When I left San Diego for school at IU, my youngest brother was 13, and my middle brother was 15. I knew a lot would change in our lives while I was gone. But with the help of Snapchat streaks, Facetime, GIF texts and funny Instagram videos, we’re still close, maybe even closer than before.
I talked to Max, 17, and Zach, 14, about what it’s been like to watch their older sister leave for college.
Answers have been edited for brevity and clarity.
Emily: What was it like when I left for college?
Zach: It was very sad because you were a big part of my life. And not seeing you every day was sad.
Max: It was weird, not having you in the house. Like, dinners and stuff — instead of five people, there were four. I feel like that just takes some getting used to.
But then we still talk and stuff over Snapchat and phone calls and whatnot. So I feel like the biggest part was just the missing part of the house.
Do you feel like the house changed?
M: Not a ton. I feel like it stayed pretty similar.
Z: Yeah, a little bit. Especially with three guys and only one girl. It was kind of more of like a guys’ — like a bachelor pad, if that makes sense.
It was like a bachelor pad? (editor’s/older sister’s note: Zach has seen “How I Met Your Mother” a ridiculous amount of times and likely did not understand what bachelor pad meant in this context)
Z: It was, like, much more immature? Like, the level of maturity decreased. Yeah, there we go. The level of maturity decreased.
More bad jokes?
Z: Much more.
Z: Much more.
On that note, has watching my experience in college changed your thoughts about college at all?
Z: A little bit. Even if you do go in with a set thing, you can always change it. You can always change your major or whatever. It doesn’t have to be set in stone.
M: You know, before you had gone to Indiana, I had only thought about Southern California schools. But seeing the perks of a different school in a different environment in a different part of the country kind of made me open up and think about other schools that I wouldn’t have thought about before.
What advice would you give another person whose older sibling is going off to college?
Z: It’s a sad time. You just have to figure out ways to get through it.
M: Make sure you talk to them because they might feel lonely even if you don’t know it. They might be more homesick than you realize.
Any advice for parents?
Z: It’s a sad time. Just try to stay strong so the person who is going off to college doesn’t get scared. But still have that love factor there.
M: Don’t be afraid because your kid is most likely going to have a really good time. And probablyif he or she is leaving, he or she probably wants to leave. So don’t be worried about your kid because if they’re moving across the country, it’s probably for a reason that you might not have thought about.
Do you feel like with me in college, you’re excited for college? You still have a while, Z…
Z: Yeah, I feel much more open-minded to college. I really want to go now. Seeing how much fun you’re having makes me want to go.