So, what’s it like going to college at the same time as your two older brothers?
D.J. Painter pauses for a moment, but doesn’t get the chance to answer before the door opens and his brothers – Jake and Joshua – spill into the room and grab seats. They waste no time in filling in the blank for him.
“There’s so much for him to live up to,” says Jake, with a laugh. “The legends who came before.”
While they still live together and attend classes at Missouri Southern, having them together in one place in mid-afternoon is something of a rare occurrence. It will soon be even rarer still.
Jake graduated this May with a degree in criminal justice, while Joshua will also graduate as a member of the first Yours to Lose Advanced Medical School Acceptance Program cohort. D.J. is currently wrapping up his first year of the Yours to Lose program.
“We all kind of go our separate ways in the morning,” says Jake. “A lot of days, we might not see each other until 11 at night when someone is studying, or someone comes in to have dinner.”
They’ll go separate ways again in May, though D.J. will still have two years left before following Joshua to medical school.
“After I graduate, I’m going to join the military – the Navy, hopefully – and go back to San Diego, and become apolice officer after that,” says Jake.
Joshua says he’s interested in the field of cardiology, but wants to keep his options open.
“Some of the KCU students have told me you don’t really decide until the third year of medical school when you start doing clinicals and get experience in a position,” he said.
With two years left in Yours to Lose, D.J. still has plenty of time to decide on a medical specialty. In the meantime, he’s forging his own identity on campus that already seems to know him.
“I’ll walk around campus and someone will say, ‘Hey, you look like one of the Painters.’ I don’t know what they did, but I’m not them,” he says with a laugh.