"I really love having that touch of home right here on campus," freshman Mia Carter, whose older sister is also a student at the school, tells PEOPLE
For many, college can be a home away from home. But one Wisconsin family has given that a whole new meaning. That's because three generations of that family have begun the fall semester together at Carthage College in Kenosha.
Mia Carter, an 18-year-old freshman accounting and marketing student, is beginning her first semester at the liberal arts school along with her mother, 49-year-old Amy Malczewski, and grandmother, 71-year-old Christy Schwan, the school tells PEOPLE in a statement.
Mia also has a "familiar roommate" in her residence hall: Samantha Malczewski, her 19-year-old sister, who is now a sophomore in Carthage’s nursing program.
Samantha admits she was shocked when she learned her mother and grandmother would be attending along with the pair.
"They were like, 'Oh, we're going too,'" she told Good Morning America. "It was really surprising."
However, Mia told GMA that she had an inkling that both mom and grandma were interested in going back to school. The decision came after Amy's great-grandmother died.
"I think my mom had a realization that your mom's not always gonna be there," the 18-year-old said, adding that getting "quality time" between mom and grandma was a major factor.
Christy and her daughter are now in the school's 10-month master’s degree program in business design and innovation.
"Life is short, so I tell people to push their doubts aside and go for it," Amy tells PEOPLE in a statement. "It’s especially sweet to go through this experience with my mom."
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Amy, who has worked at the college for over 20 years, told CBS affiliate WDJT-TV that she is not only proud to see her daughters "grow up," but that she's so happy to see her "mom accomplish something she's always wanted to."
Christy, a retired small business owner and corporate leader, has published several books, per the school. Her website lists among her core beliefs "together is better than separate" and "it is never too late for a new beginning."
"Age is no deterrent in education," Christy tells PEOPLE. "Older students bring a valuable perspective to class discussions."
While mom and grandma's class schedule is vastly different from Mia and Samantha's, the freshman said that having them on campus is a major plus.
"It’s nice that we can walk them to class, meet for a study session, or just meet in the cafeteria for meals," adds Mia. "I really love having that touch of home right here on campus."
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