Alma Mater of Siblings

My sister isn’t quite three-and-a-half years younger than I am, though whenever I think of that, I can’t help but feel as if we’re closer in age than that. After all, she’s in college. I just got out.

For her own reasons, she decided to attend my alma mater. I’m not sure why she chose the same college I did, though I speculate that her justifications weren’t all that different from my own.

I chose Fresno State because, at the time, it was relatively cheap, it was easy to get into and, as an afterthought, because it had a pretty great marching band. Depending on who you ask, it still does.

I’m not sure whether or not to be flattered that, in some part, she’s following in my footsteps. She joined the marching band, full of too many old acquaintances to count. Her room is in my old dorm, even if she’s on the other side of the building. Her ARD is my first ex-girlfriend.

I only worry because, years ago, she had made a habit of following in my footsteps. The way Dad tells it, my sister was my biggest fan back when we were both in the single-digits, and it didn’t stop until she hit adolescence. I’d hate to think that we’re falling back on old habits — among other things, college is about piecing together self-sufficiency, not about throwing it out.

Even if she did choose my alma mater for the sake of following in my footsteps, the argument is moot. She’s there now, and, God willing, she’ll earn her degree sometime during Obama’s re-election campaign.

For her own good, I should be and will be letting her make her own decisions. I can only hope that she makes more friends, burns fewer bridges and earns better grades than I did.

I imagine the adults in our lives feel the same way.


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