Faith and Abby Liebing

A Shared Gift: When Siblings’ Time at Hillsdale Overlaps

Written by Klara Holscher

Faith Liebing is a senior, and her sister Abby is a freshman. Both see their one year together at Hillsdale College as a great gift.

“I wasn’t set on Hillsdale right from the beginning,” Abby said, “but it was always attractive because I knew I’d be here with her, and we like hanging. We’re close. That was a big deal coming here and having her with me. It’s kind of going to suck when she leaves.”

“I didn’t want to push her to come here,” Faith interjected. “But I really wanted her to come here—selfishly and for her sake. When you have a sibling here, you are able to experience things differently and share things that you wouldn’t otherwise, which draws you closer. It enhances the experience, too, because you are sharing it with someone that you love so deeply. So I think that it is really important.”

Faith speaks from having watched her three oldest siblings attend Hillsdale together. At this point, all five have pursued, or are pursuing, their undergraduate degrees at the ’Dale, majoring in English, history, biology, Christian studies, and politics.

“We’ve all had fairly different interests,” Faith said.

“But all were pretty easy fits for Hillsdale,” Abby added.

Their oldest brother, Ben, heard about the College from a friend, visited for himself, and decided to attend the following year. His sister Anna followed him, and then came Caleb, who passed on the torch to Faith, who is getting ready to hand it off to Abby in May.

The Liebings like to hang together, and when they are all in one place, there is “lots of bantering and friendly arguing,” especially amongst the three oldest siblings. “We’re all pretty opinionated people,” Faith said. “When the whole group is together, Abby and I are probably the ones who talk the least, but we still have our opinions.”

“Oh, yes,” Abby added.

When asked to describe her older sister, Abby replied, “Faith is very cheerful and open, and innocent in the best way. Very happy, and definitely an optimist, but she is pretty realistic for an optimist.” Faith rejoined, “Abby is cynical but sensitive. She has a harder exterior, but inside she is the biggest softy, even more than she herself realizes.” (If Facebook is any further indication of their unique personalities and interests, Abby subscribes to Sarcasm Daily, while Faith likes movies such as The Young Victoria and Kate & Leopold.)

“We are very different, and we push each other in very different ways,” Faith explained. “I push her socially, and she pushes me academically.”

Both agreed that they enjoy spending time together, getting meals at the cafeteria, chilling on the couch in front of a movie, or eating Faith’s latest batch of cookies.

“I think it is really good for us to be here together,” Faith said. “We both love—really love—being here together.”

Klara HolscherKlara Holscher, ’17, is an English major from Hobart, New York. She possesses a quirky sense of humor, an orange car, and a terrible sense of direction. It remains to be seen whether or not these elements will lead to a career in writing, but regardless, they should afford some amusement along the way.