An Open Letter Of Guidance To My Younger Sister

An Open Letter Of Guidance To My Younger Sister

want you to know I am so beyond proud of you and how many things you have accomplished so far.

To My Little Sister,

I wanted to devote my first time writing to you for many reasons. First, I want you to know I am so beyond proud of you and how many things you have accomplished so far. I wanted to write this to give you some advice; these are some of the things I learned in life or things people have told me that helped me through different situations.

Even though I constantly had Brandy telling me this in high school, seriously don’t stress over the small things. I will admit at times I can get caught up in the small things and be temporarily upset but don’t let it get you down. A phrase I have been using recently is “if it won’t matter in a year don’t let it stress you out” or sometimes I say in a month. I know this phrase can be overused at times and even seem cliché but it’s so true and important to remember. I sometimes look back on high school experiences and wish I don’t get so upset about certain situations. With this being said, don’t let petty people or drama effect you for too long. It’s totally normal to be upset when people are mean to you but don’t let that dampen your day or week. Time in high school is so short, as you might know finishing your freshman year. Live it up! While high school might seem hard at moment, you’ll look back and realize that you should have enjoyed yourself more. Go after that fun job, get into your dream school, talk that attractive guy, befriend that person who you always wanted to talk to; don’t let anyone stop you from anything you want to do because I know if you put your mind to something you’ll accomplish it.

One major thing I realized after moving out of the south is that your weight or physical features aren’t the most important thing. If you feel you want to get more in shape or be more active let that be your decision. Don’t let anyone talk you into feeling uncomfortable about your physical appearance. I’ve learned from experience that people who make statements about your physical appearance are normally either jealous or insecure with themselves. Don’t let someone’s insecurities be your insecurities.

We’ve talked about college a lot together and I wanted to reiterate some important things. As you know I got into my first-choice college and I am extremely happy with it but it was a lot of stress for me when I was applying. I know Brandy and I always say this but try your hardest to do good throughout high school. Make sure to really think about the decisions you make because your future's so bright and I don’t want one bad decision to affect you negatively. College is such an amazing experience and I want you to have the opportunity for you to go to whatever school you choose to apply to. One thing you should know about the future is that it is perfectly normal to have no earthly clue what you want to do. You’ll figure it out, college is a time to figure out what you love and what you’re passionate about.

I wanted to end this with, I love you so much. I’m pretty sure you realize this but sometimes hard for me to express that to you. I know I give you a lot of tough love at times but it’s because I really want you to have the best in life. So, don’t get upset when my delivery come off harass at times; there’s love deep down I promise. Even though I get busy at times and can’t always call you, you know I’m always one text away.

Cover Image Credit: Caroline Domingue

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I'm The Girl Without A 'Friend Group'

And here's why I'm OK with it


Little things remind me all the time.

For example, I'll be sitting in the lounge with the people on my floor, just talking about how everyone's days went. Someone will turn to someone else and ask something along the lines of, "When are we going to so-and-so's place tonight?" Sometimes it'll even be, "Are you ready to go to so-and-so's place now? Okay, we'll see you later, Taylor!"

It's little things like that, little things that remind me I don't have a "friend group." And it's been like that forever. I don't have the same people to keep me company 24 hours of the day, the same people to do absolutely everything with, and the same people to cling to like glue. I don't have a whole cast of characters to entertain me and care for me and support me. Sometimes, especially when it feels obvious to me, not having a "friend group" makes me feel like a waste of space. If I don't have more friends than I can count, what's the point in trying to make friends at all?

I can tell you that there is a point. As a matter of fact, just because I don't have a close-knit clique doesn't mean I don't have any friends. The friends I have come from all different walks of life, some are from my town back home and some are from across the country. I've known some of my friends for years, and others I've only known for a few months. It doesn't really matter where they come from, though. What matters is that the friends I have all entertain me, care for me, and support me. Just because I'm not in that "friend group" with all of them together doesn't mean that we can't be friends to each other.

