By Assunta Ng
At NSCC ’s commencement, one graduate stood out not because she is my friend, but because she is an older student who worked hard for her associates degree in business. She is also a mother with a daughter who graduated years before.
My friend beamed with a smile when she received her degree with honors. It took her three years to complete the degree while working part-time.
“A teacher inspired me to go for the degree,” she said. Her original goal was to get a certificate, taking some classes. At times, she struggled, but one certificate led to another.
A challenge for older students returning to school is trying to retain new information. The beauty of America is that one can go back to school, regardless of age or circumstance without receiving any judgment. You can be a cripple, and colleges will welcome you with open arms. There is no shame in pursuing life-long learning for anyone, period.
Another friend of mine is an ambitious housewife from Hong Kong who is earning her four-year college degree in English at Bellevue College.
In Hong Kong, where I was raised, applications from older students are often not accepted simply because there is not enough room for even the younger students. To have opportunities to receive an education is a worthwhile experience.
To all older graduates, you are courageous and it seems your life has just begun. (end)