8 Things Growing Up In A Family With Double Sisters Has Taught Me

8 Things Growing Up In A Family With Double Sisters Has Taught Me

Being there for my little sister the way my older sister is there for me is a full-time job, but is probably the most rewarding thing ever.

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I'd like to start this off by saying I give major props to my dad, living in a household with me, my mother, and my two sisters definitely is stressful. (but according to him he wouldn't have it any other way). Sure, at times, they are the most difficult people to deal with in the world, but I honestly do not think I would be the person I am today without my sisters.

Over the past 18 years, I've learned a couple of valuable lessons from my sisters that come in handy in my day-to-day life.

1. How to argue (and how to win an argument)

I can safely say that nobody you meet you will fight you harder than one of your sisters. Whether it be physically as kids, or verbally now, I've never been met with a fiercer opponent than one of my sisters. Arguing with a sister is a whole entire different situation than arguing with a friend because not only do they know literally everything about you, they are not afraid to use it.

After 18 years of arguments, I can safely say that I've mastered the art, knowing when it's not worth it, and when it is. But no matter how badly we argue, you can probably find us on our way to get food five minutes after or engaged in a duet during our favorite song.

2. How to support someone and hype them up when needed

Having a sister is essentially having a constant hype woman. They're always there to support you through everything (and help convince your parents if needed). Growing up with two sisters has fully made me the hype woman I am today.

3. How to be there for others

As the middle child, I've had the honor of not only being both a little and big sister. Being there for my little sister the way my older sister is there for me is a full-time job, but is probably the most rewarding thing ever. Having someone come to you looking for advice and trusting you enough to actually follow it is probably one of the nicest things ever.

Because of how important I find it to be there for others, I'm able to apply that to not only my sister but also my friends and acquaintances. Trust me, it's not easy for someone to admit to others they need help, so having someone come to you actively seeking your help and your company is the nicest feeling ever.

4. How nice it is to have someone there for you

Yes, you can always turn to your friends or your parents when you need someone to talk to, but there's really nothing better than sitting in your sisters' room and talking about literally anything in the world. I'm a middle child, so luckily I have an older sister that has gone through the similar, if not the same, things as I have. She's able to give me tips and insight that I'd never have. Coming to college has made us so much closer because not only can we relate to each other a little more, but she loves to hear about my life and in her words "relive her freshmen year vicariously through me"

5. How two (or three) closets are better than one

As I'm sitting here typing this I have to say that the thought of my sisters having complete access to all of my stuff at home makes me a little annoyed. But I can safely say that having access to more than one closet really comes in handy when you're in a time crunch for an event (or if you're just super tired of wearing the same sweaters).

6. How working together is better than working separately

Whether it be finishing chores early, planning gifts or parties, or just trying to convince your parents to do something, you'll quickly find that having a sister, or partner in crime, is so much nicer and more fun than doing it alone.

7. How to be an individual

As a middle child, I am constantly compared to not only my oldest sister but also my youngest. And while it's typical for others to lump us together (I mean we're sisters) it can get annoying at times. Growing up with sisters (especially ones that look very similar to you) teaches you how to grow out of your shell, by encouraging you to find your own passions, and become an individual.

8. How to set an example for others

Whether you're the older or younger sister, I can promise you that your sisters are looking up to you. You're both going through different paths in your life and picking up valuable lessons along the way. I can guarantee that as you go through similar experiences your sister is going to look to you for advice on how to handle it.

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My College Move Caused My Little Sister To Develop Separation Anxiety

Students moving to college has a ripple effect on families that is too often overlooked

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Moving to college is a daunting experience for almost every first-year student. It can be lonely, awkward, and you might miss your family... a lot. It makes you realize that after living with your parents and siblings for eighteen years, the act of uprooting what you have always known and leaving it all behind, is a really strange thing to do. You are no longer surrounded by the core people that have made you who you are today. And while I was dealing with these circumstances, I failed to notice how it takes effect on my sibling's emotions.

