My cousins bring out the best in me. When I'm with them, I am happier. They have played a significant role in shaping my mind and my soul. My cousins are the most meaningful people in my life—my life would be incomplete without them. Here are six reasons why cousins are awesome!

1. They help you define yourself 

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My cousins know me inside out. When I find myself in situations where a choice has to be made, be it choosing my career or just another pizza, my cousins have helped me choose—they know me so well! There have been times when my cousins knew things about me that I myself didn't know. It's always good to see yourself through others' eyes, and no one can get as real as your cousins.

2. They inspire you 

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Dance is something that I feel I was destined to do. It is one hobby I could never give up. My childhood is marked with memories of my cousin Rishabh and I going crazy to Bollywood songs. His passion and energy acted as my fuel. It is with him that I discovered the dancer hidden within me. His love for dance continues to inspire me each day.

3. They are there for you, no matter what 

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My cousins have always been there for me, through thick and thin. They have helped me understand and control my emotions. Who needs therapists when you have cousins like mine?

4. You learn so much from them 

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My cousin Shivam formed the image of an ideal elder brother in my life. He always stood with what was right and fought against the wrong. I look up to him because in him I see someone who is wise way beyond his years. I see a nurturing, supportive, patient man who is aware of his words and actions. Being the eldest of us all, he made sure we felt happy and safe. From him, I have learned the importance of selfless love, humility, and of always being right. Growing up with these amazing people that I call my cousins, I learned new things every day.

5. They understand you 

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They were there through the hair color phase, the nose ring phase, the Taylor Swift phase, and they never judged you.

6. They're like parents, but cooler 

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When you make a mistake, they will correct you. When you cross the line, they will put you back in your place. But when you want to go out partying, they'll also help you pick an outfit!

Cousins are a blessing in disguise. And if you have cousins like mine, oh boy, you must be lucky! My cousins make the challenging path toward adulthood worth walking. They make life worth living. And as we part ways and move into different cities, our hearts will always be together and their lessons always with me.