By Jade Mardirosian
For students graduating in May, I can only imagine the mix of emotions they are undoubtedly consumed with.
Some are excited for a new beginning with endless possibilities or apprehensive for the many changes that lie ahead. But the students graduating are not the only ones feeling a hurricane of emotions.
Family and close friends of said graduate will also have their lives impacted and changed when their loved one moves on from college. This is the category I fall into. My older brother, John, will be graduating from the University of Texas at Austin (hook ‘em) this May, and I don’t think I have been this anxious and thrilled since I began my freshman year in college.
John and I are only 20 months apart, one grade in school. We have had a close relationship most of our lives, once I stopped being the annoying little sister, which is a role I only revisit on special occasions.
I remember helping him move into his dorm freshman year. I placed a photo of the two of us, ages 4 and 6, John with his arms wrapped tightly around me, on the small built-in desk in his dorm. (Still one of my all-time favorite photos, the photo has remained on John’s desk all four years of college).
John and I have only been more than a few hundred miles from each other — besides vacations — once in our lives, when I spent my freshman year of college in Philadelphia, and believe me I couldn’t stand it.
Having him just down I-35 in Austin has been extraordinary. I can visit him, and our older brother Julian who also lives in Austin, on a whim. Trust me, I have popped in on him many times just for a quick bite to eat at Trudy’s and a little shopping on the drag.
And of course, I won’t forget attending the Baylor vs. Texas game with him and all his friends at Darrell K. Royal Stadium anytime soon. I especially won’t forget how all of his friends walked out before the end of the game when it became apparent the Bears would win. John stayed, even though it hurt a lot to see his beloved Horns lose.
It also didn’t help that my roommate and I were quite vocal with our excitement about the win. That day was hard on John, who has always been an avid sports fan, from his glory days as the no. 1 bunter in little league baseball to his four years working as a student manager for the Texas baseball team.
He hopes to make his favorite hobby into a long time career as a college baseball coach. He doesn’t know yet where he’ll be working once he graduates, and I think I may be more worried about this than he is.
I’m not worried that he won’t be successful in the future. I know he will make an amazing coach, husband and father one day and I can’t wait to see where life takes him. I am worried that I won’t have my big brother just a car ride away from me.
John has always been there for me through anything, good or bad. He has always been a rock for me to lean on and has always had a smile to share with me.
I know our relationship won’t change just because our geographical locations might. So I will choose to remain optimistic at this pivotal point in both of our lives.
As John prepares to graduate, I believe he has the world in his hands, and I know he will do amazing things with the opportunities that abound for him.
Jade Mardirosian is a junior journalism major from Houston and a staff writer for the Lariat.