“After my 12th standard I had to give up my education to get married. It was a joint family, so continuing my education was not an option, but somewhere within me I always felt like I had missed out…that I wanted to study further. I gave birth to three beautiful children, and my thirst for knowledge was so much, that I never allowed them to take tuitions until the 9th standard — I would teach t hem myself, but after some time the subjects were too advance for me to grasp. Often I would tell my children, how I wish I had atleast graduated and made something of myself and they would always tell me to still give it a go. At first I would laugh it off, but once my daughter got married and my other two children were busy with college, I began to consider it seriously.
In 2013, after 30 years, at the age of 51 I decided to fill out the form for my FYBcom with the encouragement of my family. I still remember my first day in college — I felt so overwhelmed because all my classmates were young students! I had sleepless nights wondering if I would be able to cope, but my children helped me every step of the way. It was such a strange feeling — all my life I’d taught them, but here I was at 51 learning mathematics from my son and how to write essays from my daughter. Even my mother-in-law would wish me best of luck everyday before I went to college. Funnily enough, I started making a lot of friends.
These youngsters are so accepting of everything that they immediately made me a part of their group. On one occasion, my mother-in-law was admitted to the hospital because of which I couldn’t go to class for a few days, but my friends…these young children would meet me after class and teach me at the college courtyard. I’ve learned so much from them as well — I’m an active participant of our class’s Whatsapp group which I had never even used before!
The time I was most nervous was during my first year exam. After I came out of my last exam, I saw all three of my children waiting outside for me, just like I used to wait out for them after their exams. When the results came and I had cleared, my husband was the happiest…he was so overwhelmed that he started crying and immediately took me out to buy a sari…it was the best day of my life.
I’m appearing for my final year exams this May and I know I will clear them…I can’t wait to be called a graduate after all these years. I have a few plans to put my education to use after I graduate, but for now I’m happy that I’ve had this experience…it’s taught me that it’s actually never too late to do anything.”
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