To My Baby Sister As She Starts High School

To My Baby Sister As She Starts High School

Just be yourself. Crush from afar. And if it turns into anything, I must approve of him first.

The second you walk through those doors, your world will change. High school is so much better than middle school, I will tell you that right off the bat. With every year from here on out, you will gain more freedom, more responsibility, and more of your personality.

A little hint for you: get involved.

I don’t care what clubs, sports, or organizations you are in because we are two different people, but be involved in something. It is the quickest and easiest way to create new friendships, and you will enjoy every second of it.

Being involved will also allow you to grow as a person.

You will learn time management and how to have control over your social life. Your knowledge will continue to grow with every day, and it will for the rest of your life. Try something new; try something you’ve always been great at. Every opportunity is an open door for something that will have meaning to you.

With that being said, know that I will support you in anything that you choose. If you play a sport, I will attend as many games as I possibly can. If it is an organization, tell me all about it and let me know if there are any events I should be there for. If it is a club, teach me about it.

Baby sis, you are the last one in the fam to get to experience high school, and as you know, we each have different feelings toward high school. But, I am here to tell you to make the most of it because it only happens once. (And these are the last years that mom and dad will baby you… hopefully).

Study hard for your classes. The habits you develop now will carry with you. Check your work, even when you feel like you’ve checked it time and time again… Do it again. Grades are important. Unfortunately, colleges base scholarships and acceptance off of them, so you want them to be as best as they can be.

When you feel like giving up, don’t. Work a little harder, read a little bit further, and study every day. It will pay off, and I will be there to encourage you along the way.

Now that you’re in high school, you get the luxury of going to homecoming and prom. Here are some tips for you: find your dress as early as possible. It will save you from having the same dress as anyone else and you will not be stressed as the date gets closer and closer.

If you don’t have a date, who cares! Dances are just as much if not more fun with just the girls than with a date. Don’t fret about this. Boys are stupid anyway.

Go with the flow on the big day. Some things may happen later than you expected, and there is no way you can control it. Just know that you will still have fun once you’re at the dance, so once again, do not fret. You are going to look beautiful, and I can’t wait to help you find your dress, do your makeup, and fix your hair.

Speaking of dates, as your older sister, I feel like I am inclined to tell you that you do not need boys. BUT you truly don’t at this age.

What are the odds that those relationships actually work? Very slim. I used to see way too many girls get their hearts broken from high school relationships, and as you know, I am one of them.

Relationships put a lot more stress on you than you already have. I’m not here to tell you don’t date because that’d be silly. I’m just warning you that there is no need for guy attention.

Just be yourself.

Crush from afar. And if it turns into anything, I must approve of him first.

Participate in spirit weeks. Go all out for your school. Spirit week is one of the best weeks of the year, and it’s okay to look like a fool (just as long as you are going with the theme).

If you take it to the extreme, you may become the talk of the school… which is definitely a good thing because that means you’re fun and confident.

But seriously, don’t be scared to actually have crazy hair (not just braids) on crazy hair day or to wear a robe, slippers, and carry around a stuffed animal on jammie day. Make the most of every opportunity.

I know you are going to do great things and make such a difference in all of your friends’ lives. Always remember that God is walking by your side, and He always will be there for you. Get in the habit of saying silent prayers of thankfulness and nervousness because He hears it all.

I pray you enjoy high school just as much as I did (which was A LOT!), if not more. You’re going to have the time of your life. Make lots of friends. Study hard. And hold on tight to your next four years.

I love you baby sis.


Your big sis

Cover Image Credit: Megan Sutton

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I'm The Girl Without A 'Friend Group'

And here's why I'm OK with it


Little things remind me all the time.

For example, I'll be sitting in the lounge with the people on my floor, just talking about how everyone's days went. Someone will turn to someone else and ask something along the lines of, "When are we going to so-and-so's place tonight?" Sometimes it'll even be, "Are you ready to go to so-and-so's place now? Okay, we'll see you later, Taylor!"

It's little things like that, little things that remind me I don't have a "friend group." And it's been like that forever. I don't have the same people to keep me company 24 hours of the day, the same people to do absolutely everything with, and the same people to cling to like glue. I don't have a whole cast of characters to entertain me and care for me and support me. Sometimes, especially when it feels obvious to me, not having a "friend group" makes me feel like a waste of space. If I don't have more friends than I can count, what's the point in trying to make friends at all?

