Being the oldest sister comes with its own set of expectations and adventures. Here are just a few I've experienced as the oldest of three.
1. You're probably doomed to be the shortest.
Even though it's not scientifically proven, I can name a number of older siblings who are quite shorter than their younger counterparts. Unfortunately, I fit in that group as well. One of my sisters is two years younger than me, and she is two inches taller. Whenever we go out, she's mistaken for the older one. My 13-year-old sister is fast approaching my height, too. You just have to grin and bear all those remarks..."You'll be thankful for your youthful looks when you're older!" We'll see about that.
2. You go first...usually
You set the standard. You are the example. Be it at school or at home, your impression is the first one that gets made. While your sisters have to endure years of, "Oh, I remember when so-and-so was in my class...", you get the clean slate. Usually. Sometimes, there are steps that you and your sisters take at the same time, like getting contacts or cell phones or going off to camp. This can irk you--admit it, you secretly like that responsibility—but at least you have a pal along for the ride in case anything goes wrong.
3. Your stuff is often in danger of being "borrowed" (and so is theirs).
Scarves, shoes, shirts, hair accessories...the list of "borrowed goods" is endless. Especially if your sisters are close in age (like mine) your wardrobes are open to each other in case of emergency. All three of us have a slightly different style, which works well—my years in Speech and Debate lined my closet with business attire, while my younger siblings spend a lot of time in workout gear. Usually you lend your stuff in good humor, because you never know when you might need a favor yourself
4. Your relationship flip-flops constantly
Sometimes you feel closer to your siblings than anyone else. Sometimes you have no idea how you could ever be related to them. The feelings switch back and forth, sometimes daily. You're all going through your own things at school and work, and home is the place you can really let your emotions out. But no matter how much squabbling and bickering there is, you always know you can depend on them.
5. When you go to college, you miss them. A lot.
That first week in college, it's weird to not have your sister singing as she brushes her teeth or sitting next to you at dinner. Even though you were sometimes annoyed with them when you were home, you miss the annoying stuff now, too. You look forward to seeing them at breaks, but play it cool when you get there, and so do they. ("You were gone?") Deep down, though, you realize how much they were a part of your life.
6. You have that "aha" moment and realize they're growing up, too.
At some point, you realize that your sisters have lives of their own. They grow up, they learn new things, they have their own experiences outside of the corner of your world they exist in. As you grow and change, so do they. Every time you think you're much more mature than them, something they do or say will surprise you. And you'll be sad at the same time—sad at the silly little siblings you're losing and proud of the amazing people they're becoming.
7. You have built-in best friends for life.
No matter how far apart you travel, you and your sisters share a bond for life. At the end of the day, they'll always be there for you. They know you better than anyone because they've seen you in your natural environment—the family that you share. Your sisters are stuck with you for life...and I'm so happy I'm stuck with mine.