My younger sister and I are close in age, with only eighteen months separating us. When we were little, we shared the usual children's toys for our generation, like Polly Pockets and Barbies, but as we approached our teen years, we started bickering more and more, over trivial things like the messiness of our room or whose turn it was to wash the dishes. Every movement or comment my sister made annoyed me for absolutely no reason, and vice versa, and our relationship suffered because of it.

Growing up, the divide between my sister and I was so prevalent, even distant family members we saw far too infrequently noted it, saying things like, 'You girls will value your relationship when you grow up, and you'll both realize how lucky you are to have each other." Back then, everything they said went in one ear and out the other, but more recently, those claims they made all those years ago have been weighing heavily on my mind—because they were right.

Like most college students, I had to deal with all of the difficult feelings of loneliness and homesickness when I moved out of the house and two hours away this past fall semester. Though the distance to my hometown is quite smaller than that of many of my friends, any distance will naturally be difficult when you've grown up in such a close-knit family like I have; I hadn't spent more than a week away from my family my entire life before I moved, and now I only see them once a month, if I'm lucky.

But, when I do get to go home, there is a drastic difference in the way my sister and I interact.

We spend quality time with one another, whether it be at the mall or Starbucks or somewhere in between, and we genuinely enjoy it. We share stories, about boys or friends or our own funny but stupid mishaps, and it feels more like spending time with a friend than a sister. I go to her soccer games and cheer her on, even though it slightly embarrasses her.

In the past four months, I've noticed that, though distance separates us physically, our bond has only grown—not only as siblings but as friends. She is someone I can tell anything to, someone who won't judge me for my mistakes, someone who has my best interest at heart and will always be honest with me, regardless whether or not what she has to say is what I want to hear, and even though she's younger, she often knows what's right for me more than I do.

Of course, we still have our differences, but we are able to appreciate the time we spend together in a greater way because we know it's often limited-- and I wouldn't want it any other way.