Although Arlyne Frankel enrolled in college at 18, she was unable to complete her degree at the time due to financial problems and an undiagnosed learning disability.
Arlyne Frankel retired when she was 79 years old after working her entire life. She worked as a marketing and fundraising consultant for PBS. Following her retirement, she was divorced with children and grandchildren. That's when she decided to fulfill some of her lifelong dreams.
Now aged 85, she recently graduated magna cum laude from Florida International University with a Bachelor of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies. In addition to finally earning an undergraduate degree, Frankel celebrated her Bat Mitzvah, which she was unable to as a young girl, Good Morning America reports.
It's never too late to learn — just ask Arlyne Frankel! She's 85-years-old and recently graduated with a bachelor's degree from Florida International University. Check out her inspiring story below. https://t.co/nTzq69qOJ2— BrookdaleLiving (@BrookdaleLiving) August 7, 2022
"First, I thought I would take another job because my original plan was to work until the day I died," she said in an interview with the media outlet. "Or so I thought. Then I took stock, and decided I was not going back to work. I thought, 'I’m going to live out my life.' And, 'What am I going to do? I want to accomplish my dreams.'"
One of her first dreams was to be able to celebrate her Bat Mitzvah, a coming of age ceremony in the Jewish religion traditionally celebrated around a child's thirteenth birthday. As she did not have one when she was a teenager, she always dreamed of throwing one. During her Bat Mitzvah, she announced that she would soon accomplish another life goal of hers: graduating from college.
The year she was born, @billboard published the 1st ever pop music chart. The year she graduates college, @lizzo's #AboutDamnTime tops @billboardcharts. Seems fitting. Congrats, Arlyne!!! 85 and not slowing down! #FIUGrad #NeverTooLate https://t.co/0RYLIP3sAX pic.twitter.com/RePhQbNeB9— FIU College of Arts, Sciences & Education (@FIUCASE) July 29, 2022
While she did attempt to start college at the age of 18 at Boston University in 1954, she was unable to continue her education. Frankel shared, "I quit and stopped at the end of the second year. I had financial problems among a few other negative things going on. My bad grades did not motivate me and I had studying issues."
When she returned to college at Florida International University at 80 years old, she learned that she actually had a learning disability. She believes this contributed to her being unmotivated to complete school. "I had an undiagnosed learning disability, so I just thought I was not very smart," she explained. "I did not have anyone who could identify what was going on with me, so I gave up."
Arlyne Frankel finally got her degree and graduated from Florida International University, Tuesday afternoon.https://t.co/glq3S88HuB— WSVN 7 News (@wsvn) August 2, 2022
Over the years, she did not let her lack of college education hold her back. She became successful by working as hard as she could. However, it was not an easy task. Frankel stated, "That feeling of not doing well stayed with me. Then I moved to New York and I got a lot of jobs because I’m a hard worker and I had to learn about life. I came from a small town and little by little, I accomplished things. I had to be very brave and believe in myself. I learned through my successes and failures. Every job I had, I learned a little more. I was a very, very hard worker and put in extra time."
At college, her unique experiences helped make her classes interesting. "In the classroom, the professors loved having me because I made the conversation intergenerational," Frankel said. "I had views none of the students have because I lived life. And that was completely different than a 23-year-old. They got thoughts from me that no one else shared."
Now that she has graduated, she has decided she is not done just yet. She hopes to be a motivational speaker. She stated, "I want to be a motivational speaker. Not just about going back to school but people who want to do other things, who say, ‘No, I’m too old.’ I’m here to say, ‘It’s never too late!' I’m a good cheerleader and I love to speak and I think I could be their motivation. If you can breathe and think, then it’s not too late."
Cover Image Source: Facebook | FIUCASE