What It's Like Growing Up In A Close-Knit Family

What It's Like Growing Up In A Close-Knit Family

“DNA doesn’t make a family, love does.”
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Many times, you hear teenagers say how much they do not like to hang out with their families, and how they would much rather be with their friends. As much as I like to hang out with my friends, anyone who knows me knows for a fact that this is a statement they would never hear me say. I am lucky enough to have grown up in an incredibly close knit family, and, my entire life, it has been one of the things that I have always been most thankful for.

From when I was very young, more than just my immediate family has lived with me. I grew up with my grandparents living with my mom, dad, sister, and I, which they did until they passed away. Those years that I was able to see them every morning and spend time with them every night are ones that I am grateful for every single day. In addition to this, my aunt would, and still does, come over every single weekend, and, no matter what we do, it is always memorable.

Not to mention that whenever we go on vacation, or have any type of celebration, it is a full family affair, filled with unforgettably good times. Whether it is a cruise, trip to Disney World, or spontaneous weekend trip to the beach, there is never a dull moment, and I can honestly say that there is no one that I would rather share these memories with. There is nothing better than being able to say that whenever my family is together, it is a time filled with love, laughter, and special moments that we will talk about forever.

On top of this, one of the best things about having a close-knit family is that I am constantly surrounded by unwavering love and support. I know for a fact that no matter what happens or what decisions I make, I will have my family behind me, cheering me on one-hundred percent. There is no group of people in this world that I can trust more, or that gives me better advice, even when it might not be the advice that I necessarily want to hear. Their honest opinions mean everything to me, because I know that in the end, they want nothing more than what is best for me and for me to be happy.

What I have learned more than anything else from being in a close-knit family is that family is most definitely not defined by blood. Most of the people in my family are not blood-related to me, but are friends who have become my family, and it does not change how much I love them and how close we all are. After all, “DNA doesn’t make a family, love does.” I realize how lucky I am everyday to know that my truly one-of-a-kind family will always remain close-knit, and I would not give up the relationship we have for anything in the world.

Cover Image Credit: Gianna Pisano

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30 Things I'd Rather Be Than 'Pretty'

Because "pretty" is so overrated.
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Nowadays, we put so much emphasis on our looks. We focus so much on the outside that we forget to really focus on what matters. I was inspired by a list that I found online of "Things I Would Rather Be Called Instead Of Pretty," so I made my own version. Here is a list of things that I would rather be than "pretty."

1. Captivating

I want one glance at me to completely steal your breath away.

2. Magnetic

I want people to feel drawn to me. I want something to be different about me that people recognize at first glance.

3. Raw

I want to be real. Vulnerable. Completely, genuinely myself.

4. Intoxicating

..and I want you addicted.

5. Humble

I want to recognize my abilities, but not be boastful or proud.

6. Exemplary

I want to stand out.

7. Loyal

I want to pride myself on sticking out the storm.

8. Fascinating

I want you to be hanging on every word I say.

9. Empathetic

I want to be able to feel your pain, so that I can help you heal.

10. Vivacious

I want to be the life of the party.

11. Reckless

I want to be crazy. Thrilling. Unpredictable. I want to keep you guessing, keep your heart pounding, and your blood rushing.

12. Philanthropic

I want to give.

13. Philosophical

I want to ask the tough questions that get you thinking about the purpose of our beating hearts.

14. Loving

When my name is spoken, I want my tenderness to come to mind.

15. Quaintrelle

I want my passion to ooze out of me.

16. Belesprit

I want to be quick. Witty. Always on my toes.

17. Conscientious

I want to always be thinking of others.

18. Passionate

...and I want people to know what my passions are.

19. Alluring

I want to be a woman who draws people in.

20. Kind

Simply put, I want to be pleasant and kind.

21. Selcouth

Even if you've known me your whole life, I want strange, yet marvelous. Rare and wondrous.

22. Pierian

From the way I move to the way I speak, I want to be poetic.

23. Esoteric

Do not mistake this. I do not want to be misunderstood. But rather I'd like to keep my circle small and close. I don't want to be an average, everyday person.

24. Authentic

I don't want anyone to ever question whether I am being genuine or telling the truth.

25. Novaturient

..about my own life. I never want to settle for good enough. Instead I always want to seek to make a positive change.

26. Observant

I want to take all of life in.

27. Peart

I want to be honestly in good spirits at all times.

28. Romantic

Sure, I want to be a little old school in this sense.

29. Elysian

I want to give you the same feeling that you get in paradise.

30. Curious

And I never want to stop searching for answers.
Cover Image Credit: Favim

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What It Is Really Like Having Sisters Close To Your Age

While having siblings close to your age is pretty amazing, there can be a lot of issues that can come with it.

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I come from a family of 5 people and 1 dog. I have 2 sisters, Grace and Caroline. We are all pretty close in age, Caroline being the youngest and 3 years younger than me.

My sisters and I share a bond like no one else, no one can replicate it. When you have siblings close to your age you have built-in best friends, and since they are around your age you have the same interest, or at least, enough so that you can do things that other siblings cannot. Examples of this would be seeing R-Rated movies and going to the mall without too much complaining, along with being able to shop in the same stores or even share clothes. Grace and I sometimes even split the cost of a shirt we both like.

We even overlap friend groups! Which is not much of a problem for us, Grace and I are both in music programs which overlap enough for us to have the same friends, which is great for when one of us has a sleepover, the other can join in on the fun. Caroline, however, even though she is seen as the sporty one of the 3 of us, she still has a lot of friends who have similar interests as Grace or I, giving us a lot of the same friends. It's nice not to be considered the "cool older sister", I am just like the rest of them.

While we do fight a lot, we make up really quickly, because most issues we have are stupid sibling fights: who gets the T.V., what to have for dinner, what movie to see. But it is always fun because there are 3 of us, which means majority rules, something we tend to go by most of the time depending on the situation.

Having 3 teenagers in the house can be a handful for our parents though, when you have three teenage girls going through puberty at relatively the same time, it can be grueling, especially when you are all on your period at the same time.. (yes, that has happened before) (and yes, it sucks). While I am on the topic, let's say a prayer and a thank you to my dad for dealing with 5 girls (including the dog, obviously) because he does a pretty damn good job at dealing with all of us.

When we were younger, we always had a play date even when one was canceled. We all made up songs and dances and would perform them for our parents. We even had a band called The Halsey Sisters (AKA the female version of The Jonas Brothers) where we had a hit song called "We Got The Heart and Soul". It was a hell of a time. Let's just say the music video for that song is, interesting to say the least.

At the end of the day, I wouldn't switch my sisters for anything in the world, they are my rocks, and I wouldn't want it any other way, Grace, Caroline, keep doing what you're doing, because you're pretty damn awesome.

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