8 Things I've Learned While Growing Up With Brothers

8 Things I Learned Growing Up Blessed With Brothers

Sometimes they can be OK, I guess.

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I was lucky enough that God graced me with siblings because for my entire life I have had two built-in playmates. However, instead of the sisters that I always dreamed of, He gave me two smelly boys.

When I was younger I always was jealous of my friends who had sisters. I used to beg my parents to adopt another child so I could have a sister. My brothers were competitive, they were stubborn, they liked to physically fight each other and me, but they've always been my best friends.

As I look back at my childhood, I realize that growing up with brothers has taught me a lot about life and I wouldn't change that for the world.

Competition.

Every day of my childhood was some type of competition between the three of us. Whether it was grades in school, sports, which TV show to watch, or who got to eat the last slice of pizza, it always seemed like there was something to be won.

Now, I can still feel that competitive spirit coming out of me. It drives me to be the best that I can be. It has really helped me when I play sports or during classes when I'm taking a test.

Patience.

My brothers always knew what to say or do to get me to blow up on them, which would always end up with me getting in trouble. My mom would always tell me to be patient and ignore my brothers when they were trying to annoy me.

At the time, it always made me angry that I was the one who had to ignore or be patient with them. However, that has taught me important people skills that I have carried with me into my adult life. I'm a much cooler tempered person and I can be much more rational when I'm angry as compared to other people I know.

Impulsiveness.

I can remember playing outside with my brothers and all the other neighborhood kids. We had a forest behind our houses that we could get to if we hopped the fence. I can remember my brothers thought it would be a great idea to throw rocks at ant hills and bee hives which always ended with someone getting bitten or stung.

The impulsive decisions my brothers made in their youth taught me how to think fast. Now, I'm good at thinking of solutions to problems quickly. I, also, tend to be much more flexible with impulsive trips to the store or off campus.

How to get away with anything.

Sneaky is one of the most prominent words that comes to my mind when I think of my brothers. They have always been able to get away with things. I can remember days when they would come into my room and explain to me the complex plan they created to sneak out or to play pranks on our parents. I never joined in on their escapades but they did show me a few tricks on how to get away with it if I ever did.

How to be a hard worker.

Both of my brothers are wrestlers and have been since they were young. In high school, my twin brother, Brendan, would be doing wrestling through winter and Thanksgiving break. This meant that's even if it's was Christmas or Thanksgiving, he would still mostly stick to his diet and decide to lay off the dessert. He also went to California for about a month over the summer to go to a wrestling camp so he could better his skills.

My younger brother, Jacob, started high school last year and did choir, the musical, and wrestling all at the same time.

Since I have watched my brothers excel in sports and work at my dad's restaurant, it has pushed me to become a harder worker with my school work and my athletics. I want to make them as proud of me as I am of them.

Self-defense.

My brothers have always been the protective type and we did martial arts in our youth, so all of us have some type of training in self-defense. With that being said, much of our practice for martial arts was on each other when we were upset. If two of us had a conflict, we would put on your sparing gear and battle it out. Through these fights, I have hyper extended my elbow, almost broke my nose, and have been beaten with a small, wooden, baseball bat. Of course, parents stopped it when it got too violent but it was always a way to fix our issues.

I'm glad that I had that experience when I was younger because now that I am on my own if someone approaches me in a violent way, I know how and where to throw a punch to make sure I can defend myself. Also, I know that my two strong, athletic brothers would always take someone down if they hurt me.

Sharing.

I was a very stubborn kid and to an extent I still am. However, having my brothers around taught me how to share. I used to never want to let my brothers play with my toys because I assumed that they would break them. I realized that if I wasn't going to share, my brothers would take my toys with force and would be more likely to break them out of anger. So, I began to let them use my things as long as they promised to give them back. When I began to let them use my things, they began to let me use their things.

I have found myself lending out many of my things out to my friends in college and they lend things to me. Sharing is a very important part of learning how to be an adult and I'm glad that I was able to learn how to share at a young age.

Love.

While I can count on my fingers the number of times my brothers have explicitly said, "I love you," to me, I know that they do love me.

When I going back home to Tacoma for the first time for Thanksgiving break, I was half asleep on the train when my phone starting buzzing. Lazily, I reached down and answered it without looking at the caller ID. It was my younger brother, Jacob. He was excitedly asking, "Hey, when are you gonna be home? Is it gonna be soon? Can we go out to lunch?"

He didn't have to explicitly say it but I knew that behind his words he was saying, "Hey, I missed you and I'm excited for you to be home."

My twin brother, Brendan, was my walking partner at my high school graduation. Right before we walked out in front of all our family and our friends and classmates' families, Brendan linked his pinky finger with mine. Having a physical reminder that I had someone on my side calmed my nerves immensely and I knew it was his way of saying that we were going to get through it together.

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To The Nursing Major During The Hardest Week Of The Year

I know that no grade can possibly prove what kind of nurse you will be. I know that no assignment will showcase your compassion. I know that no amount of bad days will ever take away the empathy inside of you that makes you an exceptional nurse.

