Empty. Quiet. Boring. My house feels as if I am the only one in it, and that’s the truth. Everyone has thought of the first time they will leave or have left for college; however, has anyone ever thought of the ones left at home?
One weekend ago, my parents and I dropped off my older sister at Cal Poly, San Louis Obispo. It never occurred to me that once she left, I would be the only one with my parents. I’m fourteen and experiencing heartache due to the fact that I’m the last child to live at home. My brother, the oldest of three, left two years ago for college, yet, that wasn’t as much of a blow to my heart because I still had my sister with me. I didn’t realize she would do the same until I got home from San Louis Obispo and saw her bath products out of the bathroom we shared. We were close enough that we watched all of “our” shows together every time we got back from school. From this moment on, I didn’t know how to occupy my time with no siblings around.
Wondering what to do at home and how to work through this disappointment, I decided to turn to people who have already gone through this milestone. Lauren Polyakov, a junior in high school when her brother left, tells her part of the story, “as my third sibling, my brother, Danny, started getting ready for college, packing up his stuff, I realized there’s no longer anyone home; just me and my parents. I just adjusted to it. It was hard at first because it was the six of us and chaotic at home and after they left, the house got quiet and I realized it was just me. I finally had my car to myself and my mom and I got pretty close. I was with myself so I didn’t have to focus on what was happening with everyone else’s life. I lost the comfort of my siblings. They used to be down the hall and now they’re across the country. I am not as close with my siblings as I used to be.”
“More freedom because my parents have already experienced everything with my siblings, so they’re more lenient.” A freshman when his last sibling left for college and currently a sophomore, Wesley Ko explains what his thoughts were once he was officially alone. “Happy at times it was quiet in the house; when they’re home it’s always messy. Overall bored I guess I mostly hang out with my parents and friends to fill that hole…without them in there that whole vibe was missed. My parents spoiled me a lot more, I was bored more often; life is just less interesting without them.”
Senior Carolynn Le has a different story; her siblings went to colleges close by where she lived. Though her siblings still lived at home, she rarely got to see and spend time with them. “When I came back from school they weren’t home. At first, I thought it would be kind of fun to have attention from my parents, but they came late at night; so I felt alone. I got over it by doing work and keeping busy. In the beginning, I had a lot more freedom, but then I started to get in trouble and then they got really strict and tightened the rains.” Lynn had not only missed them physically, but emotionally as well. “I was close with my brother; I looked up to him. My sister and I are polar-opposites. I actually miss arguing with them with the little things.”
People usually ask the person going to college if they’re nervous; it’s uncommon for someone to ask that to a sibling who likely feels the same way. I have just begun this journey as my sister is starting her own. I may not have any sibling company, but at least I’ll have the comfort of knowing that I am not alone.
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