- At 74 she was by far the oldest student on campus and was at first mistaken for a professor
- She enjoyed studying so much after complete a postgraduate diploma she decided to pursue a master's degree
- The course was challenging but she persevered and graduated cum laude
When Elizabeth Robertson, 74, walked onto campus to start her master's degree at Stellenbosch University her fellow students mistook her for a professor.
Once they realised that she was a student like them, they were polite, respectful and were preoccupied, just like her with passing.
She graduated with a master's degree in ancient culture and to top it all, cum laude and she can hardly believe it herself.
She revealed that there were times that she wanted to throw in the towel but kept on going. When she handed in her dissertation the wait was horrible and the longer she waited for the examiners' feedback the more she feared that something was wrong.
"I really began to think I had failed," she said.
Her thesis was focused on the 6th and 5th centuries BCE and was titled "Growing up Greek: The differing journeys through childhood in ancient Athens and Sparta".
Her first degree was a Bachelor of Arts degree in history.
In 2010 her husband died and she moved to Stellenbosch and then Somerset West. She was looking for something to do and noticed an advert for a postgraduate diploma at Stellenbosch, she signed up, and completed it in 2014.
She enjoyed it so much that she applied for a master's degree. The degree was challenging and the last three months were difficult and draining.
Robertson has some advice for struggling students, "Think how much it has cost you in blood, sweat, and tears. Don't give up. It's just the last hurdle."
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