This family photo tells a familiar story at Minnehaha: with eldest sibling Danny already in college in Boston, middle sibling Katie (center) graduated in 2014 and will head to college in Milwaukee, leaving youngest, Maggie, alone at home with her parents. Many students say there are both advantages and disadvantages with the new circumstances.

Seniors and their siblings

When a graduate leaves home, how are younger siblings affected?

There are 101 students in this year’s graduating class. Of those 101 students, 30 have siblings that go to school at the North Campus. The siblings vary throughout the three lower grades. The sibling staying in high school will receive more attention now that the older sibling is going off to college.

Graduating and going off to college is more than just leaving home. With a child leaving the house, everyone in the family can be affected. The sibling still in high school will be affected in many ways: The high schooler could receive their older sibling’s car or room or their responsibilities. The graduate’s chores may be reassigned to the younger child. The relationship between the graduate and the younger sibling can ultimately change as well.

Some younger siblings get their older siblings belongings.

“I’ll get to have my own bathroom,” said freshman Grace Diersen.

Many younger siblings at MA get to use the car that the older sibling currently uses. The high school sibling may even get the clothes that get left behind by their older sibling.

“The only thing I want is her mattress,” said freshman Alexander Woronzoff-Dashkoff. “She said I couldn’t have it. I will probably take it any way.”

He explained that his sister, Anna, is going to Mount Holyoke in Massachusetts.

“She won’t be close enough to know if I took her mattress.”

He would put it back before she came to visit.

“No, he will not be touching my property because it is my property. And he does not get that mattress,” said senior Anna Woronzoff- Dashkoff.

Students may have to take on extra responsibilities when they are one family member short. The responsibilities the high school sibling will have to take on can be of many different categories.

“He will now be the Alpha male,” said senior Jessamine Von Arx referring to her brother, sophomore Jack Von Arx. “I have taken that role as of now, but he will be taking that over and he will be controlling our littlest brother Luke, and he will have to learn how to drive.”

Relationships change all the time. Going off to college can change them for the better or for the worse.

“We are close and it will be sad not seeing her all the time,” said freshman Iris Holman referring to senior Viola Holman going to the University of Texas. “I don’t want to think about it.”

Grace Diersen’s sister Hannah will be attending college at the University of Nebraska. She thinks that her sister’s absence will make the time they do spend together more special. The two of them are close, but not seeing each other every single day will make it more fun when they do actually see one another.

As siblings leave, families change.

“You know what they say,” said senior Hannah Diersen, “distance either makes the heart grow fonder or it makes the heart forget. We’ll just have to see where it goes.”




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