This University Student Was Shocked When A 70-Year-Old Classmate Walked Into Her Lecture. Then She Wrote THIS.
Thank you to the anonymous graduate who penned this open letter.
And thank you to SEheartshare for sharing it on Imgur.
To the 75-year-old woman in my graduating class,
When you first walked into my lecture, I was incredibly skeptical. What was an elderly woman doing here?
No, you didnt work on a laptop like the rest of us. No, you didnt come to the campus pub with us after class. No, I didnt get to speak to you very much. To you, I say... thank you.
This past week, as I walked across stage to receive my diploma, I looked out into the sea of graduates. Seeing your face, with your sun hat on, your tiny, squinting eyes, and faint smile, made me feel prouder than I ever have.
Im sure it was difficult to come to lecture every week. To sit among my class, half of whom were zoned out, on their phones, barely awake. Im sure that, at least a few times, I was one of those people.
You were the oldest in our class by over 50 years, but that didnt seem to phase you. None of it did. Thats because you werent there for anyone else. You were there for yourself. You were there because you loved what you were learning. You were there for the reason that I should have been, but didnt realize.
Continue this letter on the next page.
From the moment I started university, I became further and further knit into an instant success culture, that left me feeling drained, underachieving and hopeless. Classes werent about learning, they were about working strategically to get high grades. When I asked questions, it was for participation marks, not because I actually cared.
I became obsessed with the idea of now. I looked at all the people in the world who were achieving amazing things at 15, 16, 17 years old. I beat up on myself constantly for not being in their shoes. I lost sight of my goals -- chasing a dream with a foundation made of dust.
But when I had my first class with you, everything changed. The day you walked into that classroom with your walker, cracked open your notebook, and listened intently in the lecture, I began to see the world in a different way.
Continue reading this letter on the next page.
So many people had given me this advice before. I should have listened. I even worked as a don (residence adviser) in my college residence, and told that to the students I worked with constantly. I should have known this. Heck, I did know it. What I didnt do, was understand it.
Its like when you can spout out a math equation, but you dont understand the mechanics behind it. Until it hits you, and suddenly it all clicks into place. Living in a culture where even a 60 second Youtube video can seem too long, its difficult not to get lost in this mentality.
Just seeing you was like someone taking me by the shoulders and saying, Wake up! If youre not doing this for yourself, then why are you even here?! It made me take a long, hard look at the past three years of my undergrad and re-think my approach to school - to life - altogether.
This week, I graduated with my head held high. I know why Im doing what Im doing, and Im not in a rush to get it done. Getting my diploma was just one step in what I hope will be a lifelong journey of learning.
Thank you, from the bottom of my heart.
With the utmost respect,
A fellow graduate.
Don't forget to share with friends and family :).
Well that was a close call. That is everyone's main life mantra. If you really think about it, you'll know it to be true. Everyday we live, is another day we've survived, and death isn't the only thing we frequently sidestep. I have lost track of the amount of times my heart has almost gotten me into trouble. If I had been able to be with the people I thought I wanted in the past, I'd be in a mental ward right about now. Dodging a bullet doesn't even begin to cover it.Redditor u/Not-an-Ocelot wanted to hear about the times that have made people give some extra thanks by asking... What's the biggest bullet you've ever dodged?
