A Chinese mother who was admitted to the same prestigious university as her son has inspired netizens with her story, which went viral on social media.
Chen Lan, a nurse of 29 years in eastern China, was admitted to the Zhejiang University as a PhD candidate a year after son was accepted into the institution, according to China Daily.
Chen, who is in her late 40s, became an inspiration to many people in China who also wish to pursue their dreams despite their age.
In 1993, she began working at the Jinhua Municipal Central Hospital in Zhejiang province after graduating from nursing school. As she dreamed of studying at a university, she took China’s university entrance exam in 2002. However, she did not meet the minimum score for her ideal nursing course.
At her hospital, Chen was eventually promoted to the principal nurse position. While working full-time, she obtained a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree. She also set a new goal to pursue a doctoral degree in nursing at Zhejiang University’s School of Medicine.
Although she failed on her first application, she continued to set more specific goals for herself, including passing the IELTS (The International English Language Testing System) English-language test and publishing academic papers in international journals.
Last year, Chen passed the preliminary entrance exam. She also passed a retrial in May this year and received her acceptance letter from Zhejiang University in August.
With the support of her husband, Chen quit her job at the hospital to study full-time as a doctoral degree candidate.
“I am saying goodbye to the hospital where I’ve worked for 29 years. Too many memories of mine happened here,” Chen wrote on WeChat, according to South China Morning Post. “The nervousness of working for the first time, the joy of receiving an award for the first time and the anxiety of leading a team for the first time. They are all the steps of growing up … but I choose to move forward to pursue my dream.”
Chen’s son Tong Zheye, who admires his mother’s persistence, also studies at the university in its College of Agriculture and Biotechnology.
“Let’s go for it together,” he told his mother.
“As a middle-aged person, my memory ability might not be as good as other students. It will be extremely difficult for me to study,” Chen was quoted as saying. “However, I believe I can overcome these hurdles.”