Maddie De Pree is a Junior, Vol. 11: My Big Sister Lives In Austin

Ah, the end of February! The most cursed month of the year is already wrapping up. This month was a weird one: everyone is tired, the weather is sad and assignments are due. But readers, rejoice: soon, we’ll be on spring break, and I’ll be in Austin, Texas.

Typically, my breaks are a drag — I go home to Atlanta and bum around with my parents for a week until I get bored and come back to Furman. This year, though, I wanted to do something different, so I’ve decided to visit my big sister Claire in Austin.

For those who don’t know: Claire is a god. She’s six feet tall, she dresses well and she’s very gay. She and her girlfriend moved to Texas last August, but I haven’t gotten around to visiting their new place yet. They rent a place with a few other people, and from what I’ve seen in photos, it looks adorable in there — the whole house is decked out with plants, and they have a big dog named Bear. In all, I’m looking forward to it, though I am a bit apprehensive. I’m always wary of overtly trendy locations, and Austin is definitely one of those. (Apparently everyone rides rental scooters to work, including my sister. Really wack.)

My sister didn’t expected to live in Austin, but she locked down an graphic design job there last year, so she and her girlfriend packed up and moved all the way from Arkansas. Their relationship is enviable — they support one another’s careers, they eat good Tex-Mex and they go to late-night drag shows. (I mean, really, what more could one want?) Sometimes I wish I was out there with them, or that I could finish up school already and begin my own cool life.

Claire and I have a three-year gap between us and I always feel like she’s in a more exciting stage of life than me. After all, Greenville can be slow, and at this point in my college career, Furman is feeling small. But whenever I lament about being bored, my sister tells me to enjoy it here while I can. And she’s right — young adulthood moves quickly, particularly after one graduates from college and becomes a Real Adult. My cushy undergraduate lifestyle is fleeting; by all means, I should hang onto it for dear life. It’s inspiring to see Claire thriving out there in the world, but I’m frustrated that I can’t yet join her.

At least for a few days, though, I can escape campus and celebrate the life my big sister is building for herself. And who knows — maybe I’ll fall in love with the Lone Star State just like her. There’s an MFA program in Austin that I’ve been eyeing, so stay posted. In a year or so, maybe I’ll be out there too.

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