Should College Be a Family Affair?

My twin sister and I are really close. Although we didn’t get along very well when we were younger, by the time we got to high school we had become really good friends. While we never really discussed what would happen when we started applying to colleges, I wasn’t surprised that there was some overlap in our top college choices. Eventually I was accepted to my first choice school early decision and my sister was accepted to the same school three months later.

While I loved my sister and hated the thought of only seeing her a few times a year, I was conflicted as to whether or not going to school together was something I wanted. For one, our friends and family had always viewed my sister and me as a unit and, while I enjoyed the close relationship I shared with her, I was eager to assert my independence and individuality. I knew that when we headed off to school together in the fall we would be “the twins,” just as we had been the most of our lives, and I wasn’t sure that I was okay with this.

Some soon-to-be high school graduates will find themselves in similar situations. Perhaps an older brother or sister attends a college that you’re also considering applying to. Perhaps, like me, you’re a twin who is wondering whether staying together through college is a good idea. While my specific situation made me more wary then most in considering whether or not to attend school with my sister, here are a few things to consider when thinking about attending school with your siblings.

Are You Making Your Own Decision?

Heading to college can be intimidating, especially if you don’t know anybody there. Its understandable to want someone with you who you know will always be there to support you and help you socially. However, you should not choose to go to school with a sibling merely because of the social security. You should choose a college that is the best fit for you as an individual. If you find that this school is the same as one that a relative or sibling attends, there is nothing wrong with that.

If you choose to go to school where an older sibling attends, don’t automatically assume that they will be willing or able to hang out with you 24/7. I have seen friends upset by the fact that their older brother or sister was unwilling to help them transition into college. Make sure to talk to your siblings about what it will be like to go to school together and what each of your expectations are.

Don’t Use Your Sibling as a Crutch

If you do go to school with a sibling, make sure to branch out and make an effort to meet new people as well. I know that this was something I struggled with as a freshman. If you’re close with your brother or sister there is nothing wrong with wanting to hang out with them, but don’t isolate yourself from the rest of the college campus. Make a concentrated effort to include others or even to spend time apart with new friends.

Trust Your Instincts 

If you know that going to school with a sibling will make it harder to branch out and meet new people, consider your other options. Or, if you know that attending the same school as other family members will be a non-issue, don’t feel as if you have to go somewhere else in order to assert your independence. The best advice I can give is to make your decisions for yourself.

Related Posts

The following two tabs change content below.
Brianna Low

Brianna Low

Brianna Low is a rising senior at DePaul University pursuing a double major in English and Spanish. Brianna enjoys reading, writing, and traveling. She currently works for DePaul's Art Department as a receptionist and hopes to one day work in a library. Brianna is happiest when surrounded by books.
Brianna Low

Latest posts by Brianna Low (see all)