I can tell you that there is a point. As a matter of fact, just because I don't have a close-knit clique doesn't mean I don't have any friends. The friends I have come from all different walks of life, some are from my town back home and some are from across the country. I've known some of my friends for years, and others I've only known for a few months. It doesn't really matter where they come from, though. What matters is that the friends I have all entertain me, care for me, and support me. Just because I'm not in that "friend group" with all of them together doesn't mean that we can't be friends to each other.

Still, I hate avoiding sticking myself in a box, and I'm not afraid to seek out friendships. I've noticed that a lot of the people I see who consider themselves to be in a "friend group" don't really venture outside the pack very often. I've never had a pack to venture outside of, so I don't mind reaching out to new people whenever.

I'm not going to lie, when I hear people talking about all the fun they're going to have with their "friend group" over the weekend, part of me wishes I could be included in something like that. I do sometimes want to have the personality type that allows me to mesh perfectly into a clique. I couldn't tell you what it is about me, but there is some part of me that just happens to function better one-on-one with people.

I hated it all my life up until very recently, and that's because I've finally learned that not having a "friend group" is never going to be the same as not having friends.

SEE ALSO: To The Girls Who Float Between Friend Groups

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To The Sister About To Move Away, Girl, You've Got This

You may not physically be here right now, but you're always with our family.


You were there on the day I was born, somehow sleeping soundly as our mom gave birth to me. I'll never forget the photograph of her presenting me to the world and you sitting beside her, holding up your newly-purchased beanie baby with pride as if being handed this toy was equal to the miracle of birth.

It was a crab, by the way, which somehow makes it funnier.

Growing up, you loved to trick me. You'd make me do chores for you and steal my favorite Barbies, but I think that's just part of being an older sister. I'd stick my tongue out at you and cry out the same phrase, "Mooooom, Sissy is being mean to me!" In fact, I yelled this phrase so often that it began to take on a musical quality.

You were mean at times, but you always had my back. You physically beat up other children that had wronged me, and you let me crawl into your bed so we could watch TV together and exchange stories. We'd often immerse ourselves in fantasy worlds where we were princesses and we rode unicorns side-by-side.

But we grew up, and our fantasy world evaporated like the muddy puddles we'd play in after stormy nights. One second it was there, and then, it was just gone. I remember having a conversation a few years back where we wondered if we had known the last time we played Barbies would, in fact, be our last.

When I was a seventh grader, you were a junior in high school. Our problems were very different back then, but that didn't stop us from talking endlessly about them. We were so similar. We bonded over cheerleading, cute boys, books and music. But even more than that, we bonded over our similar life views and questions about the universe. We both possessed an innate love for life yet we were both distrustful of society's guidelines.

Watching you enter new life phases enthralled me. I thought, Wow, that will be me someday. I danced around the house in each of your four prom dresses, my imagination taking me to a place much grander than a high school gymnasium. Through your stories, I romanticized the future and hoped that I would be as cool as you.

It was a little tough at times, though, always longing for a different part of life. When I entered junior high, all I wanted was to be in high school. When I entered high school, I decided college was much cooler because that's what you said. And you were certainly right about that one.

You were the only one I felt comfortable sharing my writing with, the only one I knew could read the meaning behind my sideways glances. We just got each other in every way.

And we still do. To this day, you are one of the people I love and trust most. I don't know what I am going to do without you by my side, as you've been right there for 20 years. But I'm so proud of you. Of the many things we would lay around and talk about throughout the years, one topic persisted: moving away. Moving used to be a pipe dream, something beautiful that lived in your mind but would never come to pass.

And then you took a chance. And now that dream is a reality.

I want you to know how much I admire you. You are so incredible and resilient. I've never met anyone so strong-minded and willing to fight for what she believes in. You would never compromise yourself or your values for another person, but you are generous with others and so kind-hearted.

You are curious about the world and have a desire to learn about life and the richness it has to offer. That is a special quality that cannot be learned. You are beautiful in every way and are truly a blessing to have as a sister.

And it is from these very qualities and so many others that I know you will do great on your own. Sure, it's super tough at first; nobody said it would be easy. But if anyone can do it, then that person is certainly you.

I will always cherish our moments together, and you can always count on me to be there on the sidelines cheering you on, no matter where your adventure takes you.

Much love,

Your Little Sis

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