By Rhiann Fowlds
The cheers of my mum and I echoed through the grand building as Michelle, my mums best friend, walked up to receive her graduation certificate.
At 40, Michelle has just finished her access to university course and through her hard work has secured herself a place at Edinburgh University to study MA social policy and law.
This will, hopefully, end up with her achieving her dream job – irrelevant of her age.
I watched the diverse range of people walk up to receive their certificates with smiles beaming from their faces.
I personally took the ‘traditional’ route I went straight from high school to university but the reality is that is not right for everyone.
Some people take longer than others to discover what they truly want to do with their lives and some people just don’t have the confidence or feel ready to take that kind of step straight out of high school.
My mum, who went to university at the age of 34, often tells me how she was never pushed in high school and therefore left without qualifications.
She finally decided she wanted to be a nurse and went back into education just less than 20 years after she had left it with a six year old daughter to care for as well.
She has now been qualified for almost ten years proving that you can follow the career path you are passionate about at any age.
Going to university has become both more common and more encouraged in recent years and I think the opportunities given to us throughout high school are a contributing factor in why the number of people attending university continues to rise year on year.
Yet that does not mean that the people who did not receive the same opportunities deserve to go to university, work hard, get a degree and end up with their dream jobs any less than the rest of us.
While I have admiration for everyone that does go to university to get a degree to aid them in getting the job they want, I have slightly more for those that do it in later life.
Many of these people have to leave full time employment, have families and other commitments but continue with their dream in spite of this.
When it comes down to making your dreams come true, there is no age limit.