Wisconsin sisters attend college alongside their mother and grandma

Three generations of women from a Wisconsin family have begun their fall semester together at Carthage College in Kenosha.

Mia Carter, an 18-year-old freshman accounting and marketing student, is starting her first semester at the liberal arts college alongside her mother, 49-year-old Amy Malczewski, and grandmother, 71-year-old Christy Schwan, the school told People. Meanwhile, Samantha Malczewski, Carter’s 19-year-old sister, is in her sophomore year at Carthage’s nursing program.

Samantha says she was shocked when she found out that her mother and grandmother would be joining her and her sister on campus. “They were like, ‘Oh, we’re going too,’” she told Good Morning America. “It was really surprising.” Mia, on the other hand, told the outlet that she wasn’t too surprised. Both her mother and grandma had been interested in going back to school since Amy’s great-grandmother died, according to Mia.

“I think my mom had a realization that your mom’s not always gonna be there,” the 18-year-old explained, saying that the idea was to spend some “quality time” together and also strike out on an adventure together while they can. The duo are now enrolled in the school’s 10-month master’s degree programme in business design and innovation.

“Life is short, so I tell people to push their doubts aside and go for it,” Amy stated to People. “It’s especially sweet to go through this experience with my mom.” Having worked at the college for over 20 years, Amy told CBS affiliate WDJT-TV: “I just feel proud to be watching my daughters grow up and be more mature and have new experiences, but now also to see my mom accomplish something that she’s always wanted to, and then even to accomplish something that I’ve always wanted to… I could probably burst I’m so proud right now.”

“My mom raised me, obviously, to face my fears. I always say I think I’m afraid every day of my life, but I just do things anyway and my mom taught me that,” Amy continued.

Before retirement, Schwan was a small business owner and at one point, climbed the corporate leader. She has also published several books, according to the school. It has always been Schwan’s dream to pursue her master’s during retirement, and thanks to her daughter, she was given that much-needed push to go after her goals. On her website, Schwan lists among her core beliefs as “together is better than separate” and “it is never too late for a new beginning.”

“Age is no deterrent in education,” Christy told People. “Older students bring a valuable perspective to class discussions.”

Carter said that although all of them have separate schedules, having each other nearby has it’s perks. “It’s nice that we can walk them to class, meet for a study session, or just meet in the cafeteria for meals,” the 18-year-old added. “I really love having that touch of home right here on campus.”