I am the oldest of my sister and I. I'm 19 and she's 16 and we are extremely different people. There is my sister who excels in math and loves skiing and very much enjoys K-Pop, and then there is me-- who excels at crafting and loves photography and very much enjoys Ingrid Michaelson.
Now like most siblings, my sister and I had our occasional arguments which would lead to us screaming at one another about something completely ridiculous. I had always expected that we would just be those sisters that never had that best friend relationship that some sisters have.
I had figured that once I went off to college, I wouldn't miss my sister as much. We had shared a bathroom for almost 16 years, had ridden the same school bus together for years and had always celebrated our very close birthdays together. So I figured I wouldn't miss her because she had always been a real pain in my butt from time to time, and I just really needed my own place where people wouldn't know me as her older sister. Once at college though, things changed. It began to feel weird to not find long, red hairs all over my clothes or to have her come into my room uninvited and just lay on my bed. I started to miss her.
When freshman year finally ended and I was back at home for a few months, I made a mental plan to spend time with my sister even though both of us work. I made points of picking her up lunch if I finished work before she did or even bringing home dinner if it was only the two of us. I made sure to ask questions about school and about her life because I had missed a lot after being gone for almost a whole year. It became difficult, though, because my sister and I are very different. I tried connecting to her and tried to be interested in what she enjoyed, but it was difficult. I wanted to spend these few months I had left before sophomore year with my sister and learning about what I had missed. Then August came and I again made the drive with my family back to my school. My sister and I said goodbye and I knew the next time I saw her wouldn't be until October break.
My advice to older siblings that may be in the circumstance that I'm in, where your younger sibling and you are very different, is that no matter your differences and no matter how much you fight, your sibling will be there for you. I know being the oldest can be difficult at times because it feels as though you have to lead the way in how things should be done. You may feel jealous of your younger siblings because you may think their lives are easier, but you need to remember that you leading the way is helping their lives be a little easier. It shows them the correct ways to do things-- even if you didn't do them the correct way, it helps them learn from your mistakes.
When you get to college, talk to them. The biggest mistake I made was not talking to my sister and I missed out on a lot in just a year. And remember, no matter how much older you are than your sibling, no matter the fighting and the disagreements, they will always love you and be there for you through everything. Because no matter the differences, you are still siblings.
Dedicated to my sister, Megan, who makes me proud every day. I love you.