Still, I hate avoiding sticking myself in a box, and I'm not afraid to seek out friendships. I've noticed that a lot of the people I see who consider themselves to be in a "friend group" don't really venture outside the pack very often. I've never had a pack to venture outside of, so I don't mind reaching out to new people whenever.

I'm not going to lie, when I hear people talking about all the fun they're going to have with their "friend group" over the weekend, part of me wishes I could be included in something like that. I do sometimes want to have the personality type that allows me to mesh perfectly into a clique. I couldn't tell you what it is about me, but there is some part of me that just happens to function better one-on-one with people.

I hated it all my life up until very recently, and that's because I've finally learned that not having a "friend group" is never going to be the same as not having friends.

SEE ALSO: To The Girls Who Float Between Friend Groups

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To The Sister About To Move Away, Girl, You've Got This

You may not physically be here right now, but you're always with our family.


You were there on the day I was born, somehow sleeping soundly as our mom gave birth to me. I'll never forget the photograph of her presenting me to the world and you sitting beside her, holding up your newly-purchased beanie baby with pride as if being handed this toy was equal to the miracle of birth.

It was a crab, by the way, which somehow makes it funnier.

Growing up, you loved to trick me. You'd make me do chores for you and steal my favorite Barbies, but I think that's just part of being an older sister. I'd stick my tongue out at you and cry out the same phrase, "Mooooom, Sissy is being mean to me!" In fact, I yelled this phrase so often that it began to take on a musical quality.

You were mean at times, but you always had my back. You physically beat up other children that had wronged me, and you let me crawl into your bed so we could watch TV together and exchange stories. We'd often immerse ourselves in fantasy worlds where we were princesses and we rode unicorns side-by-side.

But we grew up, and our fantasy world evaporated like the muddy puddles we'd play in after stormy nights. One second it was there, and then, it was just gone. I remember having a conversation a few years back where we wondered if we had known the last time we played Barbies would, in fact, be our last.

When I was a seventh grader, you were a junior in high school. Our problems were very different back then, but that didn't stop us from talking endlessly about them. We were so similar. We bonded over cheerleading, cute boys, books and music. But even more than that, we bonded over our similar life views and questions about the universe. We both possessed an innate love for life yet we were both distrustful of society's guidelines.

Watching you enter new life phases enthralled me. I thought, Wow, that will be me someday. I danced around the house in each of your four prom dresses, my imagination taking me to a place much grander than a high school gymnasium. Through your stories, I romanticized the future and hoped that I would be as cool as you.

It was a little tough at times, though, always longing for a different part of life. When I entered junior high, all I wanted was to be in high school. When I entered high school, I decided college was much cooler because that's what you said. And you were certainly right about that one.

You were the only one I felt comfortable sharing my writing with, the only one I knew could read the meaning behind my sideways glances. We just got each other in every way.

And we still do. To this day, you are one of the people I love and trust most. I don't know what I am going to do without you by my side, as you've been right there for 20 years. But I'm so proud of you. Of the many things we would lay around and talk about throughout the years, one topic persisted: moving away. Moving used to be a pipe dream, something beautiful that lived in your mind but would never come to pass.

And then you took a chance. And now that dream is a reality.

I want you to know how much I admire you. You are so incredible and resilient. I've never met anyone so strong-minded and willing to fight for what she believes in. You would never compromise yourself or your values for another person, but you are generous with others and so kind-hearted.

You are curious about the world and have a desire to learn about life and the richness it has to offer. That is a special quality that cannot be learned. You are beautiful in every way and are truly a blessing to have as a sister.

And it is from these very qualities and so many others that I know you will do great on your own. Sure, it's super tough at first; nobody said it would be easy. But if anyone can do it, then that person is certainly you.

I will always cherish our moments together, and you can always count on me to be there on the sidelines cheering you on, no matter where your adventure takes you.

Much love,

Your Little Sis

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