Second Time Around: Kick Boxer Loses 75 Pounds and Returns to School


Major: Radiography

Class of: 2014


Before she had children, Diane Andrascik, 53, earned a degree in medical lab technology from Felician College and worked as a medical transcriptionist for many years. Now that her children are getting older, she is working on a second degree – an Associate in Applied Science in Radiography – so she can start a new career and help pay for college for her son and daughter.

Returning to school after 30 years certainly can be a challenge. Andrascik of Bloomingdale, however, had some special inspiration.

Kickboxing Launches a New Perspective 

A few years ago, frustrated over her weight, she signed up for kickboxing classes and lost 75 pounds inspired by one of the instructors who was older than her and a bodybuilder. Next, she became an instructor herself.

I thought if I can do that, I could go back to school,” says Andrascik.

With the support of her husband, a retired police chief, and her son and daughter, she enrolled at County College of Morris in 2012 as a full-time student.

Learning to study again was among her initial challenges. First, she tried working at the dining room table but there were too many distractions, so she developed a quiet area in her home or “my cubby” as she calls it. Apparently, the strategies she has developed have worked well. Last semester she was named to the Dean’s List for earning a grade point average of 3.37.

A Shared Journey

At CCM, she also has discovered that she is not alone. There are some other older students in her classes. Young or old, however, she notes, students all share a common focus. “We’re all here to learn.” She also notes that other students have helped her on her academic journey sharing study charts they have created and other assistance.

Being among young people, Andrascik adds, also has a number of benefits. She has become more proficient in the use of technology and received a number of tips on where to bring her daughter shopping for jeans.

The steps she has taken to earn another degree and start a new career also have served as an inspiration for her daughter, now in her second year of high school.

“My daughter thinks it’s great,” says Andrascik. “She did a report on me for one of classes, saying I was her Renaissance person.”