How College Changed My Relationship With My Sister

How College Changed My Relationship With My Sister

From polar opposites to the best of friends, all within a semester's time.

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My younger sister and I are close in age, with only eighteen months separating us. When we were little, we shared the usual children's toys for our generation, like Polly Pockets and Barbies, but as we approached our teen years, we started bickering more and more, over trivial things like the messiness of our room or whose turn it was to wash the dishes. Every movement or comment my sister made annoyed me for absolutely no reason, and vice versa, and our relationship suffered because of it.

Growing up, the divide between my sister and I was so prevalent, even distant family members we saw far too infrequently noted it, saying things like, 'You girls will value your relationship when you grow up, and you'll both realize how lucky you are to have each other." Back then, everything they said went in one ear and out the other, but more recently, those claims they made all those years ago have been weighing heavily on my mind—because they were right.

Like most college students, I had to deal with all of the difficult feelings of loneliness and homesickness when I moved out of the house and two hours away this past fall semester. Though the distance to my hometown is quite smaller than that of many of my friends, any distance will naturally be difficult when you've grown up in such a close-knit family like I have; I hadn't spent more than a week away from my family my entire life before I moved, and now I only see them once a month, if I'm lucky.

But, when I do get to go home, there is a drastic difference in the way my sister and I interact.

We spend quality time with one another, whether it be at the mall or Starbucks or somewhere in between, and we genuinely enjoy it. We share stories, about boys or friends or our own funny but stupid mishaps, and it feels more like spending time with a friend than a sister. I go to her soccer games and cheer her on, even though it slightly embarrasses her.

In the past four months, I've noticed that, though distance separates us physically, our bond has only grown—not only as siblings but as friends. She is someone I can tell anything to, someone who won't judge me for my mistakes, someone who has my best interest at heart and will always be honest with me, regardless whether or not what she has to say is what I want to hear, and even though she's younger, she often knows what's right for me more than I do.

Of course, we still have our differences, but we are able to appreciate the time we spend together in a greater way because we know it's often limited-- and I wouldn't want it any other way.

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To All Student-Athletes Beginning Their Respective Seasons, Remember Why You Play

You are going to get tired. You are going to get worn out...

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Dear athlete,

The season is by far the most exciting time of the year. Big plays, good memories, traveling new places, and winning championships... But yet another promise is that season is also exhausting.

You are going to get tired. You are going to get worn out...

But remember that this season of your life doesn't last forever. Remind yourself why you play.

You play this sport because you love the game. You love the competition, you love your teammates and the friendships that you've formed, you love the lessons you learn aside from the physical aspect.

So each day, continue to choose the game.

It's not easy. But if it was, everyone would do it. But discomfort is where progress happens.

Quit dreading practices, quit wishing for rain, quit complaining about conditioning, and quit taking for granted a busy schedule that is literally made just for you. Tens of thousands of young girls and boys would do anything to be in the position (literally) that you are in. Take advantage of being a role model to those young kids who think the world of you.

Freshmen, this is what you have wanted for so long. Take advantage of the newness, take advantage of the advice, encouragement, and constructive criticism that your older teammates give you. Soak it all in, four years goes by really quickly.

Sophomores, you now know how it works. Be confident in your abilities, yet continue to learn and grow mentally and in your position.

Juniors, prepare to take the lead. Use this season to, of course, continue to sharpen your skill, but also recognize that you're over halfway done, so mentally and physically ready yourself to take the seniors' lead next year.

Seniors, this is it. Your last year of playing the sport that you love. Be a good leader, motivate, and leave your mark on the program in which you have loved for so long. Encourage the athletes behind you to continue the traditions and standards set by the program. Lay it all on the field, leave it all on the court, and leave your program better than you found it.

Take the season one day at a time and, each day, make it your goal to get better. Get better for your team, for you pushing yourself makes everyone else work even harder. So even if you don't get a lot of playing time, make your teammates better by pushing yourself so hard that they have no other choice than to push themselves too. And when a team has every single player pushing themselves to the max, success happens.

Take advantage of this time with your teammates and coaches, for they won't be your teammates and coaches forever.

No matter what year you are and no matter what your role is this season... GROW. You are an integral part of your team and your program.

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Moving Forward

Part 1 of 2

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"You look like you need to talk to somebody."

I rolled my eyes and continued typing steadily. I heard the scraping of chair legs but refused to look up from my laptop screen.

"Come on, what is it?"

"I don't want to talk about it, Micah."

"Ah, she does have a voice!"

"Look, I have a lot of work to get done. Can you save the theatrics for later?" I said, blowing a stray strand of hair out of my eyes.

"Can't do that."

"Why not?"

"Because you need to talk about it. You aren't going to get anything done while you're obsessing over whatever it is that has that scowl stuck on your face."

"The scowl is on my face because you won't leave me alone. I came here because you wouldn't stop hanging around my office."

"I can tell something is bothering you."

"What part of, "I don't want to talk about it" aren't you getting?" I snapped.

My eyes blazed as I met Micah's. He threw his hands up in defeat.

"Fine. You don't have to tell me but I'm not leaving. I'll just sit here and keep you company while you work."

I gritted my teeth in frustration.

"Please, just leave me alone."

I started typing faster as Micah stared at me for a moment. It seemed like he was trying to measure where I was at mentally before he responded. He let out an exaggerated sigh.

"Alright, you win. I'll leave you alone for exactly an hour to do your work. After that, there'll be no getting rid of me. And don't forget, I know where you live."

"I should hope so. We live in the same building."

Micah pushed his chair in and started to walk away.

"One hour. I'll be back."

"Yeah, yeah," I muttered, waving him off.

As much as he annoyed me, Micah was one of the best friends that I could ever ask for. I probably shouldn't have snapped at him the way that I did but he'd understand. I made a mental note to apologize to him later and to buy his favorite ice cream for our weekly weekend movie night.

File:AMS coffe shop ro.JPG - Wikimedia Commons

Coffee Shop

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I turned my attention back to my computer screen and my scowl returned. Once again, I had a giant mess to clean up after my manager had screwed up with another client. Our company was lucky that we'd managed to avoid getting sued with all of the mistakes that she'd made since she'd been hired. The previous manager had been promoted and now I was left picking up the mess left behind thanks to the outside hire.

I ran my hands over my face tiredly before diving back into the email chain with my very, very irritated client. I'd handled everything for the wedding up until a week before when my manager had decided she needed to take over. Needless to say, the wedding that was planned and the wedding that happened were vastly different. Unfortunately, the only thing that I could really do was explain to my client that we were still working out the kinks with new management styles.

"Excuse me?"

I jumped as a voice came from right beside me.

"Jesus Christ!"

"I'm sorry. I didn't mean to scare you. You knocked your wallet off of the table and I didn't want you to miss it."

"Oh, thank you. I really appreciate it."

"It's no problem."

The man the voice belonged to turned to walk away before abruptly turning back around.

"You're Helena Grayson!"

"Yes?"

"You coordinated my sister's wedding! You were amazing!"

"Oh, thank you."

"Brandon Madison. My sister is, well was, Cara Madison."

"Oh! I remember now. Your sister was wonderful to work with. She honestly was so easy going that it made it a lot easier to get everything done."

"Do you mind if I?" Brandon asked while gesturing to the chair across from me.

"No, not at all."

"Thanks."

"No problem. So how is Cara? Still blissfully happy with her new wife?"

"She's great. They're thinking about adopting a baby so I may get to be an uncle soon."

"That's great news. They seemed like they'd make great parents."

"I think so. So what have you been up to? Making more people's dream weddings happen?"

I let out a defeated sigh.

"Oh no. What did I say?"

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