I’ve spent almost my entire life with her. Heck, I’ve spent a large portion of my life in the same bedroom as her. She knows my every fear, my every flaw, my favorite flavor ice cream. She takes my clothes without asking and annoys me as her job description sees fit, but I have yet to find another person on earth who understands me better (so go ahead, sure, take my clothes). I’m talking, of course, about my sister. Amanda is two years younger than me (although we won’t talk about how she’s taller than me), but only a grade below me. So quickly after I made my decision to attend William and Mary, she was right behind me with a half dozen bookmarked college websites, essay prompts, essay responses, and an debilitating case of senioritis, resulting from her older sister already living it up and partying hard (pft) at college. So it honestly didn’t surprise me when, in narrowing down her choices, she decided upon the university I had been raving about all this time. Because why not? It’s hard to ignore W&M’s impressive academic standing, it was out of state like we had both wanted (Florida: where the land is flat and boring, and the weather barely changes), and the idea of a student body small enough that I can take a writing workshop my freshman year with fourteen people – upperclassmen, nonetheless – (and I did!) was calling my name in all types of seductive voices.
This year I’ve been hearing a lot of “your sister goes here?!” and I suppose I can understand the surprised reactions when I mention it. After all, for as close as Amanda and I are, our personalities and interests are vastly different. Honestly, I was a little worried when she had told me William and Mary was her first choice college, and I was convinced she was bound to hate something I loved so much. But for perhaps the second or third time in my entire life, I was wrong, and after some normal adjusting that comes with any freshman year anywhere, Amanda has taken to the College like a duck to the Crim Dell. (No, not hesitantly with concerns of mutant bacteria. Just easily.) People will often ask me what it’s like having my little sister here with me, and I’m glad to say that it isn’t completely terrible all the time. Just kidding, Amanda, relax. It is genuinely one of the greatest pleasures to be able to share the things I love with all six members of my family, whom I am close to and talk to about everything.
In my mind, I compare it to a situation with bacon…and another delicious item of food. Let’s have my sister be the bacon, and other food be the College. Bacon is really awesome, and has a great personality, and I love it very much and want it to succeed. Other foods are also wonderful. They are fulfilling in a bunch of different ways, give me nourishment and are comforting and remind me of home. So everybody knows when you put bacon with or on or in anything else, it makes that food a million (arguably a billion) times more spectacular. And that is how I feel about going to college with my sister. We don’t see each other every day, and we each have our own activities, classes, and groups of friends. But the shared experience of attending a university that in itself feels like a small family, blurs the line between who we are to each other and what the people here mean to us. And at least for now, I’ll be spending some of the most memorable years of my life – learning and growing as a student and as a person – with my best friend at my side, and what more could I possibly ask for? Beside my own closet, finally. I really like having my own closet.