When you think of college students you’ll probably think of young, energetic people just out of their teens partying in their dorm rooms or chilling on their quad lawn. Or you’ll think of the same young people in a state of exhaustion after an all nighter that consisted of studying and getting that essay done before the deadline. Chances are you will not think of an 82 year old man attending classes with his granddaughter, but if you’re around Palo Alto College in Texas right now, you might see exactly that!
Rene Neira is the 82 year old grandpa of Melanie Salazar, a first year student of Palo Alto College. They’re best friends and they’re spending their college days walking to class together and meeting up for lunch in between classes. Oh, and taking the occasional selfie for twitter…
I'm so proud of my grandpa for finishing his first day at PAC this semester! 82 years old and not giving up!!! 😭🙌🏽💝 pic.twitter.com/IX4x5RhKXm
— Melanie Salazar ♡ (@melaniesalazara) August 24, 2016
That’s the post that made the internet crazy for Melanie and Rene and their loving family bond. The original tweet has over 2,000 retweets and 5,000 likes! People everywhere are showing their love for these two and everyone wants to know more about the 82 year old college student and why he’s still so determined to get his degree.
Rene first attended college in the 1950’s but put his studies on hold so he could work and start a family. But now his family are grown, there’s been nothing stopping him from going back to school and studying for his associate’s degree in Economics. His unending work ethic and love of learning is inspiring everyone he meets, including his granddaughter!
Rene might be the oldest student in the classroom but he’s also the most determined. Melanie says that when it’s time for him to study, there’s absolutely nothing that gets between him and his books. From what I remember of college, that definitely sets him apart from a lot of his classmates… myself included!
Rene is now in his final semester of study for his associate’s degree and he plans to return to get his bachelor’s degree soon after he’s done. Melanie couldn’t be prouder of him and can’t wait to go to his college graduation ceremony just months after he attended her own high school graduation.
Rene’s an inspiring man, there’s no two ways about it, but according to him he’s never wanted to be an inspiration. He said, “I’m not trying to inspire Melanie, or anybody, I’m glad that’s what it’s doing, but I’m just doing what I’ve always wanted to do.” Well, Rene, you might not be trying to inspire us but you’re doing a really good job of it anyway!
As it’s Rene’s final semester, he and Melanie won’t be classmates for long, so all the more reason for them to enjoy it while it lasts! Everyone here would like to wish Rene a huge good luck with his graduation and future studies and wish Melanie good luck with her degree too! We know it won’t be too long until they’re both wearing their cap and gowns!