Together to distant: Your sibling leaving for college


A sibling leaving for college could seem to have many perks — but is it always all good?

by Ryan Stark, Reporter

Chances are, you either have a sibling leaving for college or, perhaps thankfully, have one that is out of the house. At first, it could seem great! There’s one less person competing for attention. No more annoyance! No more fighting! The bathroom’s always clean! However, the life of an only child still has some drawbacks.

“I love it,” said sophomore Jack Dempster, whose brother Nick left in August. “He was pretty annoying.”

There are many positive changes that come with the transition. For one, the house could become a lot quieter. From experience, my sister Morgan did most of the talking around my house, and there was an almost constant chatter in the background. Without her, the house is nearly silent for a majority of the time. There could be slightly less competition for parental attention. With one less sibling to worry about, parents could devote more time to me!

But it’s not always all that it’s cracked up to be. If you and your sibling are close, then the transition can be very hard.

“I was very upset [when she left],” said sophomore Briana Pettaway, about her sister Amber who is now a sophomore at Montclair State College in New Jersey. “I went to my room every day and was pretty sad. We were very close.”

Her sister was her best friend. Losing a good friend, such as a sibling, could be very hard on both. The quietness of the house from having one less person, rather than being relaxing, could make the sibling remember just how much you miss your other half. Plus, Briana says Amber was like the mother in the house, and without that aspect, life is very different.

What should you do if you’re affected by the change? Child Psychologist from Frederick Dr. Lou A. Lichti says to “try and communicate often, like you’re still with each other. You’ll be able to feel like not much has changed as long as you keep up the communication.”

So, it’s a good time to set up a Skype account! It’s also a good idea to try and visit each other as often as possible. It may not be the easiest if the college is hours away, but once every few weeks is still probably enough to help cope with the loneliness.