An 84-year-old North Texas woman achieved her dream of getting a college degree on Wednesday.
University of Texas at Dallas student Janet Fein refused to let failing health or life challenges keep her from her goals.
“For me, it is pretty special. I am the oldest graduate in the class,” Fein said. “It makes me feel wonderful.”
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The achievement comes after raising five children and retiring from a long career as a secretary at the age of 77.
“After I retired, I didn’t want to just sit and read books,” Fein said. “I decided I could get a degree if I tried.”
Fein graduated with a sociology degree and a 3.2 GPA.
“Everybody says, ‘Really you are going to school and you’re graduating?’ and I say, 'Yes, it can be done. You just have to work at it,'" she said.
It wasn’t an easy road. She still attended classes even after her health started failing. When she had to transition from her own home to a senior living facility and her knees gave out, she started taking online classes.
“[Some] older people stop growing and age, and take each day as they come and I am not ready to give up yet,” Fein said.
She has become an inspiration to people around her including many who have been hesitant about going to school later in life.
“One of the caregivers who brings me down for dinner is going back to school starting in January because of me,” Fein said.
This milestone while likely not be the end of her education journey. Fein is now considering taking more online classes. This time in political science.