A new chapter
Every August before school starts, Mom takes the obligatory first-day-of-school picture on our lawn and then posts it on Facebook. This tradition of taking a picture of my brother Ryan and I has been a fond memory to me, and I have an album of all these pictures on my iPhone.
However, this August something was missing. My brother Ryan had already gone off to college, and the picture was only of me. I felt that the awkward solo picture of me was taken just to keep the annual picture alive. The first day of school is supposed to be happy and exciting, but I had mixed emotions about it because Ryan was gone, and my mom was focused on her first-born being all grown up and able to live on his own.
Having my older brother leave for college for the first time is a huge change for our family dynamic because the routine of having the same people coming and going out of the house is gone for the next chapter of our life. It’s a bittersweet experience for me. While I gain peace and quiet in the house, I also get way too much attention from my parents! Plus, my brother entertained me – with his presence and daily antics, I was never bored. He still entertains me through the family group chat, though. It’s exciting to get fun updates and pictures from him on what is happening at the University of Texas.
Moving my brother into his dorm was an experience, to say the least. Organizing, cleaning, and putting things where they belong were just a few of the activities my parents and I had to do to get him settled. It took two carloads to get all his stuff to college.
I always love visiting my brother at college. From football games to walking around the city to meeting a ton of new people, it is all so exciting, yet overwhelming, to take in. Our weekends visiting Ryan are always packed with tiring and fun activities. Overall, I love that I can see the college experience in action – but I can admit that I really do miss him.
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