Beyond the classroom: Mother and daughter bond, attend MTSU together

Colby Prince // Contributing writer

Ann Taylor isn’t your average MTSU student. She’s a confident 54-year-old mother whose 22-year-old daughter, Robin Taylor, also attends the university.

“I’m Generation X going to school with Generation Z,” Ann said, laughing.

Ann’s college career started when her work career ended abruptly.

“I’ve been in the print industry my whole life, and we all know what happened to print,” she said. The company she worked for, Jostens, gave her the option to move to Minnesota or stay and take a severance package.

“I chose to stay for my family and for Robin,” she said.

At that moment, Ann says she realized she had to do something else. So with her daughter in mind, she decided to go back to school pursuing a visual communications degree while Robin was still in high school.

“I wanted to be two steps ahead of her in school to help her out,” she said.

Being a non-traditional student, Ann faced triumphs and challenges inside and outside the classroom which Robin was able to learn from.

“She shared advice on the teachers, classes and books,” Robin said. “She told me not to take this class, but to take another one. ‘The teacher is nice.’ Because of her failure, I was able to pass the first time.”

Both mother and daughter say going to MTSU has strengthened their relationship.

“We commute to school together from Shelbyville,” Ann said. “We even made our school schedules with each other in mind.”

Despite their busy schedules, they find less stressful ways to spend time together.

“We are movie buddies,” Robin said, adding that they often visit family in Nashville and even take walks around their neighborhood to clear their heads.

The two have a great relationship, at school and at home.

“I love running into Robin at school,” Ann said.

The feeling is mutual for Robin.

“I’ve introduced her to like 18 people saying, ‘Hey, this is my mom!’ and every time her eyes light up,” Robin added.

“I wish every kid could go to school with their parents,” Robin said. “I love it. She will always be there, and she knows me inside and out. It makes things easier.”

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To contact Lifestyles Editor Rhiannon Gilbert, email

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1 Comment

  1. Avatar
    October 30, 2015

    This is a very sweet story. Both mother and daughter attending college together seems like it would be stressful for either one of them, but it sounds like they are both enjoying the experience. I guess it helps that the mother went to MTSU first, instead of the other way around. I know that if my mother followed me to the same college I would have a hard time accepting it. Not that I don’t love my mom, but it would be even more stress for me on top of the typical stress associated with college (like balancing work and deadlines).

    It’s sad to read that people like Ms. Taylor who work in print media are being laid off. The sad truth is, like she said, print media is dying; and the only viable option for people like her is to pursue another line of work. It is thanks to places like MTSU, however, that she has options to pursue. I find that this is a very welcoming campus for people of all ages, regardless of where they are in terms of previous education background. In fact, I think the older you are, the more I can learn from you! So, I say good luck to both members of the Taylor family.

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