Together 24/7: Reflecting on the experience of going to the same school as your sibling


Kyle Wong

Junior Alexandra Carvajal with her freshman sister Chloe Carvajal studying together in the library. Helping each other with homework and catching up between classes becomes a highlight a highlight of going to school with your sibling.

Margaret Carl, Staff Writer

In the days of nap times and playgrounds, having a sibling was the crux of coolness. Having two younger siblings myself, guiding my younger brother through those elementary school halls and helping him navigate a new chapter of his life was the greatest honor. Besides that, when he finally entered kindergarten I could point him out to all of my friends, who all had older siblings, and say, “Look, there’s my brother!”

But when those days finally ended and the years quickly progressed, I found myself a junior in Schreiber and my brother a freshman. Suddenly, I was anxious to show him the way to certain classrooms, and though as his sister I wanted to see him succeed, the instinct to quickly walk past each other—heads down—prevailed. 

The atmosphere of elementary school is one of separation, even though the capacity of the student body is worlds smaller than that of high school. This separation is not to the discredit of these schools, as the children who enter primary schools are quite young, and are simply not mature enough to handle any other structure. Thus, each grade is sanctioned during lunch and recess and each grade divisions are made to organize students by a respective teacher. In this way, while I would see my sibling occasionally, we would never have the opportunity to be truly together during the school day. 

This is in direct opposition to the way Schreiber functions. While some classes are reserved for certain grade levels, gym, lunch, off-periods, and even extracurriculars are open to every student despite their age. I can recall walking into my physical education course and seeing my brother, unbeknownst to me, making up an absence with my class. This “class fluidity” between the grades effectively breaks down the borders that elementary and middle school have built. Ultimately, high school versus elementary school isn’t the deciding factor of change, rather it’s just the natural process of growing up.

There is a moment where you start to view your sibling as a person apart from being solely your brother or sister. Perhaps it’s when they start to be invited to birthday parties, or perhaps it’s when they start to develop their own hobbies and cultivate their own talents. That is when you begin to realize that everyone has family members whether they’re in school or not, and, as a result, the childish need to point them out to your friends dissipates. Your sibling just becomes another kid in school (who you just happen to live with).