Reminders For Your Little Brother As You Go Away To College

10 Reminders For Your Little Brother, For When You're Not Around To Remind Him

I don't care if we live 14 hours away from each other or under the same roof, you will always be my best and closest friend.

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One of the most difficult things about leaving for college was moving away from my brother. The summer before my freshman year, we could both drive and were always out doing things with our friends, but we somehow managed to spend more time with each other than I could keep up with. We'd have movie nights together and go out to eat and just sit on our favorite white leather couch with our dogs and talk about anything and everything.

Since I've been away, I've compiled this list of all of the things I hope he remembers while I'm off at school and not around to remind him.

1. I am so so proud of you

I know junior year isn't easy. I know that divorce isn't easy. I know trying to balance every aspect of your life is hard, but you somehow make it look absolutely flawless. I am so proud of all your accomplishments, big and small, and I cannot wait to see what you do in the future.

2. You do not need to have every little thing figured out

Just because I've known what I wanted to do for a while does not mean that you need to. You have so much time to think about your future, but I don't want you to get so caught up thinking about it that you forget to enjoy right now. It's also OK to be vulnerable. Don't let anyone tell you that it isn't.

3. Work for it

I know you've got goals and dreams and aspirations. I love that. But you need to work for them to make them happen. Also, don't forget I'm here to support you along the way. You gained a lifelong cheerleader the day that you were born, dude.

4. I will always be here for you, no matter what

Nothing you can do will change the fact that you are my brother and I love you.

5. Hug Mom and Dad and the dogs for me

Seriously...do it.

6. Your thoughts and ideas matter to the world

The high school you go to is massive. I know because I went there. A lot of the time, it's hard not to get caught up in it all. Remember that you have something that no one else can bring to the table: your ideas, thoughts, aspirations, projects, goals, etc. And all of those are very important.

7. You can call me whenever you want

You find a funny meme at 1 a.m., send it. You want to chat after school gets out at 4, call. You want to destroy me in 8-Ball via text message, let's play. I will always have time for you.

8. I don't have all the answers, but I'm an open book if you have questions

I'd like to think that we're pretty honest with each other about most things. You know more about me than a lot of people, and vice versa. Ask me anything.

9. I really do appreciate all of the little things you do

When you recommend a show on Netflix because you think I'd like it, or when you get me a snack when you're in the kitchen, or when you offer to drive me places, or walk the dogs with me... I notice and I can't thank you enough for all of the little things that you do.

10.  Most importantly, I love you

Mom used to tell us that we would be best friends someday. As a kid, I never fully got that. Throughout the years, though, as we've both been through some things and experienced more of the world, I started to see just how right she was. When something good happens, you're the first person I want to tell. You are the coolest dude I know and I cannot imagine my life without you, even if I was born 19 months before you. I love you so much and I hope you know that.


Don't think that this little message means I'm going to stop making fun of you. I definitely won't. Just know, it's all out of love. Someone has to keep you in line. Just kidding. But seriously. You're my best friend. Thank you, kid.

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When You Make A Girl An Aunt, You Change Her World In All The Best Ways

When you make a girl an aunt, you make her the happiest girl in the world.

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My brother and his wife recently blessed our family with the sweetest bundle of joy on planet earth. OK, I may be a little bias but I believe it to be completely true. I have never been baby crazy, but this sweet-cheeked angel is the only exception. I am at an age where I do not want children yet, but being able to love on my nephew like he is my own is so satisfying.

When you make a girl an aunt, you make her a very protective person.

From making sure the car seat is strapped in properly before every trip, to watching baby boy breathe while he sleeps, you'll never meet someone, besides mommy and daddy of course, who is more concerned with the safety of that little person than me.

When you make a girl an aunt, you give her a miniature best friend.

There is something about an aunt that is so fun. An aunt is a person you go to when you think you're in trouble or when you want something mom and dad said you couldn't have. An aunt is someone who takes you to get ice cream and play in the park to cool down after having a temper tantrum. I can't wait to be the one he runs to.

When you make a girl an aunt, she gets to skip on the difficulty of disciplining.

Being an aunt means you get to be fun. Not to say I wouldn't correct my nephew if he were behaving poorly, but for the most part, I get to giggle and play and leave the hard stuff for my brother.

When you make a girl an aunt, you give her the best listening ears.

As of right now I only listen to the sweet coos and hungry cries but I am fully prepared to listen to all the problems in his life in the future.

When you make a girl an aunt, you make her the best advice giver.

By the time my nephew needs advice, hopefully, I will have all of my life lessons perfected into relatable stories.

When you make a girl an aunt, you make her a number-one fan

Anything you do in life sweet boy, I will be cheering you on. I already know you are going to do great things.

When you make a girl an aunt, she learns what true love is.

The love I have for my nephew is so pure. Its the love that is just there. I don't have to choose to show love every day, I don't have to forgive, I don't have to worry if it is reciprocated, it is just there.

When you make a girl an aunt, you make her the happiest person in the world.

I cannot wait to watch my precious nephew grow into the amazing person that I know he is going to be.

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To The Older Sibling I Never Had, I Wish You Were Here To Guide Me

I know you don't exist, and I know you never will, but sometimes I catch myself imagining a life with you in it.

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Starting high school is a terrifying feeling and an insane transition when you don't have anyone to guide you through it. It was a mere 15-step walk to the door, and once I was inside my parents promised me there would be somebody there to help me find my classes, so why did I feel like I was being thrown straight into the gates of hell? I counted down the minutes until we pulled into the school parking lot and dreaded the sound of the car door opening and the anticipated start to the "best four years of my life."

As we were pulling up, I saw a girl who went to the same middle school as I followed her older brother, who was a senior through the front doors as if it had been rehearsed at home. At this moment, I would have given my right foot to walk in her shoes right behind an older brother just this once. Eventually, I just walked right inside.

Unfortunately, this would not be the last of my longing for guidance from the older sibling I've never had.

I get it, I got a B in math. I get it, if I would have spent last Friday night studying instead of out with my friends it is possible that I could have gotten an A. But, what my parents seemed to not get was that life actually does go on even if you get a B on a report card. Time doesn't stop, your dreams don't diminish, and you are still viewed as a fairly competent person.

Luckily for my younger sisters, it seems my parents eventually did get it at the cost of my phone being taken away for three months and my social life ceasing to exist for the rest of that school year. As I spent every Friday night at home studying I longed, for just this once, to have an older sibling who was willing to take this hit for me.

Why did nobody tell me that it's actually more fun to go to school dances with friends than the boy you barely know who is just desperate for some conversation with the opposite sex?

I always wondered why that girl I went to middle school with never took a date to any of our formals or homecomings. Eventually, four homecomings and two proms later, I realized that this was because stumbling through the awkward introductions to family, tolerating the completely posed and overdone photos that would never actually be posted anywhere because you didn't talk outside of this forced interaction, and small talk over fruit punch and loud music was never actually necessary. Of course, I passed this message to my younger sisters and saved them the struggle of finding out for themselves.

Don't even get me started on being the first sibling to have to navigate applying to colleges.

I really could have used you then. I'm convinced there is nothing more difficult than trying to fill out a FAFSA or Common Application with absolutely no guidance or experience. Is my application essay long enough? Should I apply for early or regular admission? What if I don't get accepted anywhere? As selfish as it sounds, I would have given my other foot not to have to find these things out for myself.

I'd trade a lifetime worth of shotgun privileges to have you in my life to help me figure this stuff out.

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