When we're young, we are put under a lot of pressure to meet all of our goals by a certain age; we're supposed to get married, have children, and a high-powered career sometimes before we hit 40, or else doomed for a life of failure. One woman is challenging this idea, though: Marie Hunt received her high-school diploma at the ripe old age of 103. The Agrace HospiceCare patient has lived in Spring Green Wisconsin for the entirety of her long life, and last Friday, she accomplished her dream of graduating from high school. She recalls not having any way to get to and from school after eighth grade; furthermore, since she also had eight younger siblings, she often had to stay home and help care for them. Now, she is making up for lost time.
Hunt, who would have graduated in 1928 had she stayed in school, said she always wished she'd finished her education: "My biggest regret is not getting my high school diploma," she told her Agrace RN, Debra Pfaff. Three of her siblings completed college and noted that she also could have been cut out for receiving a Bachelors degree — so instead of brushing off the comment, Pfaff sprang into action and got together with Hunt's social worker Laura Burden to plan a graduation ceremony.
Many of Hut's close friends and family gathered to watch her receive her long-awaited diploma at her home at the Meadows Assisted Living and Memory Care facility. She donned a traditional cap and gown and received her degree, 87 years after her classmates walked to receive theirs. To make this occasion even more special, River Valley High School principal Kimbert Kauki, school board president Kay Lynn Taylor, and Superintendent Tom Wermuth all attended the ceremony to award Hunt her honorary degree.
If there's one thing we can all learn from this story, it's that it's never too late to follow your dreams and accomplish your goals. Sometimes I feel like we're all in a race to see who can climb the corporate ladder the fastest or accomplish the most in the shortest amount of time, when the truth of the matter is that life is not a race. Everyone accomplishes their goals in their own time and there is no penalty for succeeding after or before a certain age.
No matter what it is you want to do, from running a marathon to becoming CEO of a successful company, to starting your own business, rest assured that you have your whole life ahead of you to make that happen! No worries if it doesn't happen tomorrow or even in the next few years — most of us will live into our seventies and eighties with increasing life expectancies.
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