Classes start later at Nyack College than at most other schools, so I am usually home to see my friends off for their first day of college. This year my younger brother, Preston, was one of the people leaving in late August to begin his secondary schooling. He is going to the University at Albany and majoring in computer science. My parents and I drove him to the campus and helped him move in last week. Seeing Preston settle into his room made me remember what it was like when I did the same thing at Nyack College two years ago. For more reasons than our similarities in appearance, watching Preston’s move-in day was like looking into a mirror for me.
Preston and I are only eighteen months apart in age, so he has always been more like my younger twin than my little brother. This had its positives and negatives while we were growing up. Having a brother close to me in age was a good things because we always had each other to play with and talk to. It became a hassle, though, because we were in each other’s presence too often, which caused us to get under each other’s skin. We went from laughing and playing to fighting and bickering in an instant; Preston could be my best friend and my worst enemy all in the same day. All of this changed when I left home for Nyack. Once he and I had some distance between us we were able to realize how pointless our arguing had been and how alike we are. Now, when I go home for a weekend or a vacation, he is one of my closest friends.
Since I have two years of college under my belt and Preston has yet to experience college, I am in a position to truly be a big brother to him. I have the opportunity to be an example to him in areas where I have succeeded and guide him in areas where I have failed. This summer we have had some great conversations about what to do and what not to do in college, and I feel that I have really been able to give him some good advice and positively influence his future. I have realized that part of my responsibility as an older sibling is to encourage my younger siblings to do things better than I was able to do. As the oldest child in my family I will usually experience things before my brothers do, so I am looking forward to mentoring and guiding them as they experience things that I have already gone through.