If you grew up with an older sibling, you know what it's like to constantly be compared to them. After all, chances are you went through the same schools, you probably had the same teachers — something they always loved to remind you about — and you may even have similar interests. As such, the prospect of following in their footsteps yet again and attending the same college can simply be too much. I know it was for me. Yet, I’ve learned that going to the same college as my older sibling really wasn’t what I expected. In fact, I’m often thankful my big brother is here and this is why.
1. Class Advice
This has been one of my favorite parts of having my sibling around. When it comes to class registration, having your sibling around is like having a man on the inside — a double agent, so to speak. They give you the rundown on the professors, which ones to avoid and which ones to get. They also tell you the best foods offered at the dining halls and the best clubs to join. Best of all, you can watch them make mistakes and know specifically what not to do in college.
2. Sharing Meal Plans
By the time you get to college, chances are your older sibling has already moved off campus. After all, on-campus housing is expensive and many upperclassmen don’t stick around. Naturally, they also tend to drop their meal plans — that’s where you come in. Certainly, it’s never a surprise when I receive a text asking about the status of my “swipes” and whether I could give any up. Though, what better way is there to bond than over food?
3. Getting Off-Campus
If your older sibling happens to live off-campus, there’s a strong chance of one awesome perk — a car. Though it can sometimes be a pain to get, having a car as a freshman awards you a certain level of prestige. After all, it’s a luxury very few first-year students actually have and there’s nothing better than knowing you can get off-campus whenever you want.
4. The Nostalgia
One of the biggest characteristics of college is the sheer amount of diversity amongst the student body. While this certainly leads to some interesting encounters and gives you a wider perspective on life, sometimes it’s nice to connect with people who understand where you came from. Perhaps you were fond of a local band or a certain regional food, who better to reminisce with than the very person you experienced this with?
5. A Sympathetic Ear
No one knows you better than your sibling. As such, no one is better qualified to understand to sympathize with you about the inevitable struggles you will face in college. Maybe you’re just having a hard time adjusting or a certain class is proving to be particularly difficult. While your friends and parents can do their best to empathize, your sibling will understand. They have to, after all, they went through the very same thing.
6. No One Will Pop Your Bubble Faster
Sometimes, we can all get a little self-righteous. While unavoidable, this certainly isn’t a desirable character trait. Sometimes this can be a touchy subject. Seriously, who wants to tell their roommate of only a few months that their being a bit of a snob? No one! Siblings, on the other hand, are always quick to administer life-saving doses of reality. Admit it, we all need that in our lives.
7. You Can Always Get A Ride Home
For those of you fortunate enough to live close to your college, this may not seem like a big deal. However, for the rest of us, let me just say that getting home can sometimes be a nightmare. Not only is it annoying to drive a long distance by yourself, but if you're not lucky enough to have a car, you either have to bum a ride with a stranger or listen to your parents complain about picking you up. Either way, you lose. However, having an older sibling solves all these problems.
8. "Don't Tell Mom" Will Always Apply
Even at a large university, it's surprisingly hard to keep secrets from your sibling. You may run into each other at the same questionable parties or simply stumble across a friend who will relay the message. Either way, be prepared for a little TMI. Yet, no matter what your siblings knows, your secret will always be safe with them. This is because going to the same college gives you the power of mutually assured destruction — if they tattle on you, they know you have the dirt to take them down with you.
9. They Will Always Have Your Back
It's reassuring to know that no matter what happens or how many fights you get into, your sibling will always be there for you. Whether it's a much needed lunch break, a movie night or even just a ride back from a party you probably shouldn't have been at, they are only a few minutes away. Not to mention, they're suffering through the same stuff you are.
In the end, going to the same college as your older sibling can be a blessing in disguise. Embrace the moments, you might miss them when they're gone.
Lead Image Credit: Anoldent via Flickr Creative Commons