Kristina Morris - Associate in Arts; Arizona General Education Curriculum
Kristina Morris didn’t think she would end up attending college. At age 57, she had a career, a family and was looking forward to the next chapter in life. But after she retired, she got bored. So, when her son started attending Mesa Community College, she decided to join him.
“I graduated high school in 1980 so going back to school was very intimidating at first,” she said. “But, one of the unique things at MCC is that there are a lot of returning students in their 30s, 40s and 50s. A lot of students were like me-moms who didn’t have the chance to go to college earlier in life.”
At times, it was tough to balance her class schedule and take care of her mother and husband, both of whom have health issues. But she found a solution. Morris estimates she took about half of her classes online.
“Even though I missed the interaction with the instructors and classmates, online classes really helped with my schedule.”
Morris earned good grades in high school but wasn’t sure she still had the discipline to study. “When I started at MCC, I didn't know if I would be successful or not, and I never dreamed I would do as well as I have.”
Morris is set to earn two degrees in May, an Associate's in Arts and an Arizona General Education Curriculum.
With no predetermined area of focus, Morris found her favorite classes to be in English literature, especially medieval times and poetry. She enjoyed rediscovering poets such as Dante and Yates.
“I rediscovered a love for literature and learned I really enjoy delving deep into the past.” she said. “I also discovered I was talented in areas I didn’t even know about.”
Having sung since she was a child, Morris also enjoyed an elective vocal performance class. Now, she’s auditioning in early May for a choir position at her church.
An Intro to Human Communications class with Professor Blake Wolf was her favorite. “He was so much fun. Very low-key but he gets the information across in unique ways that makes it fun to learn.”
With her new degree, Morris is planning to go back to work and is looking for an administrative or education administrative position. She learned she enjoys working with students while working at the testing center at the Red Mountain campus.
“I really enjoyed helping the students figure out their schedule and helping them get to where they needed to go.”
Her advice to others? “Find a way that makes it work for you and just do it, keep going. Especially while you’re young. I dreamed of a 4-year degree, but life sometimes gets in the way and you have to make choices. If you put it off, it’ll be that much harder to do.”