The ’44-year-old Kolehiyala’ as she calls herself
In hindsight, Lorelei Aquino’s story might not look so special. After all, moms and dads graduate from school all the time.
But it’s the fact that she shared the stage with her 2 children who graduated as cum laudes – topped off with her inspiring journey – that makes this such a shareworthy story.
In the beginning.
Like most of us, Lorelei kinda sucks at Math. In fact, that’s the sole reason why she didn’t graduate back in 1994. She shares on her blog.
“I took Math 11 (College Algebra) three times, Math 14 (Trigonometry) six times, and Math 101 (Statistics) three times. During my last sem, I got a conditional grade of 4.0 in Math 100 (Calculus) so I took a removal exam.”
We feel you sis.
After two decades, and with 2 of her kids graduating from the same university where she met her husband, she thought ‘You know what would be awesome? Kick Math to the curb, get that long overdue diploma, and graduate with my kids at the same time.’
We’re paraphrasing here, but you get the idea.
The struggle is real.
Lorelei enrolled in UP Clark Pampanga. But thing’s didn’t exactly run smoothly.
Aside from having classmates younger than her youngest child and being called ‘Ma’am’ by her own teacher, she felt humiliated by being tutored by her son.
“I knew that it was equally hard for him (he was often my emotional punching bag especially when I would get frustrated due to a difficult lesson), but as a parent, I had been used to doing the teaching to my children. It should not be the other way around.”
Despite Lorelei and her son’s best efforts, she ended up failing the subject. But like a true badass, she picked herself up and moved to UP Diliman.
“In hindsight, I realized that if my teacher gave me an undeserved passing grade out of pity or sympathy, my high regard for UP would be shattered.”
Started from the bottom, now we here.
While her situation wasn’t so different in Diliman (younger peers, the brutal pacing, hellish topics) Lorelei dug in deep and used her children as an inspiration.
“My children could take as many as seven subjects in a sem, and I would expect them to bring home impeccable grades, while there I was, allowing myself to abandon my long-time dream of earning a diploma, to give up the fight even before it started, to be daunted by the obstacles that a single subject entailed.”
“With my children as my inspiration, I kept going.”
And the rest, as they say, is history.
You can read more about this inspiring story on Lorelei Aquino’s blog here.