Double trouble: Sharing the college experience with my brother

brother and sister singing together in college choir

22 months and ten days after I was born, my brother arrived. To say the least, I was excited. Hunter, from day one, has been one of my closest friends. We have similar interests, look like twins and hang out with each other’s friend groups constantly. We were in all of the same clubs and usually enjoyed each other’s company.

When I left for college, everything changed. We no longer were in choir together. I didn’t drive him to school anymore. We didn’t live together. Things were different. Things changed even further last year when he graduated high school and moved an hour away for school. As much as neither of us really ever admitted it, we missed each other.

Fast forward to now and things are back to where they once were. We both commute to the same Happy brother and sister attending college togetherschool. We are in choir together. We moved in with two roommates….LOL my parents. But while things are technically the same, everything has changed. Here are some things I have learned about experiencing college with my brother:

  • You can have your own lives when attending a large school. Indiana University is more than forty times larger than where my brother and I went to high school. And even though we are in the same choir on campus, we still have our own lives. We are in separate academic programs. We have different career goals. We have different friends. Even though we live under the same roof, we have very different days.
  • You might be siblings, but learning is different for everybody. I am more of a visual learner. I like to DIY and be more hands-on in my approach to education. My brother could watch a movie once and quote it out of nowhere ten years later.
  • It’s nice having a familiar face on campus. Yeah sure. He sometimes comes up behind me when I am walking around just to scare me. But I get back at him by calling him “Baby Bear” across campus or in our choir class. We may be adults, but we are still siblings who pester each other.
  • Make time for the friends you have in common. Yes, make new friends as well, but if you are blessed to have friends from home who go to college with you, HANG OUT WITH THEM. It will help with any sort of homesickness you have and it is nice to have an opportunity to reminisce and hang out with my brother socially.

So yes, I go to school with my baby brother. Sometimes, I will call him “Hunter Bear” from across the room in front of all of his new college friends. (Our whole family has always called him this.) He will yell “Mackenyie” at me in front of my friends. (I filled in a Scantron wrong one time and spelled my name “Mackenyie” instead of “Mackenzie” and Hunter REFUSES to let it go.) And as much as we butt heads sometimes or tease each other relentlessly, there is no other friend quite like my brother.

Mackenzie Stogsdill headshot 2017Mackenzie is a senior at Indiana University majoring in Media with a concentration in Management, Industry and Policy, with minors in Creative Industry Management and Marketing. She is a member of the African American Chorale Ensemble, and interns with Northwestern Mutual as a College Financial Representative. From Spencer, Indiana, Mackenzie enjoys singing, playing volleyball and spending time with her three-legged cat. With Pearson, she thoroughly enjoys writing for the Students Blog as well as being a Campus Ambassador. Go Hoosiers!