Auburn Family

College Life: Keeping Friends Close and Family Closer

For some, college is a time when you venture away from family and create new adventures in a home away from home.  For many other Auburn University students, a piece of home is always around for comfort.

Attending college with siblings sounds like a daunting task for those that haven't experienced it but it can definitely have its perks.

In a surprising statistic, about 20 percent of younger siblings actually enroll at the same college as their older sibling according to a study by researchers at Harvard University and the College Board.

"The best part about going to college with my siblings is that when I'm sad or going through a really rough situation or just having a rough week at school, I can always lean on someone who has known me my whole life," said Ryanne Bruns, junior at Auburn.

Bruns has a twin sister, Molly, as well as an older brother Kevin, to help occupy her time on the Plains.

"Growing up, Kevin and I have realized we are way too similar," Bruns said. "Since Kevin is older he is always the one looking out for us and kind of being a role model for us, but definitely coming to college we have realized that our personalities are pretty much more alike than my twins and mine."

To add to the mix, the Bruns twins even decided to work together at a downtown boutique. What most would assume would be a huge test to the sibling dynamic has worked out quite while for the sisters.

"Working with Molly is really fun," Bruns said. "Customers get confused all the time but it's great to be able to do something outside of classes and school stuff with her."

Erinne Weber, a graduate student at Auburn, has a similar perspective about having her younger sister Kendall at school.

"Some of the perks of going to school together are always having a part of home at school with you and also having someone you can always count on no matter what," Weber said. "Going to school together has brought us closer and made our sister relationship more of like a best friend relationship."

As there are many perks, surprising challenges can also arise when your siblings are in such close quarters.  Although, these challenges aren't always necessarily negative.

"Even if Molly and I annoy Kevin or annoy each other we still have that relationship for when we're sad or going through a rough patch," Bruns said.

For Weber, watching over her sister as she matures has been her biggest struggle.

"The most challenging part of going to college with my little sister is watching her grow into a young woman but always wanting her to be my baby sister," Weber said.

Between the highs and the lows, family will always be there through it all. Surviving school with siblings can be a great and challenging experience, but always rewarding at the end of the day.

(Photo credits // Top photo: Ryanne Bruns, Bottom photo: Erinne Weber)

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