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Dealing With a Younger Sibling Still in College

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Life is all about finding balance. You have school, family, friends, your professional goals, your personal goals–it’s a delicate process of give and take to achieve the perfect blend of it all. Once you graduate college, you go from being out every night of the week, pouring out drinks at the bar, to staying late at the office, pouring over those expense reports due next Monday because Terry forgot to back up his copies and now you have to redo the whole DAMN THING. You adjust your life accordingly, compromising that while you may not be able to party like you used to with no regard for responsibilities or contraceptives, it’s pretty nice to be out in the real world, establishing a life for yourself. So you work all week with your eyes on the weekend, just to let it all hang out for 48 hours before you start the whole process again on Monday. The only thing that can ruin the routine you’ve established for yourself (other than crippling student loans and a bleak economy): your younger sibling who is still in college.

Nothing is worse than choking down your third cup of burnt coffee out of a styrofoam cup on a Wednesday morning except choking down that coffee while looking at the Snapchats your younger sibling sent you, blacked out at a karaoke bar at last night at 2 a.m. You spent all summer after graduation accepting that your life was about to change in a big way. At first, it seemed miserable: no more day drinking, no more ditching classes to hang out with our friends, a lot less fun. But the tradeoff was that you were going to start achieving some meaningful goals in your life. Slowly but surely, you would put in the work so that your career would blossom and you’d live the high life as a successful postgrad. However, it’s hard to focus on that ultimate long term goal when you get blasted with Twitter notifications about how your younger sibling just woke up at 11 and is watching “The Price Is Right” and eating pizza he or she bought with meal plan dollars. All those fond memories of college come rushing back, and it clouds the perception of your current lifestyle.

Postgrad life has its ups and downs. Your mornings are earlier, your nights are shorter, and there is no such thing as optional attendance in the real world. You already had to say goodbye to that part of your life, and now someone who is still living in the college lap of luxury is blatantly rubbing your face in it. You sit at work, remembering that spring break in ‘09 when Jon peed off that balcony into the hotel swimming pool while your younger sibling is down in Fort Lauderdale, living it. It’s alright to be jealous–it would be weird if you weren’t. Everybody wants to have his or her cake and to eat it, too. Try to keep in mind everyone deserves a true college experience, and that magnificent time in your life in finite. There is a lot to life outside of college, and before much longer, your sibling will be the one going through postgrad transition. Your sibling has to live through the stress of finals, the seemingly never ending job search, revision after revision of his or her resume, group interviews, and that first realization that his or her metabolism is finally slowing down. And then, you can rub it in your sibling’s stupid face.

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TN Bluegrass

Grow up, Peter Pan...Count Chocula.

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