Grebel Siblings Can Forge Their Own Paths

Monday, March 15, 2021

Miriam and siblings
Grebelites often consider each other to be their chosen family, but it is also quite common for true family—brothers and sisters—to encourage their younger siblings to choose Conrad Grebel University College as a home, while also leaving space for them to forge their own paths.

Stepping into university is a big moment, often full of excitement but also nervousness. Having an older sibling who has already transitioned can help alleviate stress through accounts of their own adventures. “I was definitely nervous coming to Grebel, but having my older brother already there helped reassure me,” said Grebel resident, Elliott Song. “His experience was very positive and from visiting him, I was already pretty familiar with the residence.”

Grebel resident, Quinn Andres added, “Having heard my sister’s stories, I knew some of what I was getting into coming to Grebel. There were fewer unknowns.”

While older siblings provide a comforting presence for students to connect and touch base with, Grebel offers a multitude of opportunities to participate in to meet new people and create their own personal stories. “My Grebel experience was similar in some ways to my siblings due to the fact that we have some very similar interests like music and chapel,” Miriam began. “However, there are also so many different ways to get involved. In my first year, a few of my friends and I got together and created a singing group. We called ourselves, The Forget-Me-Nots.”

Sebastian Lingertat had a similar experience. “While my brother and I were both involved in the Grebel musical theatre production, it was still a great way to meet people. I was also involved in orientation events and made an effort to be outgoing and meet as many people as I could, so I have had plenty of opportunities to make my own memories and connections.”

“I actually got to play on the Grebel hockey team with my brother, which was pretty cool!” Elliott added. “Later, I also became an Orientation Week Leader which was lots of fun and a meaningful way to contribute to the Grebel community.”

As these younger Grebel siblings noted, the presence of a family member living within the same walls can be a great help in their university experience. There are enough activities available to make unique memories and friendships, and at the same time, an older sibling provides an exciting introduction into the community, a reminder of home, and a person who is always there for you.

“You may not be able to escape the ‘oh, you're so-and-so's sibling!’, but you will have the space and freedom to be your own person and make your own connections,” Quinn said. “People want to know you for the real you! And you won't be the only person who has a sibling in the community.”

Written By Jace Jaeden Ellis