One non-traditional student overcomes her fears to become an Aggie
By Hannah Rogers, ‘12
As the excitement of a new school year approached, a son and his mother prepare for their first college course together.
The road has certainly been long for Barbara Hosler, mother of three and a current student at Texas A&M. As students we tend to overlook the fact that not everyone attended college post high school graduation at the age of 18, but for this woman her experience is merely picking up where she left off.
“I am a non-traditional student because I have always been a mom first,” Hosler said.
At the age of 17, the valiant Barbara Hosler set off for her first semester at Michigan State University. After a seemingly overwhelming semester, Hosler found herself facing academic probation and shortly after financial issues caused her first attempt at college to be put on hold.
After years of delaying her academic career, Hosler married, had three children eventually moved to San Antonio, Texas, due to her husband’s Army career.
From 1994-2010 the Hosler family moved around to three different Army installations across Texas, and with each move she took classes at the respective local community colleges. In 2010, Hosler met a significant milestone in her life when she earned an Associate of Arts in General Studies from El Paso Community College.
In between her thoughts of achievement, her true dream remained: earning a bachelor degree from Texas A&M University.
“I love language and writing and hoped to get a degree that would help make me a better writer,” Hosler said.
Overcoming her fear of rejection, unseen opportunity due to her husband’s job and her age, Hosler bravely decided to apply to her dream university.
“If I got in and finished my degree by the time I was 50, I might still have time to use my education to do something really important, even help someone else in some way,” Hosler said.
After laboring over her essay and applying to the College of Liberal Arts for the fall 2011, Hosler’s confident husband bought a house and moved the family to College Station while he was deployed to Iraq. Months later, Hosler received a small envelope saying that she was rejected.
“I admit that hurt a lot,” Hosler said. “I questioned myself and thought of all the reasons why they may have said no: ‘I’m too old, I’m not smart enough, my essay was terrible — I’m too old.’”
Hosler’s husband reminded her that since she went back to school she held a solid 4.0 GPA and that she was smart enough. After some convincing and several phone calls later, the determined mom stumbled upon an option she hadn’t known of before, applying to the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences.
Victory. She was accepted for spring 2012 with a major in Agricultural Communications and Journalism. Her fear of fitting in was erased while riding the buses, walking across campus and studying in the libraries along side other students. This fall Hosler and her youngest son, Samuel, are even taking a class together.
“I never once felt vibes from any students saying I didn’t belong at Texas A&M,” she said.
On top of her achievements, three goals still remain for this devoted mom: getting her Aggie Ring, receiving her bachelor degree and finishing by age 50.
Hosler is scheduled to graduate in December 2013 with her bachelor degree from Texas A&M – exactly at age 50.
“Being an Aggie is amazing and like a dream come true because of the long road it took me to get here,” Hosler said.
Hannah Rogers is a senior Agricultural Communications and Journalism major from Boerne, Texas.