What It's Like To Be An Only Child

This Is What It's Really Like To Be An Only Child

Many people even say that they wish they were in my place and sometimes I wish I was in theirs.


What is it like to be an only child? The stereotype says that we don't know how to share, we are lonely and our parents spoil us rotten. There are stereotyped perks, however, to being an only child as well, like a single room, lots of attention and always getting what you want. But how true are these stereotypes?

In my personal experience, my parents do spoil me because I am all they have and that is why they tend to be overprotective and value me more. Therefore, they try their best to give me the world, which I greatly appreciate. However, I feel that I never felt that lonely because my parents were always asking about me and talking to me.

When I got older and made friends, that was when I felt like I wanted someone closer to my age to spend time with at home. As a result of this, I tried, even more, to make close friends, giving more and being kinder so I could be accepted. I wanted a connection with someone that my friends had with their brothers and sisters.

As I grew up, I began to understand that being alone sometimes is not a big deal and having friends and family that genuinely care about you is more than enough. It is definitely a different experience than growing up with a sibling and I would not be who I am if I had one. Many people even say that they wish they were in my place and sometimes I wish I was in theirs.

The truth is that neither is better than the other. What really matters is who you have around you and if they make you feel cared for. The stereotypes come about because of the way people raise their children, so I don't think it really matters how many siblings you have, but how your parents treat you based on that number.

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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.


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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