By Ryan Hurley
It was a cold February afternoon and I was on my way back to Hall 2 after class when I got the call. My brother had gotten into Bryant. At this point, he was still weighing his options and waiting on a few more acceptance letters, but this was when the wheels started turning for me. Would this kid, who I had once convinced to lick sap off of a tree because it was “maple syrup” in our backyard actually be going to college with me. Sharing the same campus, making him dinner when he runs out of Salmo swipes, or having to buy… “sodas” for him when I go to the store. These were the thoughts running through my head when I had first heard he had been accepted to Bryant.
As the weeks went by it came time for him to make his final decision. He had narrowed it down to Bryant and Providence College; he physically could not have gotten any closer. I come from a family of Bulldogs. My father, mother, six aunts and uncles, and a cousin, have all walked through the Archway and are proud alumni and I was inclined to believe he would ultimately choose to attend Bryant. It finally became reality when he made his final decision in April, days before the final deadline. I would be going to college with my younger brother. Growing up we had done virtually everything together from playing the same sports, working at the same golf course in high school, and even hanging out with the same group of friends. But college? This would be an entirely new experience.
He was able to come visit before the end of the spring semester and have the full Bryant experience by going to a baseball game and seeing someone drop a plate in Salmo, going down to the townhouses, and of course Ronzio’s. I could tell he would fit right in here and he could not wait to be here for good. Summer came and went and I was asked my opinion on whether or not I wanted my brother to come to Bryant with me. Most people view college as a way to be their own individual with essentially no ties to home, other than maybe a couple kids they had one class with in high school. However, I considered this an opportunity to see the kid that I have been roommates since he was born to come into his own, to grow and thrive in this new setting that I had grown so fond of. In the first weeks of the fall semester, friends that had not met my brother had asked if I had a younger brother because they saw someone that “was a smaller version of me.” One of the greatest compliments any older brother could receive. I had never noticed it but growing up he had been watching and listening. Our mannerisms, our language, and our extremely sarcastic sense of humor were so alike and I had never thought twice about it.
He had always been a homebody growing up and that continued in the first month or so at Bryant. He liked the comfort of home and found solace in the idea that he could just text me to come hang out or go to the gym together, even if it was just for an hour. After no time he had made a good group of friends that had the same thing to say when I met them and I got the, “now I know where he gets it from” or “you guys are the same person.” But, I still get the occasional text to hang out when he’s feeling a little homesick and wants some of mom’s homemade food.
Since I am the older brother I am expected to keep an eye on him and make sure he isn’t “getting into trouble” as my parents put it. I had no problem doing this as I had been doing this since he could walk.
As my time winds down at Bryant and his is on its’ first leg I could not stress enough to him to enjoy this place and take advantage of everything is has to offer. Whether you are the older or younger sibling of a duo that goes to college together or is thinking about doing so, I could not find bigger advocates than my brother and myself. This year has brought us even closer than we were and I never thought that was possible. I credit that not only to a shared connection that only we share, but also because we talk a lot more when it’s 3 AM on a Saturday and all our other friends have gone to sleep and he wants some frozen pizza as much as I do.