I really feel like an old lady saying this, but I cannot believe how grown up my little sister is. She is now a high school graduate and is getting ready to go off to college. It’s crazy because I remember her when she was small. We were close from the moment she was born and still are. She is the person I have the most memories with.

I remember when we used to have “sleepovers” in each other’s rooms. Most of the time they were in her room, and I would run across the hall with my pillows and blankets so our brother wouldn’t see us and want to join. We would always start Full House with the hopes of finishing at least one episode, but I fell asleep before that every time. (We have all eight seasons of Full House on DVD and have probably seen every episode at least 10 times.)

The two of us also had an incredibly large American Girl doll collection and kept them all upstairs in one room. There were many weekends and days in the summer that we sat up there for HOURS playing with them. I don’t know how we never got bored.

We grew up singing and dancing together, both on an actual stage and in the kitchen. I can’t dance, but she always helped me do my best. And sometimes,she didn’t even laugh at me. Our most memorable performance to me was when we spent one whole day changing the lyrics from “I Want it All” from High School Musical 3. We changed it to “Jen Wants it All” to perform for our mom’s friend. (She loved it, by the way.)

Once again, I cannot believe that she is 18-years-old. And despite the fact that she is my little sister, she taught me so much growing up. She is definitely a role model to me.

She always studied more than I did and is crazily organized. I do not know how she did it, but I do know that it motivated me to make some flashcards and try to get my life together (sometimes).

She never lets anyone bring her down. When someone hurts me, it takes me awhile to recover, but I admire the fact that it doesn’t take her very long. When things don’t go her way, it makes her want to work harder. I hope someday I can be this way.

She is a great friend. She is honest and loyal, but never does anything she doesn’t want to. She has high morals and standards that others respect most of the time. People know where they stand with her, and I commend her for that.

I know that the end of this summer is going to be tough. Saying goodbye to my little sister for a while will not be easy, but I am so proud of her. I am proud of everything she has accomplished, and I cannot wait to see what she does next.

So Emily, as you make your way into a new adventure, I want you to know that you are an inspiration, especially to me. You are smart, talented, witty, and strong, and you are going to make an amazing impact on this world.

“Always remember, you are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, smarter than you think, and more loved than you know.”