Kelley Fluharty

Enjoy the journey!
Alumni, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

I'm currently a junior majoring in Anthropology with a minor in Religious Studies. I am also a full-time employee at the University (though I wasn't when I went back to school). My youngest child just started college this fall, also here at UNC Charlotte, as a biology major, pre-vet! He's living on campus, so I guess you could say I'm an empty-nester!

Although, I have attended college over the years after getting out of the Army, I had trouble finishing my degree in the time allotted by the GI Bill. When I withdrew from college in 2008, it was because I had just gotten a new job which had much less flexibility, and I was a single mother of 3 children at home. It was overwhelming. I didn't even consider returning to college for years. One day, a coworker and I were talking about the possibility of me finishing my degree. She was getting ready to graduate with her doctoral degree and kept telling me I should go back to school. Another friend asked me if I'd ever considered going back, as her sorority gives scholarships to non-traditional women to return to school. I counted this as a sign. My son was a sophomore and we had started talking about college for him, so I scheduled us to visit the spring open house, mostly so I could get a feel for returning to college. But, as a great surprise, he also loved UNC Charlotte. I applied, was accepted and began classes in the summer of 2017. We visited other colleges for him, but he kept coming back to UNC Charlotte. He is now also a 49er!

My words of wisdom for anyone considering a return to college as an adult:
1. You can do anything you set your mind to do!
2. Time management is key, especially if you are also working.
3. Do not be intimidated by the much younger students. I have had great experiences with my classmates!
4. Utilize the resources on campus as much as possible.
5. Enjoy the journey. It is so easy to get overwhelmed, but take a deep breath and remember your goal!