Dear Newest College Student of the Family,
How on earth did you get this old?! I mean, I am sorry for sounding like mom and dad but…seriously, where have the last eighteen years gone? Emotional. It is the only word I can use to describe move-in weekend. It was so exciting getting you moved in and set up. I loved helping you decorate your new home (with lots of pictures of me of course). It was so fun sending mom and dad to the store while we did the organizational stuff, but as the hours ticked away our inevitable departure was looming. I knew soon I would be leaving, and well, you would not be joining the family on the car ride home.
It’s different. When I left for school it was sad leaving you behind, but I knew when I came home, you would be there. You would come with mom and dad to watch my basketball games. I would see you regularly and consistently. Now you have your “own little life.” Not saying you didn’t have a real life before, but now we will actually have to coordinate when we can meet up and see each other. I also thought about how hard it is going to be when we are both in season. It’s a really weird concept to grasp.
To be honest on the almost two hour car ride home I worried about you. Were you settling in okay? Did you miss me? Are your suitemates being nice to you? That may have been the longest two hours of my entire life. What if you run out of something? What if the food is terrible? What if? What if? What if? Finally, God silenced me, and I just prayed. Prayed for you, prayed for your semester & then I was at peace. I realized you are not the little girl I still sometimes picture you as, but rather the strong and capable adult you have grown into. Your Snapchat to me of you watching a movie with peanut butter M&Ms in your lap assured me you were settling in. I am sure you miss me, but my face is in almost every photo in your dorm room, you really can’t escape me!) You’re a wonderful person everyone will love you (I may or may not be biased.) And the text you sent me saying you and your suite mates were all at brunch and then invaded Walmart together put me at ease. Finally, I stopped “what if-ing” (Something my parents wished I had done a long time ago). I realized you are no longer the awkward teenager who needed their older sibling to baby them. You are an adult, this is your life. It’s time for you to fly. You will try, you will fail and you will get back up and try again because that is how you are made.
While finally coming to my senses and realizing you are strong and capable of being out on your own, it made me feel more at ease. It doesn’t totally erase my fears. I love you. You are one of my best friends and not being able to stand over the top of you and protect you from everything and everyone hurts my heart, but I have realized it’s time for you to grow. I will step out of your way and let you spread your wings and take in the emotional rollercoaster that is college life. I will not stop worrying about you from a far because it’s my job. I will also pair my worrying with praying because I know God is in control. He’s got you!
So here’s to a great semester! You’ve got this, I know you do! I 100% believe in you. I will miss you more than you know but, it will make Thanksgiving break all the better. Go get involved with a club, meet new people, stay up late, and immerse yourself in your new life. It was emotional leaving you in your dorm and driving away. Tears were shed for sure, but it’s not a goodbye, it’s a see you later. Not being able to watch out for you every step of the way makes me sad, but I know it’s a part of life, and it’s not time for you to watch out for yourself and stand on your own two feet and learn. No matter what, I am always one phone call away and I love to FaceTime. So here’s to your new adventure, you can do it and I want you to know, I am proud of you and I love you.
Your Overprotective Older Sibling