Despite the hair pulling and fighting, growing up with a sister seven years older than me has been one of my saving graces. My sister has been my biggest supporter and motivator since the day I was born, and she has taught me how to navigate through all the hardships of life, while still keeping a smile on my face. She has made me into the best version of myself, so to my older sister: thank you.

1. Being your mentor. 

Being the little sister meant my older sis was always there me to teach me the ins and outs of dealing with friend drama, boy drama, and even the occasional annoying parents. I'll always be thankful to my sister for teaching me how to cope with all of life's ups and downs in the most graceful way possible.

2. Teaching you to hold your head high. 

Big sisters often seem to carry a wave of immeasurable confidence. When I was younger, I always looked up to my older sister and admired her ability to not let anyone knock the crown off her head, and I'm happy she was able to teach me to always hold my head high.

3. Being your number one fan. 

I can honestly say that my sister is my biggest supporter. She never fails to tell me how proud she is of me, and I hope she knows how proud I am of her too. If you're lucky enough to have a sister who supports your hopes and dreams, don't forget to thank her.

4. For letting you hangout with her. 

Even though a seven-year age difference can seem like enough to sever a close bond, one of the things I'm most grateful for is that my sister always let me spend time with her. I never felt like I was bothering her when we would hang out, even if I was 12-years-old and she was 19-years-old. Making me feel included and loved even if we didn't have a lot in common is one of her greatest gifts to me.

5. Teaching you to be mature.

It's no doubt that younger siblings look up to their older ones and mimic their behavior. Having a responsible and mature older sibling taught me to be well mannered and respectful, and I give my sister all the credit.

6. Being your role model.

As a younger sibling, I often looked at my sister for advice. Whether or not I explicitly asked her for advice, she was always there to give it. I'm thankful to my sister for showing me how to be a strong, independent woman, and for teaching me how to navigate life the best way she knows how.

7. For never saying "I told you so".

Even though I'm thankful for all my sister has taught me, I can't say I always took her advice. Being stubborn, and often wanting to prove her wrong, I went against her better judgment and often tried to do things my way. When I came to realize that I should have listened to her, she never made me feel bad about it. She continues to teach me, but never scold me for my mistakes.

8. Being there for you 24/7.

Even though my sister lives in a different country, she always picks up on the first ring. I can call her any time of day (and I literally have), and she is always there to listen. Whether I call her crying tears of joy or tears of sadness, she always listens to me and tries to help me. I'm so thankful to her for being my rock and always letting me know that things will be okay.

9. For bailing you out. 

As a younger sibling, I often seemed to get away with a lot more than my older sister. Anytime I had a fight with my parents, or did something that would get me in trouble, my sister often advocated for leniency. She tried to convince my parents to let me off the hook, and I'm especially thankful for all the times it actually worked.

10. For making you the person you are today. 

Despite our fights and constant arguments, my sister has shaped me into the person I am today. If it wasn't for her advice, or her ability to be such a great role model, I wouldn't be where I am. Her constant support and love give me the ability to go through life knowing she will always be there for me, allowing me to be the best version of myself.