KENOSHA — Sometimes Carthage College sophomore Rebecca Krahn will be crossing campus and, suddenly, she’ll see her mom.
“It’s happened a couple of times where we just walk by each other,” Krahn said.
While bumping into a parent would be unusual for most undergraduates, it’s not surprising in Krahn’s case. She and her mom, Suellen, are both students at Carthage, where fall semester classes start today.
Rebecca Krahn, 19, is a traditional student, studying graphic design. Suellen Krahn, 45, already has a career as an educational assistant at Jerstad-Agerholm Middle School, but is going to Carthage to earn a bachelor’s degree in teaching.
Rebecca Krahn admitted she thought the arrangement would be strange, but the Caledonia mother and daughter have found they like having each other around.
“At the beginning it was kind of weird, but it’s nice having her there if I need anything,” Rebecca said. Her mom has brought art supplies, winter boots and home-cooked meals. She also brings a listening ear and a comforting word.
“It’s kind of a relief if I need to talk to someone about classes or about my roommates.”
Suellen Krahn was already attending Carthage when a scholarship swayed Rebecca Krahn to begin her undergraduate career at the campus last year. Rebecca Krahn was slightly hesitant because her mom was taking classes there; college, after all, is at least partly about independence.
“I was worried about that, like, ‘I’m not going to be far enough away from you guys,’ ” Rebecca Krahn said.
But she lived on campus, 2001 Alford Park Drive, and only went home a few times during the academic year. And she and her mother were careful to take advantage of time together while not encroaching too much on one another’s lives.
“We don’t see each other every time she’s at school,” Rebecca Krahn said.
Weeks have gone by without the pair seeing one another. Other times they’re able to get coffee or sometimes just a quick “kiss and a hug,” Suellen Krahn said.
“We’re very fortunate, actually, to have the opportunity to see each other and spend time together, unlike (Rebecca’s) roommates who get homesick,” Suellen Krahn said.
The mother-daughter duo critiques each others’ papers and shares advice about professors, but the two draw the line at taking classes together.
“I’ve been forbidden,” Suellen Krahn said, laughing.
“That would be too much,” Rebecca Krahn quickly chimed in, giggling as well.
This academic year will be the Krahns’ last as students together. Suellen Krahn graduates this spring.