Little sisters join Crusader family

The change from living at home to a college campus can be frightening for freshmen. Being expected to function in the midst of class schedules and financial responsibilities can worry a new college student into hives and tummy tumbles. However, some find a little piece of home on campus: having a sibling as an upperclassman.

Freshman Anna Payne knew the university was a good fit after visiting several times to see her brother Geoff
and attend campus events such as Crusader Knights.

“So I’ve kind of got familiar with the campus and the different traditions,” she said.

Senior Christian studies major Geoff Payne said he wanted Anna to go wherever she                                         desired.

“She picked UMHB, and I was excited about that.”

Senior Geoff Payne reads his “121 Things Anna Should Know Before UMHB” list to his sister, freshman Anna Payne, on the swing at Burt Hall.    Photo by Kennan Neuman

Senior Geoff Payne reads his “121 Things Anna Should Know Before UMHB” list to his sister, freshman Anna Payne, on the swing at Burt Hall. Photo by Kennan Neuman

After visiting several universities across Texas, Anna made a decision.

“Honestly, I looked at other schools,” she said. “But this is the only one I applied to.”

Geoff gave his younger sister a book for her high school graduation called, “121 Things Anna Should Know Before UMHB,” a list of advice from friends and fellow Crusaders. Some of the guidance was

“Find a great church and stick with it,” and to “never turn down free food.”

Anna said, “(I am) definitely not as homesick because I have a part of home here.” She knows the transition to university life will be difficult, but the change will bring growth.

“It’s good for me to be independent and not be at home,” Anna said. “But it also has that familiarity, too.”

When freshman Rebekah Maclin moved into Burt Hall, she knew she’d eventually adjust to being away from home. It would just take time. She has wanted to attend the university since high school. Her older sister, already a Crusader, would be there, too.

“I applied here when I was a junior, and I got accepted.” Rebecca said. “It was like the only place I wanted to go, so I didn’t apply anywhere else.”Having her sister, junior nursing major Mary Maclin,nearby has helped ease her freshman jitters.

“I think it will be a lot easier because she’s like a piece of home,” Rebekah said.

The sisters are glad to be living near each other again Mary said, “I kind of knew it was going to happen all
along. Now that she’s here, it’s more exciting.”

Rebekah is majoring in education in the hopes of becoming an English teacher in Hungary, where she has been on three mission trips. She is also looking forward to getting on the sand to play intramural
volleyball.

Sisters Rebekah and Mary Maclin hang a picture frame in Burt Hall. Rebekah, a freshman, is eagerly waiting for intramural volleyball season.      Photo by Kennan Neuman

Sisters Rebekah and Mary Maclin hang a picture frame in Burt Hall. Rebekah, a freshman, is eagerly waiting for intramural volleyball season. Photo by Kennan Neuman

Rebekah said, “I was really nervous about leaving (home). But she was just really encouraging to me. She said, ‘You can come over to my apartment any time you want.’”

Rebekah believes if it weren’t for her sister being on campus, she’d feel more nervous about starting life on her own.

She said, “I think if I was going somewhere else (to college), where I didn’t know anybody, I’d be … nervous.”

Freshman business administration major Bethany Van Zandt has also enjoyed having her sister nearby.

Junior elementary education major Briana Van Zandt said she always tried to speak well of her college experience. She chose the university because she felt it was where God wanted her to be.

“It just felt like home,” Briana said.

When her younger sister decided to come, she was thrilled.

“I was really excited, because it had been two years… since we lived in the same area,” she said. “Because she’s so close, I won’t have to call as much anymore.”

Briana, being a supportive big sister, helped Bethany register for classes to stay on track with her degree plan. Bethany has benefited from having her sister nearby. She said the best advice her sister gave has been “just to give it some time. It’s going to be hard the first couple weeks, but you will eventually get used to it. It will be easier.

Freshman Bethany Van Zandt and her sister, junior Briana Van Zandt, arrange clothes in Bethany’s dorm closet.   Photo by Kennan Neuman

Freshman Bethany Van Zandt and her sister, junior Briana Van Zandt, arrange clothes in Bethany’s dorm closet. Photo by Kennan Neuman

Author: Kennan Neuman

Kennan Neuman is a senior mass communication/journalism major with a minor in Christian studies from the small town of Devine, Texas. She is the assistant editor and loves writing stories and designing pages. She also enjoys playing guitar for friends, the girls’ Bible study on Thursday nights and the youth at HBC in Temple. She loves reading a good Lucado book while on the back porch at home, drinking sweet tea and mastering Sudoku puzzles. She also enjoys having a “girls’ night out” and conversations at coffee shops.

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