Sibling Unrivalry: Two Yellow Jackets Talk about Tackling College Together
The 3rd Annual Sibs Day on Saturday, Feb. 11, gives students an opportunity to host their brothers, sisters, nephews, cousins, and family friends for a weekend at Tech and lets prospective Yellow Jackets get a real taste of campus life.
What’s it like going to college with a sibling? Natalie Larkins, a fourth-year industrial design major, and her brother Chris, a first-year industrial engineering major, can speak to that. For the Larkins, choosing Tech ran in the family.
“Our mom, dad, two sisters, and both brothers-in-law graduated from Tech,” Natalie said. The siblings have different reasons for why they picked Tech, though.
For Natalie, Tech wasn’t the obvious choice.
“I didn’t know if I wanted to follow in the footsteps of my entire family, but when I realized how great of a school Tech is, it was hard to choose a different option,” she said. “I came to Tech for the biomedical engineering program, but my artistic side was attracted to the design component of BME so I switched to industrial design and have loved it.”
The Larkins grew up about 45 minutes from campus and were comfortable with Tech long before they became students. “We grew up in Tech culture,” Natalie said. Both Larkins have fond memories of attending games with their older sisters and looking up to the crowd of college students. She noted that attending the first game with her brother as a fellow student was a special moment.
Due to his family’s Tech dynasty, Chris may have been awarded more wisdom than the typical first-year student.
“Natalie scared me,” Chris said. He may have heard some intimidating stories about Tech, but he’s found himself to be less stressed and anxious with his sister around.
His family also helped when it came to choosing a major.
“I talked with my mom and my older sister, Teresa, who had both graduated from Tech with degrees in industrial engineering,” he said. “I realized that we were very similar people, and I felt that industrial engineering would be a good fit for me, too. With the No. 1 industrial engineering program in the nation, Tech was the obvious pick.”
Before Chris began his education at Tech, Natalie advised him to “think critically about his decisions” and “not be afraid to be different.” Both Larkins are active members of the Catholic Student Organization on campus, and Chris believes that the best advice from his sister was to get involved with the group. For her, it has been a formative part of her college experience.
“I was a mess freshman year, but after realizing how important time management was, I learned to balance hanging out with friends, getting involved in campus organizations, and maintaining my spiritual life,” Natalie said.
Though the siblings’ paths don’t often cross on campus, they are able to make time for each other. Natalie even filmed Chris for her capstone project on the safety of dorm room furniture, namely bunk beds. After Natalie graduates in the spring, she plans to come back and visit Chris.
During the annual Sibs Day event, participants will enjoy campus tours, brunch in North Avenue Dining, the Georgia Tech Men’s Basketball Game vs. Boston College, along with other activities. Registration is closed for this year, but students are encouraged to plan now for Sibs Day 2018.