Pay Attention<img lazy-loadable="true" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yNTY4NDQyNC9vcmlnaW4uZ2lmIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTY3MTEyMDI3OH0.BmVGAHwjbS_vMDkx2jetH_zBsPpphZ3tZp5VJjeyhD4/img.gif?width=980" id="0dcaa" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="0ab54e83bfb77d5fefdb176242259411" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" data-width="500" data-height="275" />joe jonas relief GIFGiphy<p>I was a teen driver not paying attention at an intersection at the crest of a hill with low visibility when the light turned green. </p>
A Passed Mandate<p>This one just materialized yesterday, actually.</p><p>About a year ago at my job I was offered to switch from my current team where I was established for a few years, had seniority, etc. for a new department that just started to kick it off, write processes, basically start from square 1. A lot more work for the same amount of pay. I figured forget it and went.<span></span></p>
Too Many Idiots<p>I took my wife to an indoor shooting range in 2014. I had been at this range many times, and safety was always their top priority. They made you sit through a safety video, take a quiz, and get a temporary certification before they allowed you onto the range.</p><ul><li>Place got really busy and their safety policy became less stringent as time went on.</li><li>I noticed that the lane next to us had 3 people in it (already a violation).</li><li>Two big guys and one tiny woman probably her in 20's. They were handing her various firearms and laughing when she couldn't handle the recoil (big violation there, and incredibly irresponsible).</li><li>This girl was muzzle-sweeping everyone (another huge violation)</li><li>I got a bad feeling, told my wife to pack it up because we were leaving</li><li>As soon as we started walking away, BANG, that girl had fired a round right where my wife was standing just a few seconds prior</li><li>I told the range officers that they needed to get in there and do something about those idiots, and that we weren't coming back</li></ul><p>I have only been to a range a few times since that happened, and now I don't even go at all. Too many idiots. </p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/lqjmm8/whats_the_biggest_bullet_youve_ever_dodged/gohqu3v?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank"> A_Garbage_Account</a><a href="https://www.reddit.com/user/A_Garbage_Account/" target="_blank"></a></p>
buzz CRACK buzz...<p>I was out kayaking on a lake and several bullets whizzed by me. There was a distinct <em>buzz CRACK buzz</em> sound as it went by. I think some people were just out plinking in their back yard, adjacent to the lake, and didn't think a backstop was necessary. This also happened to me a few weeks later when I was paddling on a small stream. Bullets whizzed by above the bank, just over my head. <span></span></p>
Flight 103<p>I was booked on Pan Am flight 103 which went down over Locherbie Scotland. I didn't have a premonition or anything supernatural. I just decided to cancel my seat. Didn't think anything of it until the plane went down and my mother had written down my flight plan and reminded me. This was back in the day when you could cancel without a penalty up to a couple of days in advance.</p><p><strong><em>EDIT: </em></strong>You Know, when I posted my response I didn't realize how many comments I would get that involved people who were impacted by this sad event. <span></span></p>
Zapped<img lazy-loadable="true" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yNTY4NDQ0MS9vcmlnaW4uZ2lmIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTY0NDY0MjY1MX0.Dj7w7DePtmC1CgiaJwmNIifD129RWS3T3j5acsHBIiU/img.gif?width=980" id="d6220" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="b7cea1508bfde66080975250c5e9dcf1" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" data-width="480" data-height="266" />Season 4 Zap GIF by Rick and MortyGiphy<p>I was subletting an apartment in college and got zapped by the electric stove. Gave notice immediately and moved out with very clear reasons why I was moving out. The building burnt a few weeks later. </p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/lqjmm8/whats_the_biggest_bullet_youve_ever_dodged/goi3ew7?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">sadandshy</a></p>
Katrina<p>2005, my friend and I evacuated New Orleans 2 days before Hurricane Katrina and drove to Mississippi with the little money we had. We were trying to decided on where to stay for the night and it was between a mid range hotel or the really cheap motel. Decided to spend a little more for the hotel. During the night the eye of the storm came through Mississippi and flattened the roof of the motel we decided against. </p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/lqjmm8/whats_the_biggest_bullet_youve_ever_dodged/gohyomx?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">kylexy929</a></p>
Delete Tinder<p>I matched with a guy on Tinder who played for the Atlanta Falcons. He was really charming and seemed nice. He asked me to fly down to Atlantic City for Memorial Day weekend, said he would pay for everything (airfare, hotel, food, etc.) but I had never met him before and he refused to give me his phone number. I was uncomfortable flying to meet a stranger so I told him no. Two weeks later he was on the news for kicking (and killing) his girlfriend's dog. </p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/lqjmm8/whats_the_biggest_bullet_youve_ever_dodged/gohwwcf?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">coldestjeans67</a></p>
A Yamaha Pancake<p>Physically? A bus. I grew up in Bermuda, and since it is such a small island cars are limited to one per family, and everyone drives mopeds. I was driving into town, and came up to a red light behind a bus. As is tradition, I scooted around the bus to be in the front of the line of traffic. Literally 2 seconds later a second bus smashed into the back of the first bus at like 30 mph.</p>
D-I-V-O-R-C-E<img lazy-loadable="true" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yNTY4NDM0Ny9vcmlnaW4uZ2lmIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYzNTg5MDA0M30.mkwHiDROST0_hPO3i_EgY_PCWrX60u9MZ-c4FzHjZz0/img.gif?width=980" id="aa6ce" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="99ab09a1baf770607fa2d8286e6a574b" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" data-width="500" data-height="281" />phaedra parks bye felicia GIF by RealityTVGIFsGiphy<p>My ex.</p><p>He got engaged right after me and proceeded to cheat on her the entire time until she broke up with him. </p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/lqjmm8/whats_the_biggest_bullet_youve_ever_dodged/gohy29x?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">PlamEv</a></p>
When your time is up, your time is up. And when we march off into the afterlife it feels like everyone wants one of two or two things. People want to go out in a blaze of glory and/or in peace and without pain. I don't know if both is possible but I'll choose option two please. What I know for sure is I definitely don't want to be smoted by a stupid death. Like, Lord, please don't let me die choking on fried chicken and an XL frozen Appletini at the Dallas BBQ because I was laughing to hard at my own jokes. Please.Redditor u/BlueD_ wanted everyone to fess up about the times they almost met their maker in a less than dignified manner by asking... What's the dumbest way you almost died?
