Greece’s Panellinies, or national exams, are notoriously difficult. Students spend years preparing for the exams, and the results they receive determine which university they can attend — and even which department they can study in.
Slots in certain universities and programs are highly sought after as well, making the process extremely competitive and a source of great stress and anxiety for many students.
The existence of a global pandemic has only complicated the process for university hopefuls this year, adding yet another layer of difficulty.
Two of those hopefuls were mother and daughter Maria and Dora Siafara from Kozani in Northern Greece.
Despite the many challenges, the duo accomplished their dreams of getting into their top choices in terms of not only university but the specific departments they wished to study in.
Maria, a 41-year-old mother of four, was delighted to be accepted into the department of Geoponics, Ichthyology and Aquatic Environment at the University of Thessaly in Volos.
Her elation did not end there, however, as her 18-year-old daughter, Dora, recently found out that she will be studying Greek Literature at the Democritus University of Thrace in Komotini.
Studying for exams while supporting her daughter Dora and caring for her other children made Maria’s schedule incredibly hectic, but for Maria, it was all worth it.
She stated in an interview with AMNA that she had always dreamed of attending university, but she wasn’t able to do so as a teenager. She later started a family, and focused on the all-consuming task of raising her children.
Dora, who has a love for theater, was overjoyed with her mother’s decision to take the Panellinies and attend university at the same time as she did, stating to AMNA that she has gushed about her mother’s accomplishments whenever she got the opportunity.