Randi Dierksen, nursing senior, stands by sister Hannah Dierksen, undecided freshman. The two have been able to share one last season of school and volleyball this year. Korie Hawkins/Collegian photographer

By Erica Dunigan
Staff reporter

Ibrahim and Charles Fall spent their first 18 years together, fighting over the remote control, sharing the same bedroom and playing pick-up games of basketball in the neighborhood park.

After graduating high school, most siblings don’t get the chance to continue on parallel paths with one another. But, two years after graduating, the Fall brothers have found themselves reunited 1,500 miles away from home. The Fall siblings are just one pair of the siblings that have come to Southwestern to continue their education and participate as part of an athletic team.

Ibrahim Fall, business junior, said, “Even though I play football, and he plays basketball, we’re still able to see each other because we room together. We both went to separate colleges before Southwestern, and they were far apart, so it was hard for me to see him the past two years. It’s a blessing to be going to the same school.”

What’s also nice besides being able to play the same sport as his sibling is to be able to room with him, Charles Fall, theatre junior, said. “It’s nice to be the same grade as my brother because we are able to room together. It’s like being at home and able to come home to family, and having them there for support and advice.”

For Hannah Dierksen, undecided freshman, the struggle with going to the same school as her sister, Randi, nursing senior, is trying to create her own identity. “Coming in, I told Randi that I didn’t want to be known as Randi’s little sister,” said Hannah. “But, I don’t mind it so much anymore. Without my sister, I wouldn’t have anyone to look up to and wouldn’t be who I am. I love my sister.”

The Dierksens play volleyball together, and compete for the same spot as right side hitter. Randi said her favorite part of having Hannah on campus was to help create a new kind of relationship with her.

Dierksen’s sister Randi, nursing senior, said, “It’s rad to have her come to Southwestern. I love it a lot. It strengthens our relationship, and we’ve become more friends than just sisters. I love being here for her, even though this is my last year.”

Chelsea Fort, biology junior, and her sister, Hayley, biology and chemistry freshman, compete separately in softball and tennis. But, they see each other frequently as they travel the halls of Beech Science Center.

Hayley said, “I probably see Chelsea almost every day, mostly because we are both science majors and involved in some of the same activities. When I need help in my classes; I can turn to my older sister because she’s had the same classes that I’m taking.”

Chelsea said she likes being there for Hayley in case she has problems with her homework or class projects. She said, “Going to school with my sister is a bonding experience for the both of us. I get to help guide her along through college, and I’m here for her whenever she gets lost or confused in her classes. She’s always there to help me out when I need it too.”

College can be both the most fun and most stressful time of someone’s life. But, having a good family support system is helping these siblings get through the road blocks and stress. Chelsea said, “She’s one of my best friends and getting to share some of the best years of my life with her in the process only makes it better.”

Erica Dunigan is a junior majoring in professional communications. You may e-mail her at erica.dunigan@sckans.edu.