Coming Home for the Holidays


Pate Neal

Tripp and Sarah Neal spend time together with their beloved dog and best boy, Buster (Photo courtesy of Pate Neal).

Thanksgiving break and Christmas break are, perhaps, the best part of the school year. Students have time off of high school and college classes and some travel to see family. But for some students, the best part about these breaks is seeing their older siblings after they’ve gone away to college, especially if they are their only sibling. 

“My brother’s [and my] relationship has changed a little bit. When he first came home he wanted to spend time with me. This was new, and he’s actually nice to me sometimes,” said junior Kylie Roach. 

Parents of new college freshmen have a very difficult time dropping their kids off at college and reasonably so. However, no one ever ventures into the mind of the sibling. After living with my brother for over 16 years, coming home that first day was dreadful. I never realized how difficult it would be the first day he was gone, especially since I couldn’t text him for over a week since he attends The Citadel and must follow strict rules. Most siblings struggle with this feeling, especially if it was just the two of them. Even if the two siblings weren’t close, it’s still an awful feeling coming home after they are gone. 

“I didn’t spend a lot of time with my brother because of our age gap, and even though I didn’t go with my parents to take him when I got home from school the house felt empty,” Hillcrest High School student Cate Heidt told the Bengal Beat. “Him being gone was weird at first, but I got used to it over time.”

On the contrary, some siblings quite enjoy their brothers or sisters being away at college. Once the sibling is out of the house, the parents’ attention goes to their other child(ren). I personally dislike this attention. When my brother was at home, I flew underneath him. He was a Jedi, I was a Padawan. Now, my parents focus on what I am doing with my time. It’s very hard to not get in trouble with your parents when there is no one to take the fall for you.

Hazel Curran
The Currans show their excitement to finally see each other during Thanksgiving break (Photo courtesy of Hazel Curran).

“There is definitely more attention on me now, but it’s not that big of a deal. I’ve always been the better child so when I make mistakes it’s now much harder to get out of them with my parents,” added Roach. 

However, all the worries and difficult times at home seem to melt away when our brothers and sisters come home during the holidays. Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas, and other festivities are already a wonderful time of year, and seeing someone you miss so much makes these holidays a million times better. 

“I am super excited for my brother to come home because I can catch up with him and actually have someone other than my parents to talk to,” said junior Hazel Curran.

Like people do with old friends, they catch up with their siblings, asking questions about campus life, classmates, roommates, and teachers. Of course, their parents will want to spend time with their child as well. I will warn everyone that family photos might be taken during the break. Unfortunately, there is no way to get out of it but to put on your real smile. Siblings make less dramatic plans, though. 

Pate Neal
Friends of Tripp and Sarah Neal gather together to celebrate Friendsgiving. (Photo courtesy of Pate Neal).

“My sister and I plan on going out a few times while she’s back. We might go to dinner or just hang out when she’s here,” said Alex Escobar, former student at Brashier Middle College.

Though none of us would care to admit, we sincerely miss seeing our siblings while they are gone. Being the only child at the house makes it feel like less of a home. Seeing your siblings truly makes this the most wonderful time of the year. Happy holidays!