The Big-Little Relationship: It's For A Lifetime, Not A Little Time

The Big-Little Relationship: It's For A Lifetime, Not A Little Time

I’m not saying you have to be best friends. Just be the best you can be for another person.

Type ‘sorority, big and little’ in the search tab on Pinterest – pages upon pages, upon pages of gifts, crafts, articles on ways to budget, and reveal pictures, pop up. Picturesque young ladies with a cute tank top that says ‘big’ on it, with her little on her shoulders, their letters gleaming in the background. In every picture, the girls look so thrilled, so enthralled with their new sister; so grateful to have that other person in their life.

For anybody that is new to a sorority or is not in Greek Life at all, the idea of big and little is hard to comprehend. You join a sorority, you get a big; that big also has a big whom they received when they first joined. That big – aka your grandbig – could also have another little; your big’s twin. That twin could have a little of her own, making her your cousin. It’s a family tree with branches and connections, severed ties, and leaves sprouting with every new semester. And it’s no wonder people get confused at the mention of it.

The idea of big and little, however, is very simple. If you are the little, you are not required to be attached at the hip of the big. If you are the big, you are not required to be the best friend of your little. When you take a little, you are signing up to be so much more. It should not be taking someone as a little just to say you have a little. The big is supposed to be the mentor, the best of both a friend and a mother; the definition of a sister. Someone who looks out for their mentee, makes sure their transition from high school to college, teenager to adult (perhaps one of the hardest things a person, especially a young woman, can go through) is as seamless and as enjoyable as can be. Someone who puts their little’s happiness and comfort above all else, within reason. Someone their little can call in the dead of night and count on for something as small as a tampon, or as significant as a broken heart. Someone they know is going to love them no matter what.

Amid this ‘contract,’ the little is bound to some conditions as well. No, they are not required to agree with everything their big does; they are not required to listen to every word they say, for we know deep down, just like a mother to a child, they aren’t going to always listen. But they, too, are agreeing to love their big no matter what. They are agreeing to be trustworthy, patient and understanding, and there for their big whenever they need it. (And trust me, big’s will need it.)

Once you have signed up for this, you’ve signed up for life. This doesn’t mean necessarily being in one another’s wedding or the godmother of their children – although it is a special and revered circumstance when it does happen. This means that, that person knows forever that there is someone out there who cares for them endlessly, even after all else have faded away.

Somewhere along the way, we lose sight of those blissfully happy girls in the photographs; we lose sight of one another. Don’t be ashamed: it happens to all of us. Big or little, it doesn’t matter, sooner or later one begins to take the other for granted. If that’s never happened to you, you’re either A) lying or B) a much better person than the rest of us.

In any journey, there reaches a point in which the roads turn from pavement to gravel, from gravel to the bumpy sod of the earth. We ride along, thinking everything is fine – convincing ourselves of it – firm in believing that the rough patch will end, that we will find pavement once again. We push through, laying our foot harder on the pedal, thinking the more gas we give it, the gentler the ride will be. All the while, thinking, ‘I should have just turned back when I hit gravel.’ But, there is no turning back; we’ve already given it everything we’ve got, and depleted our fuel in doing so. Now, we have two choices: we can either abandon our efforts and turn back, knowing the costs if we do, or we can forge ahead on foot, persistent and true.

Even though the pictures are lovely, some of them aren’t real. (Remember, people, stock photos exist.) Even if they are, they are not true to you and your own situation with your big or little. They are not a portrait to live up to, and you should not enter a relationship with the intention of looking like the girls in the pictures on Pinterest. This relationship is not a show; not a social media goal. We put too much emphasis on what people think of us, whether it’s on social media or the generalized others out in the world – and I’ll be the first to admit I do it too. But the big-little relationship is not founded in the basis of how many cute pictures you can take, how many likes you get, or how many people in your chapter tell you that you and your big/little are #goals. I’d like to think it is worth so much more than that. Just because there’s a problem – or because it strays too far from the photo online – does not mean it’s over. Once you’ve committed – whether you are a big or a little – you do not get to pick and choose who to replace the other because you’re angry. It is a lifelong relationship, and a meaningful one at that. A relationship that you can look back on after your college years and be ultimately thankful for.

So, when you hit the dirt road on your journey – and we all do some time or another – remember what you fought for, what you are still fighting for. Keep going, and don’t let it just be a picture on social media.

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I Don't Strive To Be Perfect, I Strive To Be Different

Normal is boring.

Too many people in this world strive to be perfect, please others, and to fit in. I don’t exactly do the opposite, but I strive to be different.

I’m not sure where I heard the saying when I was little, but “perfectly different” has always stuck to me. I’m not sure when or where I drilled it into my own brain that I needed to be different and that normal was boring, and ever since then I’ve been happy because of that.

I’ve never understood people who changed themselves for others, conformed to norms just to fit in, because where’s the happiness in that?

I’ve always taken pride in doing me and being different. Being happy with who I am and saying to hell with those who don’t accept me. I love being me, and being myself, and it just makes me even more happy and sure of those in my life who have accepted me.

Don’t try to fit in, don’t try to be perfect; just be you, be different.

Normal is boring.

Cover Image Credit: Kaitlin Sells

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Quotes of My Life

Some of the words that come to shape my life.

Quotes are such an important part of my life. I have a huge canvas in my room of quotes that I stare at everyday. I also have a couple of little ones on my dresser that I read. Someone once gave me a book of quotes to live by that I read from time to time. Most of the quotes that I have come to love are from music, books, television shows, or just ones that I have come across over the years. I wanted to put together a list of some of the quotes in my life that mean something to “me. If I wasn’t so scared of needles, I would consider tattooing one of these on myself but my fear of needles is far too great!

Here is my List:

  1. “Embrace The Glorious Mess That You Are.” -Elizabeth Gilbert. I think I found this quote on google when I was looking for something else, it struck a cord with me. To me, it means that you should embrace every part of yourself even the messy parts. I love this quote because of how relatable and real it is.
  2. “Roll all your windows down, Randall, crank up the music, grow out that fro, and let someone else make your bed.”-William, This is Us. SO many quotes on this show have left me sobbing on my couch, this one tops them all. This quote reminds you to live your life. Life is too short to worry about things, go out and live it.
  3. “A happy soul is the best shield for a cruel world.” -Atticus This one speaks volumes as the world can seem like such a cruel and unloving place at times, this is a good reminder to be happy.
  4. “You are enough”-unknown. It has taken me almost my whole life to actually believe this quote. Now that I do, I live a fuller and better life. I am enough. Believe it.
  5. “Though she be but little, she is fierce”-William Shakespeare - I relate to this quote because even though I am short, I can be fierce when needed! I love this quote so much.
  6. “She Believed she could, so she did”- R.S. Grey I used this quote for my graduation cap when I graduated college. It really summed up my entire college experience throughout all of the good and bad times, I was able to succeed.

These are just some of the many quotes that I live by. They all have struck such a cord with me and I hope that it will happen for you too.

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