An 82-year-old granddad from Corfu has successfully passed the university entry exams and is now preparing to enroll in the Physics department of the Thessaloniki Aristotle University, it emerged on Sunday.
Nikos Karydis, who studied at an evening school since the age of 77, proves that age has little to do with the desire to learn at the highest level.
Speaking to the Athens-Macedonia News Agency (AMNA), Karydis recollects the difficult years of his younger life, but also his determination to get a degree.
Born on the island of Corfu, he finished primary school in 1950 and in 1952 his family emigrated to Piraeus as “we had nothing to eat on the island.”
“I was a smart and good student, but I could not continue. Those were very hard times. I worked since I was a small child. I remember wearing my first shoes when my uncle sent clothes and shoes from America. I remember, they were too big for me, but I was wearing them and I felt like a different person; I enjoyed it,” he confesses.
After making some money, Karydis eventually returned to Corfu. He is a father of two and has also adopted a child from Morocco.
With a hunger to continue his education, he enrolled in a night-school to learn Physics.
“I never missed a class and I followed my teachers very closely. If I did not understand something I asked them to explain it to me. Many times I was persistent, but they were all so good to me and that gave me the courage to continue,” he says to AMNA and adds:
“School is a source of life…Learning keeps you young.”
He says that his family did not believe he would succeed. “Many of my friends disapproved of me when I started school, but today they all deny it. I proved to them that when someone sets a goal, he can achieve it, as long as he persists with it”.
Karydis is now getting ready to move to Thessaloniki to enroll in the Physics Department of the Aristotle University, where one of his grandsons is also a student.