Disclaimer: I actually do love my brothers.
I have never been the emotional little sister. When my brothers first left for college, I didn’t even wake up in time to say “goodbye.” I was never one to send them letters or care packages or really even text them at all. Although, if my mom had already premade a package for them, I’d occasionally toss in a slice of wheat bread autographed by me to remind them of their wonderful little sister. So when it comes to the best sister award, I’d likely lose. In that case, it is only fitting that it would be I to request that they, and other bothersome college students, pack up and leave.
It has been almost eight weeks since my brothers have arrived home from college for what I thought was going to be a usual visit: short but sweet. Unfortunately, due to COVID-19, their courses transferred to online causing what was once a quiet household with just me, my dog, and my parents to revert back to its youthful days of a full house.
It cannot just be me who is bothered by this elongated stay by older siblings. Since my oldest brother left for college four years ago, I’ve been spoiled with certain freedoms that come with being an only child: watching my shows on the TV, eating ice cream straight out of the carton, and having snacks in our pantry for more than three hours. These simple enjoyments were quickly replaced by unwanted noises blasting through the vents (courtesy of my brother’s PlayStation), only a spoonful of ice cream left in the carton, and snacks that disappeared within hours.
In the beginning, I had prepared myself for this to last a week or two, but then Thanksgiving somehow turned into mid-January, and I’ve had enough. Don’t get me wrong, there are perks to having your siblings back home. There are no more awkward dinners with just my parents, I finally have a partner to conquer Wii Tanks with, and of course, the little extra spice they add when they stumble home at 2 a.m. and Mom is waiting in the kitchen…
There are approximately 19.7 million college students around the United States. Granted, not all of them have younger siblings. Unfortunately, the ones who do are the ones who inflict agitation onto the younger siblings by the sudden lack of couch space, a lower fridge content, and, if you’re me, the calls at 12:30 a.m. on a school night to come and pick them up.
I bet not all younger siblings feel this way and for that, I’m jealous. Perhaps it’s the classic brother-sister relationship because I’ve heard this extended stay has been great for sisters.
That said, having them home from time to time is a blessing (maybe in disguise, but nonetheless). I wouldn’t be who I am today without them beating me up as a child, taking my food after specifically telling them not to, or any of the other ways they have shaped me to be who I am today. According to my mom, I have to love them.
If you’re like me out there with siblings who just won’t go back to school, I encourage you to take advantage of this time where you are no longer the screw-up and make the most of it. I know there will come a time when the pandemic is over and family time is few and far between.
On the other hand, if you’re a college student reading this and all these scenarios apply to you, for the sake of your younger siblings, go learn something. See you at Easter! We love you. Bye.