Living up to the name


Elyssa Abbott

Reminiscing on the class of 2017-2018, older siblings left behind large shoes to fill for those younger. “It is stressful to think about living up to expectations that you do not necessarily have control over, but as long as you work hard in whatever you do, I think that a last name does not define you,” sophomore Molly Geraci said.

Elyssa Abbott, Reporter, Photographer

Living up to an older sibling, especially with the pressures of high school, can become a difficult task. With the lasting legacy, an older brother or sister may leave in sports, clubs, or with teachers, an expectation follows the younger sibling.

Following in the footsteps of her older brother Jayden Bourne, Mayah Bourne plays soccer at NC. After seeing the legacy her older brother set for their family from joining their church’s youth council, Mayah also decided to participate in the organization. Originating from East Cobb, her brother encouraged her to join NC Magnet after his four years in the program. During her freshman year, Mayah felt thankful for her senior brother advising her which clubs to join, such as Tribal Connections, and helped her become one of the council chairs for the freshman class.

“I think [Mayah] more than fills my shoes through her constant drive and motivation to complete schoolwork to the best of her ability. She always gives 110 percent. Beyond academics, she fills my shoes socially, as she makes sure to choose good friends to surround herself with,” Jayden Bourne said.

Although Mayah and her brother share similarities, they work toward different goals. Jayden studies film and media production at George Washington University, whereas Mayah hopes to work as an orthodontist elsewhere.

After graduating from NC’s Magnet program in 2018, Jayden Bourne currently studies film and media production at George Washington University in Washington, D.C. Although the siblings share various similarities, unlike her brother, Mayah wants to study dental surgery. Overall, Mayah strives to follow in his footsteps while still making her own name for herself and doing what she loves to do.

Sisters senior Rylie and sophomore Molly Geraci also shared interests during Rylie’s time at NC. They both participated in Becca’s Closet, lacrosse, and yearbook, but Rylie did Relay For Life, whereas Molly chose Tribal Connections. Today, Rylie studies Journalism and Mass Communications at the University of Georgia after graduating from NC Magnet in 2018. Although Molly shares her passion for journalism, she does not feel intrigued to continue in journalism for a career. In this way and more, Molly feels she differs from her older sister, although she frequently encounters comparisons from teachers.

courtesy of Molly Geraci
Lacrosse appears as just one the similarities the Geraci sisters share, the youngest, Molly, following and hopefully filling her older sister’s shoes. Molly does admit to gravitating towards activities her sister once did, but ultimately, makes her own choices based on her thoughts and feelings. “We are completely different people and I do not want to fill her shoes. I want to create my own shoes to fill,” Sophomore Molly Geraci said.

“My sister wants me to do well in whatever I choose to do. She is always there to help me if I have any questions and helped me know what to expect when choosing clubs [at NC]. She expects me to be the best person I can be and always encourages hard work from me,” Molly said.

Elyssa Abbott
Their love of lacrosse brings the two sisters together, as they practice together when they can. Rylie left a lasting impression on the NC girls lacrosse program as she graduated last year and headed to the University of Georgia, and now her younger sister fills her shoes. “She is always there for me to practice throwing and running drills, but she did leave a legacy that I sometimes feel pressure to fill,” Geraci said.

Though the pressure from the legacy an older sibling leaves behind may feel frustrating at times, it also encourages determination. Coming into high school, younger siblings enjoy the safety in knowing at least one person that can guide them in choosing the best extracurricular activities. Choosing a separate path and making an individual name for oneself requires the support from an older sibling that underwent the same obstacles as their younger sibling.