The Student Voice of North Allegheny Senior High School

The Uproar

The Student Voice of North Allegheny Senior High School

The Uproar

The Student Voice of North Allegheny Senior High School

The Uproar

Away They Go

Sadness, confusion, and a lengthier list of household chores are among the side effects of having older siblings who leave home following graduation.
Younger+siblings+can+face+unexpectedly+difficult+emotions+when+their+older+brothers+and+sisters+move+away+to+college.
Scout Gilliland
Younger siblings can face unexpectedly difficult emotions when their older brothers and sisters move away to college.

Seeing a brother or sister leave for college is not exactly something that younger siblings look forward to. Of course, parents have a hard time as well, but when the day comes, younger brothers or sisters can feel particularly lost. 

“Everyone in a system is connected, and when one family member leaves the home it can disrupt the entire system, change the roles in a family, and families can experience a loss of what was their norms and typical routine,” Diane Zosky, a retired professor of social work and interim dean at Illinois State University, told The Washington Post in 2020.

Julia VanFosson, a junior at NASH, is a younger sister to Drew VanFosson, who is attending Bowling Green State University. Julia, just like her parents, had a hard time saying goodbye to Drew at the end of the summer.

“I always knew he was leaving, but I wasn’t actually prepared to say goodbye. I was very upset and started to cry as we drove away,” VanFosson said.

Home can never feel the same again once an older sibling leaves for college. 

Junior Garen White is a younger brother to Brendan White, who now attends Pitt.

“There is a newfound silence within my home, an eerie silence, as if the whole dynamic has shifted,” White said. 

The experience of having a brother or sister move out of the house can be different for every younger sibling. For some, it is a feeling of sadness, similar to having a best friend move away. For others, the change is easier to handle.

There is a newfound silence within my home, an eerie silence, as if the whole dynamic has shifted.

— Garen White, NASH junior

For senior Dana Pitell, seeing her sister Julia move to Brooklyn to attend Pratt Institute brought a mix of emotions.

“I do miss her a lot, but I already barely saw her during the week with her getting home late from rowing. So it’s not hitting like it is for other people right now. But on the weekends, I get bored by myself,” Pitell said.

Some younger siblings are now taking on the responsibility of being the oldest sibling in the house, and it can be a big adjustment.

Stella Payne, a junior, is a younger sister to Maggie Payne, who is attending Ohio State. 

“I don’t like being the oldest sibling in my house, and I wish [Maggie] was here to take back that position. Now, I have the responsibility of babysitting and driving my younger siblings around,” Payne said.

But some younger siblings are now the only child at home, something they have always dreaded.

Ryann Snowden, a junior, has a sister, Avery, who is now is attending Penn State. 

“It is different at home now, being the only child,” Snowden said. “I don’t have someone to hang out with when I’m bored and someone to help me. I also feel a lot of attention on me, at least more than I’m used to.”

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About the Contributor
Scout Gilliland, Staff Writer
Scout Gilliland is a junior at NASH and this is her first year writing for The Uproar. She runs for the NA Cross Country Team, plays the flute in the Band, and dances at Michele's School of Dance. In her free time, she hangs out with her family and friends and likes to be involved in her church.  

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  • J

    J.J.Sep 26, 2023 at 10:17 pm

    amazing article scout very insightful

    Reply