University Park, IL,
11:41 AM

National Sisters Day 2018

National Sisters Day is August 5, 2018. The Lolli sisters share their GSU experience.

In the fall of 2015, Jessica and Julianna Lolli, sisters from Monee, Illinois, enrolled at Governors State University. Yet while their names, appearances, and manners suggest the Lolli sisters could be fraternal twins, they are in fact four years apart in age, with Julianna enrolling as a freshman and Jessica enrolling the same year to begin her Master of Arts in Communication.

“We were mistaken for each other’s identities a lot,” said Julianna, now entering her senior year as a Criminal Justice major. “It was a new experience to be going to the same school again—that hadn’t happened since grade school.”

Jessica continued, “With Julianna being in daytime undergraduate courses, and me being primarily in evening graduate courses, we were able to come and go at different times, really enjoying being sisters rather than classmates.”

While the sisters chose different courses of study and are emphatic about their different academic personalities—“She devours a book in a day!” laughed Julianna—they agree that their time concurrently enrolled as university students, but at different levels, offered many unexpected benefits.

Jessica, a former Writing Fellow in GSU’s Writing Across the Curriculum program, was able to assist Julianna in improving her academic writing. “I helped her learn where to look for sources, how to outline a paper, and about the revision process.”

“She is my own personal Writing Fellow—and she still nitpicks my writing,” added Julianna.

Though the Lolli sisters enjoy playful banter, their deep sisterly love is evident. Jessica has regularly cared for Julianna’s son, now 13 months, during Julianna’s classes. Having a baby during the course of her studies was challenging, however, it didn’t stop Julianna from maintaining a 15-to-Finish schedule: she will complete her undergraduate studies in four years.

“He’s a GSU baby,” they say, almost in unison. Julianna continues, “He was one of the very first pictures on the Commencement Facebook album—they even tagged me!”

In just two weeks, Jessica will move to the University of South Florida to begin her Ph.D. studies. It is the biggest move of her life, she says.

Of her sister's move, Julianna says, “Being closer now than we ever were, I am truly going to miss having my sister there every day and night. I won’t be able to always go in her room and talk when I need it. Being apart will be a huge adjustment, but I am truly proud of what she is accomplishing and hope that she succeeds in what she is doing and enjoys it. I love her and hope our closeness continues even when we are apart.”

Happy National Sisters Day!