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The Dartmouth
April 19, 2024 | Latest Issue
The Dartmouth

Oh, the Different Places You'll Go

The nature of sibling relationships is tricky you have to unconditionally love each other, but you can't help hating all those little quirks that only become visible after years of living with a person. Many siblings end up going to the same high school, which can either be a blessing or a curse. I absolutely loved having my sister at the same school as me we always hung out, grabbed lunch together and danced and sang on that long car ride to school. Other siblings avoid eye contact when their awkward older brother passes them in the hallway.

After high school, there's sort of a no-man's land when it comes to sibling relationships you're no longer living at home at each other's throats 24/7, and you're free to be your own person and develop your own relationships without the restraints of Mom and Dad. Siblings who choose to go to different schools sometimes end up getting closer, because as they say, distance makes the heart grow fonder.

Kate Mahoney '15 said that she and her identical twin, who attends Brown University, have always done everything together and gotten along very well. When they are together now, the twins don't fight as much as they used to, and they genuinely look forward to seeing each other, Mahoney said.

"We enjoy our time together more than we ever did because we took it for granted before," she said.

Esty Yanco '13 said that she and her older brother, who graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 2010, have never been really close but rather fight in a "brother-sister way." Yanco said she did not need to follow the advice of an older sibling when she was a freshman at Dartmouth because of her social nature.

"I'm not sure if he would have been able to give the guidance to me, anyway, since we're very different," Yanco said. "He went to business school, and I'm a science major, so he wouldn't have been able to give me much guidance on the classes I was taking."

Yanco said that her brother was not a big factor in what school she chose. Although she applied to Penn and was waitlisted, it was never really an option because she did not want to be far from home.

"We didn't even go to high school together, but when we're not together, we get along well," Yanco said. "I don't think our schools really affected that."

Lindsay Newton '15 said that she specifically chose to go to a different school than her older sister, who is a senior at the College of William and Mary. Although Newton said she liked her sister's school, she chose Dartmouth for its proximity to a hospital, as she is pre-med, and because she wanted her own space.

"We were never very close we always went to different schools, and we've always been very different," Newton said. "Plus, we both have big personalities, so I never really considered going to the same college as her."

Newton said that despite the nature of their relationship, she and her sister have gotten a lot closer since she has been at Dartmouth. When the sisters are both at college, they have a shared experience without actually having to interact as much as they normally would.

"We tend to butt heads when we're together in the house," Newton said. "[But] I will call her if I'm having a problem socially or academically because I can hang up on her. She's there when I want her to be and not when I don't want her to be."

Erin Purcell '15 is one of three quadruplets who attend Dartmouth (the fourth attends Williams College). While the four siblings did not all want to attend the same college, three ended up at Dartmouth simply due to a certain amount of serendipity, Purcell said.

"We all thought we would go different places, but Dartmouth was at the top of all our lists," Purcell said. "My relationship with my sister hasn't changed that much, as we all did very different things in high school, so our schedules were very different."

Purcell said that the three siblings at the College work hard to maintain different social circles, as they had all hoped they would end up attending different schools. She also said that it has helped her relationship with her Williams sibling, as they don't have little spats anymore about who gets to take the car or be in the shower.

"People always say that it's weird, and I guess it is a little weird," she said. "She got in here, and she just chose to go elsewhere. Since we all wanted to be at different schools, we try and make Dartmouth our own experience."