College-bound Siblings Impact Life at Home

Hank Larsen, Staff Writer

Homes around Orinda are quieter now that some siblings have left for college. Not used to such quiet in the absence of a sister or brother, such students must make do with being on their own.  Some feel a change in atmosphere at home that takes a little getting used to, while others don’t even notice that their sibling is gone.

“The house is a lot quieter and cleaner,” junior Kaiser Pister said. “My sister is quite messy.” Pister says it’s much more boring at home, so he spends more time with friends out of school. Pister has a brother, Stark, a senior at UC Santa Cruz, and a sister, Ann, a sophomore at UC Davis.

Junior Jeff Lee’s brother, Brian, is a junior at UC Riverside. “It’s a lot quieter,” Lee said. “There’s less tension, and it’s generally more relaxed at home.” More importantly, Lee now has more room around the house. “It gives us so much extra space in our room to do activities,” Lee said, referencing the film Stepbrothers.

Junior Lina Mathkour also had to adjust to the life of an only child when her older brother Ashraf left for his sophomore year at Claremont McKenna College. Now that the eldest child of the house is in college, the responsibility of being the eldest has fallen on her shoulders.

“It’s slightly strange when we have dinner because my brother’s entertaining personality isn’t with us,” Mathkour said. “There’s a lot more room around the house because my brother always had his clothes thrown in every room.”

Mathkour says the atmosphere at home is definitely quieter. “Now there’s one less sibling yelling at the TV due to a football game.” She adjusted quickly to not having Ashraf around, because he spent his summer before school saying goodbye to all his friends. “That made me get used to him not being at home.”

Though watching a beloved sibling go off to college might be difficult, students get used to not having them around pretty quickly and most find that it doesn’t affect their social life. “There’s not much of a change because he’s always pretty nice when my friends are over,” Mathkour Lee didn’t notice any difference. “He’s either sleeping or out most of the time so I honestly didn’t really notice.”

There will always be great memories and good times you’ve had with a now college-bound brother or sister. “When my two other brothers and I play in the backyard or play a board game, it’s not as fun as having the four of us together,” Mathkour said. Though at first you may only notice the peace and serenity, it simply is not the same at home without that missing sibling.

“The biggest thing [my siblings] both agree on is that it doesn’t matter too much what college you get into, because it’s going to be tons of fun,” Pister said. “Don’t worry too much about the apps and the sort.”