Siblings see benefits of college life together

2010-09-12T12:00:00Z Siblings see benefits of college life togetherBy KJ LANG | La Crosse Tribune
September 12, 2010 12:00 pm  • 

The Boll siblings of Darlington, Wis., would pile into older brother Jake's 2001 Dodge Stratus for the 10-minute ride to high school. They'd crank up the radio and sing together or talk.

But once the car stopped in the high school parking lot, they quickly dispersed. Even though their red hair made it obvious, these siblings didn't want to be associated with other then, said the youngest, Jason.

"Once you were out of the car, you were on your own," said older brother Jake.

The three have since gotten over that. In fact, they're now all settled at the same school - the University of Wisconsin- La Crosse. Jake is a senior, Janelle is a junior and Jason is a freshman. Attending the same college wasn't planned, but they say they're happy it worked out that way.

The three said they were friends while growing up in Darlington, Wis., but they liked to tease on another. Jason and Janelle joke that Jake was the "favorite child." Janelle was the "family cheater," who always mysteriously had more money than she should when the family played Monopoly.

Jason, the musical child, they said, was always singing in the shower and whistling.

They still joke around now that they are in college, but they also see some serious benefits to having a shoulder to lean on at school.

Having Jake around helped Janelle deal with homesickness her freshman year, she said.

"You have that sense of home - a sense of comfort from someone you've known for 18 years," she said.

When it came time for Jason to choose between UW-L and UW-Platteville, mother Judy said she thought, "It's a no-brainer, honey. Wouldn't you want to go where your family is?"

But Judy kept her lips sealed and Jason decided on UW-L on his own after visiting Jake and meeting friendly people on campus. So far he is happy with the decision, and his sister and brother have given him plenty of advice about where to live, what classes to take and where to study.

Jake now points out his siblings to friends when he's walking on campus.

"There is a certain pride in saying that's my brother or sister. I'm not ashamed of it like in high school," he said.

And Judy takes comfort in knowing her children are all in the same place to help each other out.

"I have to fight back tears when I think of the empty nest, but then there's the excitement and pride that they are all going on," she said.

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