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The Colgate Maroon-News

The Oldest College Weekly in America. Founded 1868.

The Colgate Maroon-News

The Oldest College Weekly in America. Founded 1868.

The Colgate Maroon-News

A Family Affair: Sharing Colgate With Siblings


Usually, college is the time to say goodbye to family and adjust to a new environment away from home. Students have to leave the familiar and enter into the unknown, traveling short or far distances to enter into the collegiate community. While some may bring with them tokens of home like pictures, stuffed animals, or flags, others bring something a little bit more substantial: their siblings. There’s a considerable amount of Colgate sibling duos, providing both a sense of home while still maintaining flourishing individual lives.

First-year Frankie Williams attends Colgate with her brother, sophomore Luca Williams.

Though Colgate is small, Luca Williams has found that he and his sister lead separate lives — though he finds it nice to have a piece of home on campus.

“It is nice to see her around and say ‘hi,’ but we have very different experiences, so there is honestly very little overlap sometimes,” Luca Williams said. “The best part would be just being able to see them around and also have a sense of home around campus.”

Frankie Williams agrees and has found her relationship with her brother at Colgate to be balanced, mixing her own independence with maintaining a friendship with him.

“I do enjoy going to the same school. It’s an interesting dynamic because it’s much smaller than most colleges so there are more chances to overlap,” Frankie Williams said. “It’s fun being friends with his friends and, at the same time, having my own world within the school.”

First-year Esha Bahal also attends Colgate with her brother, junior Nikhil Bahal.

Esha Bahal explained that attending the same school as her brother helped her adjust to a new setting and combat homesickness. 

“I adore having my brother at Colgate,” Esha Bahal said. “My brother is my best friend, so it’s really nice to have him here. I love that whenever I’m homesick, I can go to him.”

Though Luca Williams thinks attending Colgate exposed the school as an option for his sister, he believes that it wasn’t a large factor in her college decision.

“I think being at the school definitely opened up Colgate as a possibility for my sister, but she came here for her own reasons and not the same reasons I did,” Luca Williams said. “Mainly just the exposure to the school — by coming, visiting and hearing about it — was the important part.”

Frankie Williams was originally against attending the same school as her brother, but now finds it comforting knowing that someone close is around.

“At first it was out of the question for us to go to the same college, but after visiting campus and understanding more about Colgate, I really wanted to go,” Frankie Williams said. “The idea of having a family member here made it even better, knowing that I would be close to someone I know.”

On the other hand, Esha Bahal felt that witnessing her brother’s positive experience at Colgate played a significant role in her decision to attend the college.

“I definitely think my decision to attend Colgate was affected by my brother. I was under the impression that I wanted to be at a city school because I felt like Colgate was too isolated for me,” Esha Bahal said. “However, visiting my brother his freshman year and seeing the academic and social life firsthand made me realize that Colgate was where I wanted to be. He’s made lifelong friends here, and I’m excited to do the same.“

Though she enjoys going to the same school as her brother, Esha Bahal finds it can sometimes be challenging to establish her own separate identity.

“While I adore all of the connections I’ve made with upperclassmen through my brother, it can be hard sometimes to be known as Nikhil’s sister instead of just as Esha, but I wouldn’t trade it for the world and love going to school with my brother,” Esha Bahal said.

Having an older brother who has experienced being a first-year at Colgate also helps Esha Bahal, as she can learn from his experiences.

“My brother has given me ample advice on balancing my social and academic life at Colgate,” Bahal said. “It’s helped me ensure that I’m not spending too much time in the library alone, but also that I’m not procrastinating all my homework by being with friends all the time. He’s taught me how to prioritize both of them.”

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