Pioneering Runs in the Family


At first, it seemed like a far-fectched hope. Though if you ask my parents, they’d say they knew it was inevitable.

As the younger sibling, my brother Daniel spent years responding to “Oh, you’re Emily’s little brother!” So when he began his college search, the last thing he wanted was to go to my small school where people would surely make that same connection. But as my parents and I kept reminding him, Transy isn’t so small that we’d have all the same professors or the same friends. We might not even see each other every day.

Still, it was a challenge as the older sister to encourage him to check out Transy  — because I though it could be a great fit — while still letting him make his own decision.

As I talked to his admissions counselor throughout Daniel’s senior year, I reminded him to not mention my name when they talked about Transy, that me being here was more of a drawback than a selling point.

Thankfully, Transy has plenty of other selling points for Daniel. He had a great overnight visit with my friend Nash. Two of his best friends from church camp, Cody and Elijah, were also considering Transy. And Transy’s affiliated with the Disciples of Christ denomination we grew up in.

Finally the day came. At Scholarship Recognition Day, I noticed my mom handing Daniel an envelope to give to his admissions counselor, and I realized it was his deposit — making his college decision official. Yes, I cried. But only a little.

It has been so wonderful to see Transylvania become a second home for Daniel this year, just like it has for me.

And I’ve been so proud to see him make his college experience his own. I’ve seen him take classes outside his comfort zone, excel at intramurals, and form quick friendships with guys I’ve looked up to for years. I’m also pretty impressed that he and Cody have succeeded at being best friends and roommates — and they’ve both decided to be Exercise Science majors, too!

Sure, people know we’re siblings. But for the most part, we don’t run into each other on campus unless we plan to meet up.

Which we do pretty frequently. And I think both of us have recognized perks to having a sibling on campus — like carpooling home, calling when you’re sick, and taking breaks from homework to watch a movie.

So the moral of this story is that you should never let your immediate assumptions about a university — especially ones based on other people — keep you from exploring it for yourself. You might find out that those preconceived notions are totally wrong, or that they aren’t so bad after all.

Though we still have another year together before Daniel has the campus to himself, I know he’s going to do big things here. I’ve already met people this year — and not just first-years — who immediately ask, “Oh, are you Daniel’s sister?” It’s the circle of life.

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