Column- Hannah Woehrle

Last August, something big happened: my brother left for college.
That was the day I became an only child. I often feel like us younger siblings get overlooked when the older child goes off to college. This is a pretty big change for us too, going from always having someone there to being alone. I know that he’s not actually gone, but lots of things changed after my brother left.
I’ll remember that day for the rest of my life. I woke up early with the rest of my family. I wasn’t needed for much that day, other than to stay out of the way, so I ate breakfast while the rest of my family loaded up the car. We were all a little anxious to get to Michigan State, but that was nothing compared to how we felt when we arrived. All around campus there were hundreds of college students eagerly moving in to their dorms.
The rest of the day included lots of hard work (by my parents) to move him in. However, the hardest part of the day came when we had to leave.
We each gave him a hug and said our goodbyes and tried to make the whole endeavor as short as possible. After all, we didn’t want to be “that family.” It was when we got back in the car that the tears came. We knew that day was going to be rough, but we never expected it to hit us so hard and so fast.
When we finally got home after what felt like the longest car ride ever, the house felt so empty. It was completely different without him there. I went up to my room and started bawling, not really expecting to miss him so much. I was used to him being out hanging with friends or working, but knowing he wouldn’t be coming back anytime soon made it so much more real.
That night, my friends knew how sad I was, so they came to my house with cookies. They all had siblings who graduated the year before and assured me that it would get easier. I knew that I would get used to him not being there, but I didn’t want to.
I didn’t want to get used to not having my big brother around.
Well, it’s been about seven months since I became an only child and though it took a while, I have gotten used to it. I still miss him, but that doesn’t mean I haven’t experienced some perks. For starters: my car. Over the summer, I had to switch between using my mom’s and my dad’s cars, because my brother got to use the Grand Prix. But now, I’ve got my own car all to myself. She may not be the prettiest thing in the world (mostly because we’re the same age and I drove her into a basketball hoop), but having my own car is a luxury I will not want to give up.
Second, I get the basement all to myself. My brother and I would constantly argue over who gets to use it; and more often than not, he would win. However, that is no longer a battle I have to fight, and I get to throw as many wild parties as I want down there (Most “wild parties” include watching The Bachelor and eating fruit by the foot with my friends).
Last, I get my parents’ full attention. I’m not saying they’ve completely neglected my brother since he’s gone off to college, because that is not the case. But I know that whenever I have a problem, I have their undivided attention. Then again, this can also be a bad thing. Since they don’t have any other “distractions,” I can’t get away with quite as much. That’s still taking some getting used to.
Overall, being an only child has just been different. I’ve known my whole life that there would be two years where it would just be me at home, but I never knew how it would feel. It’s neither good nor bad, but I will always be glad I grew up as a little sister and I will always miss my brother.
That is, until he comes home for the summer.