College-aged siblings studying at home impacts students


Sean Kim

Sophomore Nick Kim works on homework alongside his older sister.

The closure of college campuses leaves students learning how to work at home with their college-aged siblings. This adjustment brings both challenges and benefits to online learning.

I’ve noticed that my sister has longer classes and more independent work while I have more classes every day.”

— Nick Kim

While siblings from college are home, students notice the difference between college and high school schedules and workloads. College students typically have about four classes that meet one to two times a week, compared to the seven classes that meet every day in high school. Since students are now working from home, their schedules are more similar to college schedules with fewer classes per day and requiring students to do more independent learning while at home. “I’ve noticed that my sister has longer classes and more independent work while I have more classes every day,” sophomore Nick Kim said.

The change between college classes and high school classes from being in-person to online also varies. “I’ve noticed that my sister has had an easier time adapting to her online college classes than I have because her schedule hasn’t changed too much while mine has changed drastically,” senior Liron Gamliel said.

College siblings being home poses a threat by forcing students to share limited resources and creating distractions. The additional strain on internet services and extra distractions can hinder students’ ability to focus on their own classes. “Having another person taking online classes is kind of a struggle at times. When my older sister, younger brother and I are all having a class, it can really take a toll on the WiFi and make it really hard to hear the teacher,” senior Jonathan Healy said.

Some students are able to separate their own workspace from their siblings and avoid distractions. “Since my sister and I each have our own rooms with desks, having two people in the house taking online classes isn’t a problem or distracting,” Gamliel said.

On the other hand, having a sibling home unexpectedly can be a nice surprise. College siblings can help students manage their change in workload and give advice on how to self-teach some topics. “It’s nice that my sister’s here so we can catch up and she’s always giving me great advice for school and her being home makes it so much easier,” Healy said.

It has also allowed for additional bonding time for students that they would not normally get if their siblings were away at school. Students especially appreciate having their siblings home right now because they are unable to go out, so they now have somebody to spend time with. “I really enjoy having my sister do school at home because now we have the opportunity to bond like we used to before she moved out and I only have one sister, so when she was in college I was pretty lonely,” Gamliel said.