Augsburg News

News Archives - 2007

Focus on Cindy Wiste: Junior Youth & Family Ministry major, Youth Director, and Grandma

May 15 , 2007

Cindy Wiste

For junior Cindy Wiste of Kasson, Minn., it took a few decades before she listened to her calling. Now that she has, she is just a year from receiving her college diploma and couldn't be prouder.

Wiste admits spending many years regretting that she was a rebellious teen. She had rejected attending college simply because that was the path her parents wanted her to go on. Then, around her 50th birthday, she had a revelation.

"I realized that all the time I had spent with my regrets hadn't done anything to take me any closer to my goal of a four-year degree,” recalls Wiste. "I decided that since I wasn't getting any younger, I might as well get started. If you spend your whole life regretting what you could have done, or should have done, what good is that? Get going!”

Get going she did! She enrolled in Augsburg's Weekend College, mostly taking classes at the Rochester location, while also working full time at Trinity Lutheran Church in Hayfield as Director of Youth and Family Ministry.

"I have found that college is much easier as an adult, because you have a certain 'leg up' in that you have years of experiential learning under your belt that you may not even realize that you have,” says Wiste. "When it gets tough for me to fit in everything that I need to do, I just remind myself ... one thing at a time. One paper, one test, one chapter to read. That's all I can do!'  and – surprise, it gets done!”

Wiste has found the professors and her classmates in Youth and Family Ministry to be very accepting of having an "older” adult in class. "They respect me, and I respect them. I get along quite well, even with the very young college students. It's fun, actually!”

"I remember when I first started out thinking that I would never finish,” says Wiste, "but I'm a junior now, and the time has just flown. I have never taken more than two classes at a time with working full time, and being a Grandma and having other interests and things going on, but little bit by little bit, I'm going to 'get 'er done!'"

This year marks the 25th anniversary of Augsburg's Weekend College.