What it’s like to attend the same uni as your sibling
They’ll see you at your worst in Smack
Siblings: they’ve been cramping our style since day one. But what happens when one of you takes the copycat game too far and commits the ultimate sin? This is my guide on what it’s like to having a brother attending the same University.
You can visit them in halls and re-live being a first year
Five weeks into term one and you’ve already spent more time in your overdraft than you have waiting for the U1 to turn up. Gone are the days of being able to spend a cheeky fiver in the library café on a soggy wrap and a tepid latte. Instead you’ve been forced to bring in your own instant coffee and a tub of yesterdays leftover pasta.
While everyone else is sat on the fifth floor of the library pissing everyone off with the pungent smell of their over-seasoned food, I’m pretending to visit my brother in halls to exploit him for his kitchen. What’s better than heating pasta up in a microwave which isn’t yours? Stealing some of his flatmate’s garlic bread to go with it.
Seeing them in clubs is weird and can ruin a night out
Of course we’ve seen each other drunk before. Hell, it wouldn’t be a family gathering without sneaking bevs and secretly getting wasted without the adults knowing (even though you know they know, you know?)
There’s nothing to prepare you for the horrors of seeing each other already wasted in a club though. Somewhere in between the shame of my baby brother having to see me with a stain on my shirt which might be a spilled drink but is probably vomit, and the fear I’ll eventually see him getting with someone, I found the silver lining: I can trick my inebriated sibling into buying me drinks. Not only do I save cash, the lingering pain I get in my arm from that sick Chinese burn he gave me back in ‘06 quashes any guilt I might have.
It becomes abundantly clear who the favourite child is
The favourite child: a position siblings have been vying for since the rise of the modern family. While it turns out you have to do more than make the occasional cup of tea to earn this esteemed title, I assumed I had it in the bag (or at the very least I was the one my parents hated less).
This was before I went off to university and left my brother with two years of one-on-one bonding. Now he’s here at Warwick, I’ve seen the results of my strategic error run far deeper than the increased likelihood he’ll inherit the fine bone china set and Momma’s prized pearls.
Nothing screams “we should have put you up for adoption when we had the chance” like my parents making a 30 mile trek to take my brother to lunch and not being able to travel an extra five minutes to even say a simple hello to me. It’s okay: I would have probably been too busy crying over the family photos I’ve strangely been cropped out of.
You become the ‘Leamington bitch’
It’s a Thursday night. You had to be up at the crack of dawn to catch the bus in for your 9am and your three lectures and seminar have really taken it out of you. You contemplate whether a bowl of cereal is too pathetic as a meal, mentally commit to being too tired to brush your teeth before you go to sleep and predict uou’ll pass out on your bed before 10, probably without changing into your PJs (popping the top button on your jeans is basically as comfy as a onsie).
But as I turn down (my sheets) for what, my phone starts ringing and I realise I might have to put the idea of an early night to bed. This time it’s because he’s lost his wallet and friends and needs a place to crash, last time it was because he left his jacket in Smack and needed someone to bring it to him on campus. I’m his Leamington bitch, and every time he needs something he knows I’ll do him a solid.
You have all the dirt to dish to Momma
It’s the start of the Christmas holidays and you and your sibling are reunited with your parents, and more importantly a fridge stocked with more than just cheese and beer. But over the past term of attending the same uni, I learned a lot more about my brother than I would have done if he didn’t come to Warwick, and I no longer see him as my annoying younger sibling. Now, he’s a person to me, a friend.
With this new-found respect comes an increased knowledge of each other’s social lives. But we’re mature adults now, and even though we both know a lot of dirt about each other neither of us would dare use it. That is, until our parents are trying to work out whose room Granny is staying in for the next two weeks. Mutually assured destruction is never a big enough deterrent when there’s a possibility of having 14 days worth of adult diapers to deal with.
Everyone asks ‘is it weird?’
And in some ways it is. But, ultimately, it’s also nice to have someone on campus that reminds me of home.