Torn...<p>Hooked shirt on roller coaster flying by while I was operating it.</p><p>Shirt tore but it threw me a meter onto track just behind it. I crawled off in time before it came back around. </p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/lko2jl/whats_the_dumbest_way_you_almost_died/gnktz0m?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">GottaGoSmash</a></p>
The Lump<p>Born with a lump in my throat that was blocking my airway. It was so bad that I was turning purple from air loss by 3 months old, but the doctors kept telling my mom they couldn't find anything wrong. Finally was rushed to children's hospital where they did emergency laser surgery to remove the lump. Almost died to complete incompetence, thankfully the people at children's were much more capable. </p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/lko2jl/whats_the_dumbest_way_you_almost_died/gnktt1d?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">Leroy_Spankinz</a></p>
So Wrong...<p>I was playing at some church camp as a teenager. They had us running around in the dark.</p><p>Well, they had a guy wire from a telephone pole in basically the middle of the forest and I ran into it at neck height.</p><p>You know in cartoons when someone runs into something and their feet fly up even with their body and they fall down? I'm pretty sure that happened to me.</p>
the baby....<p>I was born super premature and would apparently never stop crying and every doctor was just like "she's a baby, she's crying just because" until my parents took me to the children's hospital and then a doctor was like "yeah, she's dying. Surgery now." I was born with a double hernia. </p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/lko2jl/whats_the_dumbest_way_you_almost_died/gnm5xj4?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank"> vampyreprincess</a><a href="https://www.reddit.com/user/vampyreprincess/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer"></a></p>
Just Walk<p>Almost fell to my death from the second floor of an abandoned theater because I was running down a flight of stairs that are just cut off midway. Someone with the fastest reflex skills just grabbed me by my shirt and pulled my backwards.</p><p>Don't run in abandoned buildings. </p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/lko2jl/whats_the_dumbest_way_you_almost_died/gnl26xv?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">coldnymph</a></p>
Evil Mango<p>When I was 19, I ate a mango and it was a large piece and it got stuck in my throat. I started to choke. I found it hard to breathe and couldn't talk. My brother did the heimlich manuever on me and the mango came out. I laughed about it a minute later because imagine "defeated by mango" written as your reason for death. </p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/lko2jl/whats_the_dumbest_way_you_almost_died/gnkx7o3?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank"> Spiderman230</a><a href="https://www.reddit.com/user/Spiderman230/" target="_blank"></a></p>
The Day is Out<p>Using a pickaxe while tired. Was using the flat end to break up dirt. It got stuck. I yanked it, causing my feet to slip on the dirt while I basically pulled myself straight down on the spike end. My arms shot out and I landed in a push up position with the tip less than an inch from my chest.</p><p>I called it a day after that. </p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/lko2jl/whats_the_dumbest_way_you_almost_died/gnlkzi1?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">ProbablyYourButt</a></p>
Do Vodka<p>I was very sad and drank lots and lots of rum. I woke up covered in vomit all over my bed, I had probably vomited multiple times in my sleep. I was alone.</p><p>I could have choked on my spew and died.</p><p>I avoid rum now. </p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/lko2jl/whats_the_dumbest_way_you_almost_died/gnlcg7n?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">writingwithmovement</a></p>
NEVER!<p>I felt incredible pain in my abdomen and laid in bed a week hoping it would go away. By the time I asked to go to the hospital I was in Sepsis. I was out of my head in pain, couldn't eat, high fever, etc.</p><p>Apparently I had a bout with diverticulitis. I had no idea what that was. Mine perforated and my white blood cell count was insane. The perforation was pouring toxins into my body cavity. They didn't do surgery, they only ran a tube down in my back to drain the 'death sludge' from my body. My kidneys and my bladder were trying to shut down. I'll never forget that pain for as long as I live.<span></span></p>
