I Look Up To My Older Brother, And Not Just Because He's Taller

I Look Up To My Older Brother, And Not Just Because He's Taller

Although I may not grow to be as tall as him, I hope that my heart will grow to become as compassionate and kind as his.
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As the shortest member of my family, it is inevitable that I have to look up to everyone, but it is no coincidence that my brother is the tallest member; after all, I look up and admire him the most.

My brother not only jump-started my indestructible love for competitive swimming but also taught me how to dive through many obstacles and persevere despite the amount of water that filled my lungs. Through his difficult experiences growing up, be built up his resilience and further encouraged me to get back on my feet quickly. I admire his dedication and discipline that drives him to achieve his life-long dreams. After being rejected from his top college choices, he ended up going to his last choice of college. If he had the opportunity today to change which school he attended college, he would not have changed a thing.

After working hard through college, he was admitted to Baylor College of Medicine, then admitted into Harvard as an Emergency Medicine Resident where he will graduate this June and continue for his Masters. Through the many sacrifices he has made, he finally achieved his dream of becoming the best doctor he can be in order to help serve those around him. He truly inspires me to chase my dreams no matter how big they may be. My brother opened my eyes to the real world around me and helped me realize how fortunate I am with an amazing family and the gift of compassion. Through witnessing his passion to help others as an emergency physician, he inspired me to work hard and use my gifts to help others.

Despite his high achievements, he never looked down upon anyone else. His humble nature rubs off on me. I learned how to be humble through him by opening both my mind and heart to my surroundings. He helped me understand that Africa is not a name of a starving little boy, but rather the name of a continent that has one of the highest concentrations of those in poverty. I now understand that North Korea lives in an isolated, brainwashed world. He inspires me to change the world.

My brother never fails to encourage those he loves. He inspires me to become the best version that I can be, and he pushes me to strive for my passions so I can make my own dreams come true. He constantly challenges me to go out of my comfort zone so I can learn new lessons for myself and better understand how the world around me works. Of course, we would be like any other siblings and argue with one another, but despite those moments, he always forgives me no matter what had been said and done. Through him, I have built the person that I am today. Without him, I would not be the same person you would see standing here.

Despite our twelve year age gap and over thousands of miles away from one another, we are inseparable. He has a unique way of making his love known to those around him without any verbal or physical communication. We have many similarities because he is the one that has shaped me and my character. We both have enormous hearts that want to always care and tend for those around us, we are both hard working and would not stop at anything to achieve something that we really want, and we are both quite lazy and messy when time allows us to be.

My brother brings me more laughter than when he tickles me, and he inspires me to bring that kind of joy to the rest of the world. He is not only my brother but my mentor, role model, and best friend. Although I may not grow to be as tall as him, I hope that my heart will grow to become as compassionate and kind as his.

Cover Image Credit: Nicole Ma

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I'm A Woman And You Can't Convince Me Breastfeeding In Public Is OK In 2019

Sorry, not sorry.

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Lately, I have seen so many people going off on social media about how people shouldn't be upset with mothers breastfeeding in public. You know what? I disagree.

There's a huge difference between being modest while breastfeeding and just being straight up careless, trashy and disrespectful to those around you. Why don't you try popping out a boob without a baby attached to it and see how long it takes for you to get arrested for public indecency? Strange how that works, right?

So many people talking about it bring up the point of how we shouldn't "sexualize" breastfeeding and seeing a woman's breasts while doing so. Actually, all of these people are missing the point. It's not sexual, it's just purely immodest and disrespectful.

If you see a girl in a shirt cut too low, you call her a slut. If you see a celebrity post a nude photo, you call them immodest and a terrible role model. What makes you think that pulling out a breast in the middle of public is different, regardless of what you're doing with it?

If I'm eating in a restaurant, I would be disgusted if the person at the table next to me had their bare feet out while they were eating. It's just not appropriate. Neither is pulling out your breast for the entire general public to see.

Nobody asked you to put a blanket over your kid's head to feed them. Nobody asked you to go feed them in a dirty bathroom. But you don't need to basically be topless to feed your kid. Growing up, I watched my mom feed my younger siblings in public. She never shied away from it, but the way she did it was always tasteful and never drew attention. She would cover herself up while doing it. She would make sure that nothing inappropriate could be seen. She was lowkey about it.

Mindblowing, right? Wait, you can actually breastfeed in public and not have to show everyone what you're doing? What a revolutionary idea!

There is nothing wrong with feeding your baby. It's something you need to do, it's a part of life. But there is definitely something wrong with thinking it's fine to expose yourself to the entire world while doing it. Nobody wants to see it. Nobody cares if you're feeding your kid. Nobody cares if you're trying to make some sort of weird "feminist" statement by showing them your boobs.

Cover up. Be modest. Be mindful. Be respectful. Don't want to see my boobs? Good, I don't want to see yours either. Hard to believe, I know.

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For The Younger Siblings At Home While I'm At College, Know This

I'm pretty damn lucky to be constantly annoyed by you.

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I know you won't believe it, but I actually do miss you.

After spending most of my life being your role model, your confidant, and your friend, it's difficult for me to accept that you are growing up without me there to see it. You're maturing physically, mentally, and emotionally. You're changing from a little, pudgy baby to a young adult way too quickly! It's odd to think that at one point I was taller than you, that I was the big sibling in charge at home, and that your biggest worries used to be finding the right stuffed animal to sleep with.

Now everything's changing. You've reached that age where everything kind of sucks, you're not sure of yourself, and you're trying to figure out where you fit in. I remember going through that stage myself and I'll be very honest, it was rough. I got through it, though! I know you will, too. You're so strong-willed and determined, I am certain that you will conquer every obstacle that gets in your way. This phase in your life is no exception.

Even though I'm far away, I want you to know that I always have you on my mind. I wonder if you ever figured out those math problems or if you have any new crushes. I see memes and videos that make me laugh too hard and I immediately think you'd like it. I worry about if you're making good choices and if you're putting in enough effort so you can have another accomplishment under your belt. I hope you know that I will always worry over you, and just because I'm away right now doesn't mean I stopped caring about you.

I want you to know that you are perfect the way you are. I'm not saying that because I have to, I'm saying it because I truly mean it. You are stunning and incredible, amazing inside and out! There are going to be times that you see others and wish you looked like them when you look in the mirror and believe you see flaw after flaw. There will be times when you wish you could change some aspect of your personality. When those moments come, give yourself a minute to take a deep breath and think of all the things you love about yourself, to think of all the things that you are proud of. You are worth so much more than you realize and you make me so incredibly proud every day- you aren't worth less than anyone else, and you better start believing it!

You may be a pain in my ass, but I wouldn't trade you for anything in the world. We may fight and disagree sometimes, but at the end of the day you are my go-to, my ride or die. I'm proud to say that I'm your older sibling, that I'm related to a star like you.

I love you with my whole heart!

(But don't let anyone know I said that, yuck!)

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