How my brother gave me a headstart

Karinn Sytsma, Staff Writer

Oh, are you Trevor’s sister?” or “Sytsma? You must be Trevor’s little sister,” are the most common phrases I hear every year as teachers take roll for the first time. But these questions and comments don’t bring me down or make me angry like you might expect, because my brother’s attendance at this school has made my experience so much better.
If you don’t know who my brother is, here’s a preview: Ranked among the top five in his grade academically, he was a strong student with an even stronger influence on the school. He was captain of the cross country and track teams, an editor-in-chief of the Patriot Press, and generally just an all-around loved student. He graduated the year before I came to Liberty, but I’ve been following in his footsteps anyways.
As I walked into classes on the first day of school, I felt like I already knew what to expect. For the previous four years of my life, all my brother would ever talk about was what went on in this building. I knew teachers and classes to look forward to, or even to avoid, and nothing this school threw at me could throw me off. Trevor’s experience gave me new sense of confidence and knowledge that helped me succeed.
And just as much as I knew about the teachers, the teachers seem to know about me. I have had countless teachers call me back to talk to them about how much they loved Trevor or to ask how he’s doing. Their high regard for my brother often seems to pass on to me, and creates a bond with a teacher that I never would have had otherwise.
These connections go beyond just teachers. My brother’s friends from other grades were quick to accept me and make me feel welcome, which helped me establish a connection to the school and the culture inside it, and without these connections I would be lost at Liberty.
I’ve gone through my whole life with the guidance and help of an older sibling. Sure, we bicker and tease each other, but without him I wouldn’t be where I am today. So when you think of your older siblings, consider how much they’ve helped you instead of how they stole the last Pop-tart.