In the Shallow...<img lazy-loadable="true" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yNTY4MDY0OC9vcmlnaW4uZ2lmIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTY0MDAxOTk3Mn0.UFH9fBx9qg1viY44abzSICqYdsMRrU2ep9zMiWwgRIc/img.gif?width=980" id="c2bd9" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="5ea60e1b2ffcfafbe156c7564d4eccb5" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" data-width="480" data-height="270" />Lady Gaga Oscars GIF by SkyGiphy<p>Played in the shallow waters of a lake before knowing how to swim, father told me not to go further in and being the stupid rebellious child i was i immediately went in further and sank just as quick. luckily my father was watching and a former lifeguard, so he jumped in in full clothing and pulled me out.</p><p>the next day my parents bought me floaties. </p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/lko2jl/whats_the_dumbest_way_you_almost_died/gnkvz1j?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">ArnoNyhm44</a></p>
We may not know it, but sometimes things that seem routine or are just one of our personal habits can really hold back our lives.
One little change to cut those things, or to include new things, can really change the quality of our lives for the better. We have to be willing to drop old routines, which is hard and scary; and we need to be willing to accept new ideas into our space, which is also hard and scary.
New Body Parts<p>The kidney transplant I just received on Monday (Feb 15, 2021).</p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/user/wanderingwiccan/" target="_blank">wanderingwiccan</a></p><p>It's amazing isn't it? Going on 17 years with mine and couldn't agree more. I'll never forget how miserable I was when my kidneys were failing and I started dialysis. </p><p>Those memories serve as added motivation to keep healthy now. Life is good. Best wishes to you moving forward!</p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/user/realTurdFergusun/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">realTurdFergusun</a></p>
Out Vs. In<p>Giving up on trying to cure being a introvert and just being happy</p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/user/RedditerAbc123/" target="_blank">RedditerAbc123</a></p><p>Introverts have just as much fun there are just fewer witnesses</p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/user/minisis85/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">minisis85</a></p><p>Accepting yourself is truly liberating.</p><p>There's one important aspect of being an introvert or extrovert. As an introvert, you recharge by being alone. Extroverts recharge by being around people.</p><p>I occasionally enjoy being around people, and I'm good at being social. I even perform music in public. However, when I'm done with all that, I go home and have to unwind. If I go long periods of time without enough alone time, I start getting progressively more irritated and frustrated.</p><p>I actually feel happy and at peace when I'm alone. Other people will tell me they feel lonely, or like their apartment feels empty. For me it's a direct source of happiness, this isolation and peace. I don't want a family, a partner or even pets. I don't even like hearing neighbors around. Solitude is freedom.</p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/user/sunsetdive/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">sunsetdive</a></p>
Git That Mental Health<p>I did therapy for around three years, and I recommend it to folks to try at least once in their life. It can take a little time, as a lot of it comes down to having the right therapist who can get through to you, (advice: if you need to switch to a diff. Therapist or, at any time want to simply take a week or two off, during the process- voice that to your therapist.)</p><p>Wishing you all the best on your journey, there were times I'd second guess myself if it was "working" right away, but trust the process, you'll take a lot from the experience & learn a ton about yourself!</p><p><span></span><a href="https://www.reddit.com/user/Puzzleheaded_Stress7/" target="_blank">Puzzleheaded_Stress7</a></p>
I Am Not Everybody's Parent<p>I stopped caring so much.</p><p>For as long as I remember I've felt a burden of responsibility to my parents, my brother, to myself. Throughout my whole life my parents have relied on me to be the voice of reason, to be the one who has sound mind, to be the one good with finances, to give them advice. It's not healthy for a kid to be put under that kind of pressure, and it just built and built until they filed for bankruptcy in 2017, and when I burned out at work last year.</p><p>I went to therapy for a bit (for the 3rd time lol) after I burned out and realized that I'm putting up such a high bar of responsibility for myself and it makes, and made, my life ridiculously miserable.</p><p>I'm still working and going to school, but having a more relaxed attitude and almost forcing myself to procrastinate on my schoolwork has made my life so much more enjoyable.</p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/user/CozysMyName/" target="_blank">CozysMyName</a></p>
