Angela Merlo, '20, and Lauren Merlo, '18

Angela and Lauren Merlo sit near the Rockhurst soccer field.

Lauren and Angela Merlo find comfort in attending college with a sibling. Being two of six siblings, three of which had attended Rockhurst before them, they found familiarity in the University. Read their interview below to find out more.

What are your grades and majors?

Lauren Merlo: I am a senior, and I actually just transferred here last January. My major is communication sciences and disorders.

Angela Merlo: I’m actually a sophomore and I’m undecided right now.

What played into your decision to transfer?

L: I actually went to Saint Louis University and I played soccer there and before I even went there I always kind of had Rockhurst in the back of my mind. We’re two of six, but five of the six of us have now gone to Rockhurst. It’s been kind of familiar and feels like a family here, to be honest with you, and like a second home for me. And having her (Angela) here helped, too.

A: Because we got to play two seasons of soccer together here.

Did any of your other siblings play soccer here?

L: Yeah, so I don’t want to cut down Kristin, but she did not play soccer in college. My brother and my two older sisters and Angela and I all played. So five of the six.

What other colleges were you looking at?

A: I was looking at Quincy, Truman, Maryville and Rockhurst.

L: I kind of took a different path than normal people would take when deciding a school because sophomore year I started looking at colleges I was recruited by to play soccer. That’s kind of the same with her (Angela), but I encouraged her to start a little later because as a sophomore, in high school at least, you’re just getting your driver’s license. I just was looking wherever I got a scholarship, but I determined between SLU and here because they’re both Jesuit. I went to big state schools and I just didn’t feel the camaraderie as much as I felt at SLU and Rockhurst.

A: I would agree with that. I like the whole Jesuit feel and what attracted me the most to this school was the Jesuit aspect.

How did playing soccer influence your decision to come to Rockhurst?

A: For me, at least, since I’m the youngest of six, everyone would be like, “Are you going to pick SLU or Rockhurst?” because that’s where she —

L: Me and my older sister were the two that went there.

A: Yeah, so, they were all like, “What are you going to choose?” I was like, “Neither. I’m going to do my own thing.” I really loved the soccer program here. You are able to be a part of Greek life in addition to being on a soccer team. You’re not just with the soccer girls, you can meet other girls in other ways. I think it’s a great program here at Rockhurst and I would encourage anyone to play any athletic sport here at this school.

L: Coming from SLU, I could only be involved in two clubs, and here you get a well-balanced life. I think they teach you really good life lessons about balancing commitments.

Did having siblings that went here make the transition from high school to college a bit easier?

A: I mean, for me personally, starting as a freshman and not having any family here before she (Lauren) transferred here, I still felt like this was home because I was so comfortable here after coming to all the events and being a part of family weekend. I was able to feel like this was a second home to me.

L: And then coming from a different university to here having a sibling — I mean, besides having a sibling, this school makes you feel very welcome the moment you step on campus. Having a sister here made it feel like I didn’t ever have this sense of feeling homesick because I had a piece of home here.

What are you involved in on campus?

L: I’m in soccer and then I’ve joined a couple of clubs, like Purpose club, and then SAAC (Student-Athlete Advisory Committee).

A: We’re both in SAAC, and then I’m in Zeta (Tau Alpha).

L: And grounds crew.

How have you created your own identity while at Rockhurst?

L: Actually, having older siblings here, I take it as a compliment when someone comes up to me and says that they know my family, because it’s kind of like one big community. I guess for me, I’m more like my older sisters, whereas Angela’s the baby of the family. She’s very funny. I think she kind of creates her own identity in that way. I never have felt tied down by that. Even if I had, I always took it as a positive thing.

A: And that’s how I am. I would take it more as a compliment or if someone would say, ‘I know your older siblings’, I’d be like, “Oh my gosh you do?,” and then I would get really excited that they know them because then I have a connection with them. Yeah, it makes me proud of who I am and who my family is.

What are the three best things about going to school with your sister?

L: Well, I guess having an automatic best friend that’s a plus, because your family is your best friend. Always having someone to talk to, to confide in. Then, go grocery shopping with, because that’s kind of a bummer to go by yourself. Being an older sibling is kind of cool — I had an older sibling take care of me, so the roles are reversed and now I’m taking care of my little sibling.

A: I would agree with all of those. Yeah, just having an automatic best friend and being able to have someone to do things like go to church with. I live with five other girls, so it’s nice to be able to go over to my sister’s house, take a step back from other people, and just be with my family. It’s definitely nice to have someone there for you and just to be with.


L: As far as Rockhurst, it’s a proud thing to go here. I feel proud to go here and be here, especially with a sibling. That’s such a cool thing that people take for granted, education. To be educated with a family member is cool.

A: I’m glad I’m able to experience school with my sister.