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The Daily Illini

Being a supportive younger sibling to a graduating senior

Charlotte Collins, Video Editor

When I decided to attend the University, I knew my college adjustment would be a little bit easier than most because my older brother had just completed his first semester in Champaign-Urbana.

Now I’m a junior and as my brother is graduating and about to move out west for a Ph.D. program, I realize how fast these past few years have flown by. In hindsight, I really thought we’d have more time to hang out as undergraduates, but between classes and work, we really didn’t get to see each other as often as my parents probably dreamed we would as Illini siblings. We both have been incredibly busy, but I know a full schedule is a good thing when you’re trying to get experience and I don’t think either of us is really to blame. I’m just hoping he knows how proud my family and I are of his accomplishments.

I should say that I did forget to get him a birthday present this year, so I definitely have room for improvement in terms of being a supportive sibling.

He is my oldest and only sibling, so my parents are definitely going to be a wreck (in a good way?) when it comes to graduation.

Their hard work raising us has finally paid off and it also takes a lot of pressure off of me because at least my parents will be one for two on college graduates if I happen to crash and burn.

I’m pretty hopeful about my own graduation next year, but that extra security is nice.

I’m going to make sure I wake up early enough to figure out parking, our tickets and event timing beforehand so I can take as much stress off of my parents as possible.

Speaking of commencement itself, I’ll try my best to be supportive of my brother with small, unintrusive acts. It’s certainly a celebration, but I get the sense that graduation is probably stressful in a strange way, because even though all the hard work is paying off, the rest of your life is on the other side of it.

Whether the next step is planned out or not, I bet it feels a lot like stepping into the unknown. I can’t be too much help with that at commencement, but I think my brother has one or two actual shirts, so asking if he’s got his outfit planned out beforehand and if his main shirt is clean will be essential to the success of this one event.

Despite how I sometimes forget he’s even here and how little we actually got to see each other, I know sometime next year I’ll start a text to him, probably asking what he’s doing for dinner, before I remember he’s hundreds of miles away.

If you’re ever lucky enough to attend the same school as a family member, take advantage of that while you can.

cjcolli2@dailyillini.com

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