Do you believe in the adage,”Age is just a number”? Well, a 91-year-old woman from Thailand will reaffirm your faith in the saying. Kimlan Jinakul has finally completed her bachelor’s degree.

It had been her ardent desire to go to university and complete her education, but her circumstances as a young girl prevented her from fulfilling the dream.

Kimlan originally comes from the Lampang province in the north of Thailand. She went to the best schools of her area and had a good academic record. She, however, abandoned her dream after getting married at a young age.

However, the desire to complete her education rekindled after seeing most of her grandchildren complete theirs. That’s when she decided to enrol herself. She received her degree on Wednesday.

“When I told myself to finish one chapter, I would try my best to do so. I underlined all the key points I needed to memorise. And that’s what helped me during my study reviews,”- Kimlan

Four of her five children have masters degrees and one even went on to receive a PhD in the US.

“I have always, though, wanted my children to be able to study. So I encouraged and supported them when they wanted to go to university,” she tells BBC.

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Kimlan, along with her daughter, opted for a course at Sukhothai Thammathirat Open University. But her daughter’s sudden demise forced her to drop out of it. Later, when she was 85, she again enrolled for Human Ecology that teaches people how to live a good life.

“After recovering from the loss and sadness, I pushed myself to finish this programme. I’m hoping my daughter’s soul would be pleased to see this,” she told the BBC.

“It’s never too late. My mind is always awake and sharp for learning,” Kimlan said. “This world never stops. There are always new problems for us to solve. If there were no new sciences, the world would stop prospering,” she said.

She has been a disciplinarian which helped her stay focused. Her daily routine was to rise early and give alms to Buddhist monks, then visit a temple in the neighbourhood and eventually sit down and study.

The mantra for success

When asked about her success, she mentioned that it is her determination and ambition that helped her reach so far in life.

“When I told myself to finish one chapter, I would try my best to do so. I underlined all the key points I needed to memorise. And that’s what helped me during my study reviews,” she explained.

Women like Kimlan are an inspiration for people across the world who want to study and gain knowledge without considering age a deterrent.

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Picture Credit: BBC