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The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at SBU chapter.

Reflecting on my first year of college, I realized there was something at the center of my survival here. Among my family and friends, my determination and hard work, lies a really rad outlier, my brother, Jaxon. That’s not to say those other things didn’t contribute, Jax just really stands out to me.

Being an older sister to a brother four years younger than me has taught me a lot of things. How to be an “older brother” he doesn’t have, how to learn all the cool middle school to high school boy things so he in turn thinks I am also cool, and even how to teach him important things like how to talk to girls or even how to properly break the rules.

Despite our age gap, we are very close.

I live for the memories of our childhood, even the moments he was a toddler punching me relentlessly cause he was mad or hitting me over the head with a metal gardening shovel in our backyard on “accident”.

We were already decently close, but for one of the first times ever I got to see firsthand how distance can really bring you together. I had to leave for college, and it unlocked a side of my brother I did not know existed. One where he could tell me he was going to miss me, one where I caught a glimpse of him tearing up at my graduation, one where suddenly hugging your older sister was an okay thing to do.

College is difficult, especially when you have to be away from your favorite people, but Jaxon has this way of always making things easier.

He is the funniest kid I know, which even all my friends agree with.

He always sends me the most outrageous texts at the most arbitrary times, but for some reason those are always the times I need it the most. I sometimes wonder if he is reading my mind.

He probably isn’t aware how his random texts about how his day has been made amazing because he remembered he can call restaurants and tell them he is stuck in the bathroom, or paragraphs full of lyrics to ridiculous songs, or even just insane conversation openers like “I am exponentially guilt ridden and angry with myself” (that was over dropping a milkshake), make me feel so much better. Not only do they make me feel better, they are one of the quickest devices for myself to remember all of the good things in my life.

My 15 year old brother asking me if he could sell one of his legs, because he only needs one to “hop around and such” all because he wants $20 for a video game, may not seem like such a deep thing, but for me it has really been dramatically helpful while being here.

We FaceTime a lot here, so he can recap what just happened in a prank call or tell me about his new hobby he just picked up, or so we can catch up with each other. He has eaten many dinners with me in the Hickey through the lens of my phone camera. These calls brighten things up.

It’s funny how things work, because it will almost always end up that after I’ve been bawling my eyes out, I pick up the phone to Jaxon literally getting into a physical altercation with my cat, or making me take photos of him cross eyed so he can see what he looks like, subjecting me to watch him play Fortnite or whatever else is going on in his world.

I love when he messages me demanding me to come home, because even though it makes me sad that I can’t just go home in that moment, I get to be aware of the fact he actually misses me.

I love going home and how he basically lives on my floor or “accidentally” falls asleep at the end of my bed even though I beg him not to.

Overall, our sibling bond is something that I feel very lucky to have, and it has really made a difference in the hardest times I have had here; which lets be real, is kind of a lot. This whole college thing is no walk in the park.

I am excited to get to go home and go back to our normals, like going to watch him fish, playing lots of video games, hitting golf balls across the yard to each other for no reason at all, adventuring, making him eggs for breakfast, and much more.

A huge thanks, and a lot of love, to you Jaxon, the guy who has actually been asking when the article about him will come out as a joke not knowing I have had the idea written down all year.

Audney Burnside is a new writer for the St. Bonaventure Her Campus chapter. She publishes articles weekly, spanning the topics of music, lifestyle and popular culture. She hopes to further the amazing creativity that her chapter of Her Campus has to share with the world. Audney is currently a freshman at St. Bonaventure University, studying Public Health in the 3+2 Occupational Therapy Master's program. A new college student, as well as a new member of Her Campus, Audney brings her history of involvement in many programs at her high school, Le Roy Jr/Sr High School. She was the project manager of her chapter of the National Honor society, had the opportunity to write a couple of pieces for the local paper, served her community habitually as a member of her towns Rotary InterACT, and led a team in Scholastic Bowl. As well as Her Campus, Audney is a member of SBU’s honors program, SBU for Equality, and Bona Buddies. Apart from academics, Audney’s life revolves around the music she loves, outdoorsy adventures, and her best friends. Audney is a devoted cat mom and enthusiastic nature explorer, who loves kayaking with her family, takes way too much pride in her recent Taylor Swift concert attendance, and will bring up The Catcher in the Rye at any moment possible.