This is the true story about an 87 year old college student- Rose- who attended college a ‘little late.’

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A professor introduced himself on the first day of school and challenged the students to get to know someone. I stood up when a soft hand touched me. I found a wrinkled, little old lady with a smile on her face saying Hi, my name is Rose. I’m 87 years old. Would you mind if I give you a hug?”

I said laughing while hugging- Yeah, sure; why are you in college at such a young age. She said- “I’m here to meet a wealthy spouse and have kids!” I then asked her seriously about her purpose of college education. She said she always dreamt of having a college education and was getting one now!

After the class, we became instant friends and for next 3 months, I was mesmerized by this moving ‘time machine’ who so much wisdom and experience to share with everyone. Within a few months, she became a campus icon and made friends with no trouble wherever she went. She was having the time of her life, truly- she loved to revel in attention that others gave her and loved dressing up.

During the end of semester, we all invited her to speak at the podium of football banquet where she shared several experiences with us which no one would be able to forget.
She dropped her cue cards and laughed at herself saying she was so jittery because of all the whiskeys and beers!

She started by saying:

  • We never stop playing because we get old; we grow old since we stop playing.
  • The secrets to staying happy are laughing every day and having a dream.
  • There is a big difference between growing older and growing up: If you are 19 years and lie in bed for a year and don’t do even a single fruitful thing, you will still turn 20.
  • Have no regrets: it is for those who fear death.
  • Growing older isn’t a talent or ability. Growing up can only be done by finding prospect in change.
  • Growing older is mandatory, Growing up is not.

After a few days, Rose completed the college degree she began years ago. She finished her speech by bravely singing “The Rose” and challenged to us learn its lyrics and live by them! A few days after graduation, Rose died quietly in her sleep. More than 2000 college students attended her funeral to pay tribute to the most wonderful woman they ever met.

All of us make a living by what we get and all of us make a life by what we give.