While it was obvious that my parents were dealing with the great heartache of their first child leaving the nest, I never considered the distress that it would cause in the lives of my siblings. A whole person is taken out of the original family dynamic, changing the ambiance of their household life entirely. I feel that this is often disregarded, as every event from graduation, to move in day, is about the child who is leaving. But it wasn't until my family began to relay the distressing tendencies of my eleven-year-old sister, did I recognize that she was showing signs of depression. And the guilt hit me instantly.

My mom and dad would each call me on multiple occasions to tell me how often she seemed to not be present or was not eating enough. Whether at the dinner table, in the car, or out shopping on the weekends, they could not seem to lift her spirits. They would also complain that from the time she arrived home from school until bedtime, she remained in her room, on her phone or computer. Although for a preteen this is not unusual, it was shocking to us as she used to spend the majority of after-school time with friends, and later hanging out with the family until it was time for bed.

Finally, I came to the conclusion that her self isolation must stem from the fact that my parents went through a divorce a few years ago, leading to me becoming a motherly figure to her during the nights spent at my dad's house. And she was probably just starting to adjust to that agenda until I left for school in August. But she was not the only one left feeling like she was missing something.

Although my brother doesn't outright show that he was as affected by my departure, he has mentioned to me many times how neither house feels as home-like with me gone. Because of this, he disregards any attempt to better his home relationships and often uses his newly acquired car to drive to his friend's houses where he spends most nights. Although this is his coping mechanism, it leaves my sister home with only one parent or the other, feeling like a newly appointed only child.

The issue with this is that my parents don't know how to give proper attention to a metaphorical only child, nor do they have the time. My siblings and I always had each other to keep company so it was never an issue. Therefore, my sister is left lonely, and slowing receding into mildly depressive tendencies. And no matter how often I encourage her to call me and discuss her feelings, I get the idea that she doesn't believe that anyone will understand, or that she feels as though discussing her feelings becomes a burden to others.

Luckily my family recognized what she was going through after a while, and has begun to take action to help her out of this funk. However, the possible mental illness that I saw her beginning to develop at such an early age is extremely worrisome to me. Not only do we live in a world where mental illnesses are more prominent than ever due to social media, but sometimes the families of those affected are the ones blindly causing it. We need to encourage our parents and siblings to bring about their compassion for each other more often. Because in a fast-paced world like the one we live in, where everything is constantly going, we often forget to look at those around us and make sure that they are feeling valued and heard.

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A Thank You Letter To My Sister

We may not have gotten along growing up, but we love each other.

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By looking at us, no one would ever guess we are sisters. Your caramel colored hair and deep brown eyes find themselves on an athletic girl standing at 5'2 ( and a quarter!). Who would ever guess you were related to the pale, ginger, 5'7 girl in the grade above you?

The close proximity in our ages meant we knew a lot of the same people and had a couple of teachers in common. Some siblings love this and take it as a chance for a built-in-friend, but many don't. Especially when they are as different as us. You excelled on the softball team and showed a penchant for business and marketing. I was a musical theatre kid, creative writing nerd and we were in totally different circles.

As the younger sibling, I wonder if there was any pressure to be different solely based on the fact I was older to avoid comparison. I'm going to pretend that spurred you into being the bold, beautiful and unapologetic you that you are today so I can take partial credit for how amazing your personality is.

In highschool, we fought excessively. A lot of the skirmishes were probably my misguided efforts to build a relationship with you, even if I just ended up annoying you. But, even then, I knew our family would be wildly different without you. Sure, I probably wasn't too pressed if you missed a family car ride because it meant more legroom. But the car felt so empty without the music of laughter after you inevitably made the whole car crack up. From your goofy catchphrases to impromptu songs, you bring so much joy to our family.

You are coming into your own and I am so grateful for a front row seat, especially since we get along now that teenage angst is over with. Love is so much more than high school circles or stereotypes. I am so lucky to have you as a little sister. I learn from your spunk every day and miss your classic "Lexi, Lexi Lexi..." instead of saying hi. You have also taught me to look for the ways in which different personalities complement each other instead of focusing on what seperates them. You have an amazing internship lined up, wonderful and supportive friends, and are in a great academic program. I am so excited to see where you go- just don't forget to always come home.

Love,

Your Big Sister

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