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To the Nursing Major During Finals Week,

I know you're tired, I know you're stressed, and I know you feel like you can't go on. I know that no part of this seems fair, and I know you are by far the biggest critic of yourself. I know that you've thought about giving up. I know that you feel alone. I know that you wonder why in the world you chose one of the hardest college majors, especially on the days it leaves you feeling empty and broken.

But, I also know that you love nursing school. I know your eyes light up when you're with patients, and I know your heart races when you think of graduation. I know that you love the people that you're in school with, like truly, we're-all-in-this-together, family type of love. I know that you look at the older nurses with admiration, just hoping and praying that you will remain that calm and composed one day. I know that every time someone asks what your college major is that you beam with pride as you tell them it's nursing, and I know that your heart skips a beat knowing that you are making a difference.

I know that no grade can possibly prove what kind of nurse you will be. I know that no assignment will showcase your compassion. I know that a failed class doesn't mean you aren't meant to do this. I know that a 'C' on a test that you studied so. dang. hard. for does not mean that you are not intelligent. I know that no amount of bad days will ever take away the empathy inside of you that makes you an exceptional nurse.

I know that nursing school isn't fair. I know you wish it was easier. I know that some days you can't remember why it's worth it. I know you want to go out and have fun. I know that staying up until 1:00 A.M. doing paperwork, only to have to be up and at clinicals before the sun rises is not fair. I know that studying this much only to be failing the class is hard. I know you wish your friends and family understood. I know that this is difficult.

Nursing school isn't glamorous, with the white lab coat and stethoscope. Nursing school is crying, randomly and a lot. Nursing school is exhaustion. Nursing school is drinking so much coffee that you lose track. Nursing school is being so stressed that you can't eat. Nursing school is four cumulative finals jam-packed into one week that is enough to make you go insane.

But, nursing school is worth it. I know that when these assignments are turned in and finals are over, that you will find the motivation to keep going. I know that one good day of making a difference in a patient's life is worth a hundred bad days of nursing school.

Keep hanging in there, nursing majors. It'll all be worth it— this I know, for sure.

So, if you have a nursing major in your life, hug them and tell them that you're proud of them. Nursing school is tough, nursing school is scary, and nursing school is overwhelming; but a simple 'thank-you' from someone we love is all we need to keep going.

Sincerely,

A third-year nursing student who knows

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When You Are The Youngest Of 6 Kids

Having five older siblings is the greatest blessing I could have ever asked for. I get best friends for life.

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I am probably one of the luckiest people on the planet because I have so many brothers and sisters. I have three brothers and two sisters. I'm the youngest of the six, so I have had a pretty interesting experience growing up with a big family.

My oldest brother is ten years older than me. All of my siblings were born in the 90s and I wasn't, but I wanted to fit in with them. I had to make sure I watched the same TV shows and movies that they did so I could relate to them. I tried to play the same games that they played, such as SEGA and Nintendo. I was not very good at any of them, but I was just happy to be with my siblings.

Going to school was always interesting because I always had a teacher that one or more of my siblings already had. Every year in school from 1st grade to 12th grade, I always heard, "Oh, I had a few of your siblings." Then, for the rest of the year, my teachers would slip up every once in a while and call me one of my sisters' names. I understood, though, because all of us look alike, so I would just go along with it and act like that was my name.

With my sisters, the three of us look like triplets, even though we are years apart. I get called Jess or Jen a lot by my parents. By process of elimination, they eventually figure out my name. I'm used to it as I respond to anyone who calls me by one of my sister's names.

Being the youngest, I get to see all my brothers and sisters accomplish many things. I watch what they do and learn from it. The problem for me has always been that all of my siblings are brilliant. I have always had to live up to the standards that my siblings set. It hasn't always been easy.

It can be frustrating because anyone that knows my brothers and sisters will automatically compare me to them in terms of intelligence. For example, I took AP Statistics in high school. I knew my teacher had a few of my siblings who were very bright and did well in that class. My teacher probably thought I was an idiot because I struggled in that class.

I have to try and prove to people that I am my own person and that I am just related to really smart people.

I never needed to worry about friends at school because, at the end of the day, I always had my five best friends at home. When we were all younger, we had our own sleepovers and parties, and we played games all the time.

Whenever I needed help with homework, I had my own free tutors at home who were willing to help me understand algebra and biology. Even in college, I still go to them when I need help with an assignment.

They took care of me when I was younger whenever my parents were working. I had my other five parents who were ready to take care of me. They still take care of me today.

Now that I am an adult, I have had to start doing things for myself. It's kind of weird.

I always had everyone else do everything for me or with me. If I needed to go somewhere, they were my chauffeurs. If we went out to eat somewhere, they paid, but now I can drive myself around and pay for things with my own money.

At the end of the day, I have five best friends for life. For me, that is all I need.

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