An 87-year-old woman healed her broken heart by graduating from college

What can you do to mend a broken heart? For one woman in Omaha, Nebraska, the answer she decided upon is an inspiration. Her heart healer? To go back to college at 85 years old.

In 2011, after more than 60 years together, Jean Kops’ husband Lyle passed away. Faced with the question of how to go on without him, Kops’ daughters encouraged her to go back to school. She had started her degree at the University of Nebraska in the 1940s, but took a year off and shortly thereafter got married. She never made it back to college, although both she and Lyle talked about wanting to do so.

Kops decided to dive back into her education, and now, two years after re-enrolling, she’s about to graduate! According to the Omaha World Herald, she started with two online classes, which she aced, before taking on-campus courses.

Fortunately, the courses she took in the 1940s were still counted towards her degree, and she set up an individualized degree that she could chip away at. And UNL gave her an awesome leg up: They waived a math requirement, something Kops was nervous about. Hey, I hear ya, Jean.

Of course, it was interesting being in classes with students younger than her grandchildren, but it proved to be an incredible experience not just for Jean but for her classmates. As Jean’s sociology professor told, “She was able to provide not just much-needed personal meaning of ‘how do policies affect our lives, but also what had — and had not — changed.”

Now, after two years of taking classes in everything from History to Music in Film to an Entomology class that she found tricky (she got a C+), she’s getting her degree. Her family is immensely proud of her for not only finishing her degree, but developing herself.

“She has really blossomed,” her daughter Patty, told World Herald. “Just like a flower that’s opened up. Just come to life.”

So what’s next for the graduate? “I’ll find something!” Jean says. We have absolutely no doubt that’s the case!

So sweet! This bride had her 89-year-old grandma be one of her bridesmaids

This 102-year-old woman watches herself dance for the first time. Our hearts burst.

(Image via Twitter)

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