Sarah & Rachel
Sisters Rachel and Sarah Catherine attend the same school but have had completely different college experiences.
By Whitney Johnson
Your brother or sister may be your best friend, or you may not be able to stay in the same room without fighting for more than a minute. Either way, things will change when you decide where to attend college.
Even if you enjoy spending all of your time with your sibling, everyone desires independence. To become completely independent, separation is something strongly encouraged following high school graduation.
Siblings that attend different colleges branch out, meet new friends and are provided the chance to leave high school back at home, however, being miles from home eventually takes a toll on everyone.
Homesickness is more common than college students want to admit. Yearning for a connection to someone who will take the pain away and make things seem all right is a common reaction.
According to Penn State’s Counseling and Psychological Services, “Homesickness presents a chance to take charge of life and learn new skills for dealing with emotions and with others. Students who work to master homesickness and expand their coping skills can lead to increased self-esteem and a sense of independence.”
Siblings do not have to room together, but having your sibling in the same college town provides a little piece of home when you get homesick. Having someone there you can talk about your parents and latest hometown gossip with is comforting.
Senior Sarah Catherine Purvis attends Auburn University with her sister, junior Rachel Purvis. Growing up, they shared a car, friends and a bathroom. Being in college has helped them step out of their comfort zone, and while they are in the same sorority, they’re involved in different campus organizations.
“We are both very competitive,” Sarah Catherine said. “I love being able to root for the same team with my sister at sporting events.”
Sara Catherine and Rachel don’t hang out constantly, but Sarah Catherine loves knowing her sister is right down the road when she is sick.
“Rachel knows all of the home remedies my mom uses,” Sarah Catherine said. “When I’m sick, all I want is my momma, but having my sister there is second best.”
Elizabeth Griffith is a senior at Auburn, and her younger sister, Caitlin, is about to complete her first year there as well.
Even though Caitlin lives in the freshman dorms, while Elizabeth lives in an off-campus apartment, the two still find a lot of time to hang out (even if it is just when her sister needs to come do laundry for free at her apartment).
“The first year of college can be kind of scary,” Elizabeth said. “I was really glad that I was going to be able to be here to help calm her nerves since it is starting a new chapter in her life.”