The first week of college classes is always the hardest, especially since you're dealing with being away from home, all on your own.
But Melanie Salazar, who started at Palo Alto College in San Antonio, Texas this month, has more than just some printed photos to give her home comfort.
I am very thankful for my mommy and dad. Beginning the first day of college with my blessings. (: #Godisgood pic.twitter.com/JlS1O8zsIe — Melanie Salazar ♡ (@melaniesalazara) August 22, 2016
She has her grandpa.
I'm so proud of my grandpa for finishing his first day at PAC this semester! 82 years old and not giving up!!! pic.twitter.com/IX4x5RhKXm — Melanie Salazar ♡ (@melaniesalazara) August 24, 2016
Salazar's grandfather, Rene Neira, isn't there because he misses her and wants to hang out. He's there to get his own degree.
Neira is 82 years old, and has just started his final semester at Palo Alto College. He's there to finish the last class he needs in order to get an associate's degree in economics.
Neira started college at St. Mary's University in the 1950s, but stopped to get married and have a family, according to BuzzFeed. He got reinvested in his education after his wife died in 2009.
Salazar told BuzzFeed that his work motivates her own. She said,
It makes me realize the importance of getting an education like my grandpa… so I can accomplish something great like him.
Neira has also been highly valuing his own education. He said,
Sometimes, I wonder, 'What in the world is an 82-year-old doing, going to college?' But somehow, something keeps me going. I think it keeps me mentally alert, too.
He added that he's not there to inspire anyone; he's just there because he wants to get his degree. But he's happy that he can serve as an inspiration.
Also, he's not done quite once the semester ends: Neira plans to get his bachelor's degree in economics at the University of Texas at San Antonio.
It seems he's been a model student while he's been at Palo Alto.
@melaniesalazara that's your grandpa? He was in my economics class last year lol he's such a nice man — Good Hair Becky (@flashdelabarbi) August 24, 2016
Yes, that's him! He worked very hard in that class. He even used my old textbook! I'm so proud of him! (': ❤️ https://t.co/UEdgPcstx6 — Melanie Salazar ♡ (@melaniesalazara) August 24, 2016
@melaniesalazara aww cute.. yeah he helped me a few times in that class since he asked all the questions. You should be very proud of him — Good Hair Becky (@flashdelabarbi) August 24, 2016
I am very proud of him! (': Next semester he just needs one more class and he will graduate! https://t.co/mzd7ookld2 — Melanie Salazar ♡ (@melaniesalazara) August 24, 2016
Salazar and her grandpa walk to classes and get lunch together, so it's sure to be an awesome semester for the both of them. In fact, Texas Representative Justin Rodriguez has said he's coming by to get them lunch as well.
Although we're not sure that they'll be stopping by any keggers together, Neira's dedication to his education is inspiring others.