The Purple Tide

Senior-freshman siblings come together for one last hurrah

Katie Carita, design editor

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Walking through the halls and seeing multiple pairs of siblings is pretty common, but though they go to the same school, some siblings are facing opposite ends of the high school experience. With one sibling stressfully filling out college applications and another still learning to navigate high school, the dynamic between senior and freshman relatives offers a unique way to experience the first or final year of high school.

A huge advantage to being the younger one in a sibling duo is usually having a ride to school. However, the older sibling may be used to leaving home or school at a certain time and will need to get used to bringing along an extra passenger.

“My sister drives me to school every morning,” freshman Andrew Tacinelli said. “It’s nice because it means I don’t have to ride the bus, but sometimes she’ll walk out of the house without telling me she’s leaving.”

While freshmen receive the most help by getting a ride as opposed to taking the bus or walking, their siblings can also benefit by getting ready together in the morning.

“My younger brother actually helps me get to school on time,” senior Charlie Cavanagh said. “I sometimes will lose track of time in the morning, and he’ll let me know when it’s time to go.”

At the top of the high school food chain, many seniors aren’t eager to interact with freshmen. But for those who have a sibling in their first year of high school, they have the responsibility of helping them make an easy transition. Oftentimes, parents want the senior to help out the younger sibling.

“My mom will always tell me to wave to Andrew and his friends in the hallway,” senior Alexis Tacinelli said. “My parents really want me to be nice to him, but I don’t see him at school that much.”

Whether the affection between siblings in the hallway is forced or voluntary, freshmen can still gain valuable knowledge from the experiences of their older brothers or sisters.

“My brother Charlie told me to stay focused during class and do my homework the day it’s assigned,” freshman Will Cavanagh said.

Even though there is an age difference between freshman and senior siblings, there are still multiple opportunities for them to join the same team or club at school.

“My brother and I will both play baseball in the spring, but probably not on the same team,” senior Kyle Hodinko said. “I hope that he’ll join DECA with me too.”

For many sibling pairs, this is the first time they’ve attended the same school since elementary school. Going to school together is a great way to bond before the senior leaves for college.

“I feel like we’ve gotten closer in the past few weeks just by seeing each other outside of our house,” senior Alexis Tacinelli said. “We are hanging together at football games as peers instead of family members.”

Senior Charlie Cavanagh and his freshman brother Will Cavanagh pose before the first day of school.

The last time freshmen Andrew Tacinelli, senior Alexis Tacinelli and sophomore Michael Tacinelli went to the same school was in 2012.

Freshman Will Cavanagh and senior Charlie Cavanagh get ready for the first day of second and fifth grade at Lees Corner Elementary School.

Senior Alexis Tacinelli, junior Michael Tacinelli and freshman Andrew Tacinelli get ready to leave for school.

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The student news site of Chantilly High School (Chantilly, VA)
Senior-freshman siblings come together for one last hurrah