The Superpower Of Sobriety<p>Quitting alcohol. My life has completely changed in only the best ways. Most notably Ive accomplished all of my dreams.</p><p> I went back to school and earned my bachelor's, found the love of my life and got married, lost a bunch of weight and somehow look like I've aged backwards. Now my only problem is coming up with new dreams.</p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/user/Billlliejean/" target="_blank">Billlliejean</a></p>
A Career Separate From Hostile Energy<p>For years I was convinced I chose the wrong career, and I was getting extreme anxiety, had to pull the car over a couple times going to work because of panic attacks. </p><p>Lockdown happens a year ago and all my stress disappeared and I realized I love my career, I just HATE office living and commuting. My biggest fear is the pandemic ending and being forced back into that terrible office culture.</p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/user/feral_philosopher/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">feral_philosopher</a></p>
Just Space To Remember<p>I've found that journaling helps me remember stuff a lot better. Also, on bad days, I get the catharsis of ranting without having to subject one of my friends to it. </p><p>I can also look back on past events and maybe figure out how I can do things differently or just reminisce. </p><p>Getting my feelings on paper or even a word document helps me deal with things, somehow. I stopped when things got real around last March since writing "I didn't do much today" every day was getting old.</p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/user/Soulfire1123/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Soulfire1123</a></p>
Just A Better Life<p>My biological mother is an abusive drug addicted, alcoholic who put everything, including her other daughter, above her youngest child. </p><p>When i was 11, child services placed me with my Dad and his partner (my Mum, for all purposes of the word except birthing.) </p><p>In Australia, previously I was in N.Z. Its been a bumpy road, but I'm now 19, living out of home, have my license, own car, stable job and am studying at uni. I couldn't have done it without my parents, and i have the loving, caring, supportive Mum I craved as a child.</p><p>There was ten minutes where i didnt know if i was going into foster care or with my Dad, and it was the scariest ten minutes of my life, but ultimately that decision was the best thing that happened to me.</p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/user/lildee_19/" target="_blank">lildee_19</a></p>
Physical = Mental<p>Losing a significant amount of weight. My overall health is so much better. I sleep like the dead every night, when before I suffered badly from insomnia. </p><p>My blood pressure has come down to normal levels. I'm no longer pre-diabetic. I have cut back on the amount of medication I have to take, which obviously means I have money to spend that I didn't before. </p><p>I love exercising, even when I was morbidly obese, I enjoyed walking. Now I enjoy walking and I can walk so much further and faster than I could before. Another thing is the major change in my mental health. I was in a very dark space, and I realized the other day how much more positive my outlook in life has become.</p><p>10/10 reccomend. My journey has been slow, but it has been so worth it!</p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/user/Smart-Connection6154/" target="_blank">Smart-Connection6154</a></p>
A Partnership For The Ages<p>Finally telling my best friend that I was in love with them. We've been dating for two years now and every moment is like living in a dream. They're sitting next to me right now cluelessly singing out loud with headphones in and I'm OBSESSED.</p><p>Also, Covid has allowed me to drive around the country while working remotely and actually do a lot of the hikes that have always been on my bucket list. It really changed my life by reaffirming my long term goals (stay healthy, get outdoors when I can).</p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/user/sodapuppy/" target="_blank">sodapuppy</a></p>
The photographers, DJs, officiates, and planners of the wedding industry hold a unique perspective.
They get to witness the lead-up to the couple's important, deeply symbolic day. Sitting at the table in that context offers those industry professionals a glimpse of the mundane dynamics of couples before the big event.