And while you’re out there gettin’ where you’re gettin’ to, I hope you know somebody loves you

Grace Ebach Staff Writer The time has come. Yes, school has started again. And though I’m beyond ready to take on junior year, there’s one thing missing in my life. One person missing in my life. And I don’t know how to adjust to it. I don’t know how to handle walking up the steps, not hearing his laptop blasting The West Wing or some random dubstep music. And when I walk in his room, there’s no more mattress on the floor, no clothes in the closet, and among all of the possessions left, just one picture of us sitting on the front steps on his bookshelf. He’s gone, and I can’t find a new way to live normally. I guess that’s a bit overdramatic considering my brother didn’t die- he went to college, as people tend to do when they graduate. It’s just so weird. I’ve been dreaming of him leaving for so long that I find myself struggling to adjust to him actually not being in my house. My parents seem to be doing fine- he calls them ever so often, usually asking for money but occasionally talking about his social life and about his classes. But I have barely spoken to him since I last saw him, just a couple days before my parents dropped him off in D.C. And it’s not like I miss him being around all the time. I love having my own bathroom, not having to tell him to keep it down all the time, and getting more attention from my parents. But I’d be lying if I said it hasn’t been hard doing day-to-day things without even being able to say hi to him. It’s mostly the little things that make me miss him. I used to always hear what he was watching or listening to on his laptop. I called him down for dinner almost every night. I loved hearing his ridiculous stories about his friends. I saw him in school at least once or twice a week. We had our one or two-sentence exchange every day. We complained about each others’ sleeping habits when we had to sleep in the same bed during vacations. Even the one time he came to one of my water polo games. Those were highlights of my day, without even realizing it then. The absence of him and his presence next to my room every night is lonely, and it’s definitely made me reflect on everything we went through as kids, growing up together. We definitely did NOT have the greatest 13-14 years together. From the start, our relationship was doomed. We have the same birthday. Yes, I know, it’s absolutely awesome and one-of-a-kind. Not when you’re the one who ruined your brother’s 2nd birthday. It didn’t get much better because I was a pretty annoying little sister. I didn’t have a lot of girl friends on the block, so I would follow my brother and his friends around all the time, which understandably got on his nerves. We bickered constantly, battled until our parents would just threaten us with less TV or no cookies (which they really should’ve followed through on-I blame them for my addiction to Keeping up with the Kardashians and Chips Ahoy Chewy). We were pretty much in a state of “I wish you didn’t exist” until he was a senior, which is pretty sad. But we had finally found ourselves- we were both more confident and sure of ourselves, which made us just happier people to be around. On occasion, when he wasn’t doing his homework (senioritis), he would waltz into my room or stand in the doorway, making me listen to some weird music and telling me stories about him and his crazy friend Wilson. Those are the moments I’ve missed the most- the unexpected conversations that he would start with me. And while missing him, I’ve wondered how other students have adjusted. So, I asked some other Latin students who lost their siblings to higher education what it’s like without them, and how they have been dealing with it. Juniors Nour Hatoum and Adom Dumanian saw their sisters go to college this summer, and they both told me that they don’t like the new attention from their parents. Adom said, “It’s hard because my parents just zero in on me now,” and Nour commented, “I get much more attention from my parents, which you’d think is great, but sometimes you want that attention to be alleviated just a bit because you’re not used to it.” I’ve also been really surprised by the constant flow of communication between the siblings. Nour and Nadia talk often with an occasional video chat. Adom and Zari text everyday. Junior Erich Finch Skypes with his brother T.J, and is even planning on visiting his sister in Memphis this spring. And Junior Rane Figueroa and her brother Audric never stopped communicating, with him living at home while attending classes nearby. Though she’s happy that she never had to say goodbye to him like the rest of us did, she’s not fond of the bickering that they still do. “He wants to grow up and get away from us,” she said. Which honestly makes sense. Although sisters like Sophomore M.J Porzenheim and I feel that it “just sucks to have him gone,” I think about Spencer and all the new friends he’s making, the new experiences he’s having, the new thoughts and ideas that are forming in his ever-expanding political noggin. My mom tells me he likes his roommates, he’s starting to look at fraternities to pledge, he runs to the Capitol and back everyday, and though he has a lot of work, he genuinely likes his classes. And that makes me so happy, knowing that he’s really enjoying himself, even though I’m not there to enjoy it with him.]]>