.
An inspiration to others
Paterno’s story is so inspiring. If he could do this at 96, other people can do it too. So, what were his studies? History and philosophy. Due to his age, there’s a good chance he had the opportunity to school students himself about his life and adventures.
Shoot for the stars
This is a great reminder to people everywhere that if you really want something bad enough, there’s always a means to get it. In today’s world with so much assistance available, there’s no excuse. Hopefully, Paterno’s story will encourage others to follow suit. By the way, he graduated with high scores and top honors.
You can watch him graduate by clicking on the video below. It’s truly remarkable.
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