At 70 years old, Carolyn is finally on her way to completing a Bachelor of Arts in History, something she has wanted to do for much of her life.
Born in 1944, Carolyn went to secretarial college night school from the age of 19 whilst working as a secretary, but she says she always harboured a desire to go to university. She considered tertiary studies several times over the years but, as she says, ‘life got in the way.’ It was not until she had retired and found herself with time on her hands that she grasped the opportunity to study history through UNE as an external student.
Life’s hurdles have meant that Carolyn is taking her degree slowly, but she has been achieving outstanding results with distinctions and high-distinctions in most of her subjects.
“I enjoy every minute of my study,” says Carolyn. “The experience has been so utterly rewarding for me, and I have found that studying one thing opens doors to so many other areas of interest and study.
“I enjoy the mental stimulation of study, but I have also discovered that the social interaction is equally rewarding. Even though I study online, I interact regularly with other students on the blackboard. I live in the Southern Highlands and I’m on my own now, so this social and intellectual stimulation has had a very positive impact on my life.
“I think it’s very important for us older people to constantly learn. Many people are isolated in their lives, and I have found this is an excellent remedy. Learning can help to stave off the ageing process – in particular things like dementia, depression or isolation.”
Carolyn has only a handful of subjects to complete before she will obtain her Bachelor of Arts degree from UNE and fulfil her lifelong aspiration of being a university graduate.