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Its never too late to become a college student

At 45, Nathan Whelham decided to pursue his dream of becoming a doctor and inspired his five children Friday, December 29, 2017 Nathan Whelham, right, is a third-year medical student at WMed and his daughter, Chelsea, is a freshman at Western Michigan University.

They were wise words that Nathan Whelham spoke to his daughter, leaving her and her siblings something to ponder, some words, possibly, to live by.

And then, in 2015, Whelham turned those words into action and became a living example of that pursuit — at any age — of a dream.

  • If you are still on the fence, here are a few reasons why it's never too late to go back to school;
  • Expand your skill set.

At 45 years old, he packed up his family — his wife and their five children — rented the largest U-Haul truck he could find and made the drive from Washington state to Kalamazoo to chase his lifelong dream of becoming a doctor. Chelsea, meanwhile, is a freshman at Western Michigan University where she was awarded a full ride scholarship and is pursuing a degree in art education.

Chelsea said she is proud of her father and the work he has put in to this point in the pursuit of becoming a doctor.

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His actions, she said, have set a positive example for her and her younger siblings. I am so grateful we moved for that reason. As an undergraduate student, Whelham said he knew he wanted to be a doctor but his attempts at applying to medical school at the University of Washington proved unsuccessful.

  • Working through the process of earning your degree will make you feel on top of the world;
  • And then, in 2015, Whelham turned those words into action and became a living example of that pursuit — at any age — of a dream.

The dream of becoming a physician was put on hold and in 1995 Whelham moved to Seattle where he worked with a group of art and drama students who traveled and performed around the U.

Whelham called Seattle home for 18 years. He taught math and science there and met his wife, Amy, who also was a teacher. The couple welcomed Chelsea in 1999 and their four younger children — Cassidy, Paige, Zoe and Luke — followed in 2001, 2002, 2005 and 2006, respectively.

In addition to teaching, Nathan and Amy ran a successful catering business.

Why It's Never Too Late to Go Back to School

The Whelham Family In the middle of it all, Whelham said his desire to be a doctor never left him. He stayed involved in medicine, teaching a wilderness first aid course at the school where he worked in Seattle, in addition to math and science.

Some of the students Whelham taught, he said, have since gone on to be nurses and doctors. By September 2013, Whelham had made up his mind to reignite his pursuit of becoming a doctor. He received several offers from different schools, but ended his search when he got the call from WMed, he said.

His journey has proven successful and that is a credit to his family, he said. Whelham said his wife and children provide him with a much-needed balance that serves him well given the rigors of medical school.

The family bought a home in Portage and have settled in to the Kalamazoo area nicely.

It is Never too Late to Pursue Education, at Least, not for Me

Whelham said that from the time he arrived at WMed, he made a point to study at home as much as possible. He said he also includes his family in everything that he does, including events the medical school. Campus that featured art, music, poetry and dancing. Still, he said he and his family know that the future, at least at this point, remains uncertain and their adventure could very well continue beyond Southwest Michigan.

  • Going back to school is self-empowering and the success you find will only spill over into other areas of your life as well;
  • I went back to school because I was tired of feeling like I had failed, and I wanted to be able to stand with my friends and have my degrees and be able to get the job that I really want;
  • She has plans, she said, to study abroad next year in Italy.

It would be nice to stay but the reality of it is that the future is still very uncertain. I think the world opened up to them in a way that would not have happened if we had not made the decision to do this together.

She has embraced Kalamazoo and said she loves the city and the way the community appreciates the arts. She has plans, she said, to study abroad next year in Italy. I really love Kalamazoo. This is where I was headed all along.