To My Little Brother on Your Graduation Day

To My Little Brother on Your Graduation Day

It's hard to believe that this moment is finally here.

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You may not say more than a few words to me when I come home from college, whether it is because you're hanging out with friends or just want to be alone. You may think I'm a lame older sister because we don't share the same interests or laugh at the same jokes. You may even think I'm a terrible sister for all the times I ignored you or gave you a hard time growing up. Despite all of our arguments over the years, I am so happy to have you as a brother.

Although the journey was not an easy one, I am immensely proud of you for reaching this milestone. It is more important than you think it is, not because of the paper diploma, but more so because you have finally proven to yourself that you are capable of great things and that all your hard work served a purpose. I remember my graduation being a bittersweet celebration, but I am even happier on your graduation day than I was on mine.

You faced your fair share of challenges throughout high school. I know that school wasn't your favorite part of growing up, but you gritted your teeth and kept pushing through. You may not know it or see it now, but the way you learned from your mistakes and grew from them speaks volumes to how successful you will be in the coming years. One thing I always want you to remember is that your path is unique. You will make the choices that will ultimately determine your future. Your choices may differ from your friends' choices, and that is more than ok. If you don't do what makes you happy, then there's no point in doing it at all.

I know that you grew up with people comparing us, and I know you've grown tired of people expecting you to follow your sister's path. Well, I also know that you don't want that, so I'm banning you from this path. Just like I banned you from my room when we were younger; just like you ban me from ever touching your video games. I forbid you from following in my footsteps because you have the potential to make a huge impact if you create your own. I will support every decision you make as long as you work hard towards your goals. I will always be there for you if you ever need advice or a shoulder to cry on, even though you're too tough to ever admit that you would.

Sometimes it's hard to believe that we've gotten so old. I miss driving to and from school with you, watching The Office after a long day of work, talking about our favorite shows and disagreeing about nearly everything. We still do these things, but we do them in smaller doses, and even though I miss the past, I can't wait to see how we evolve and find new ways to enjoy the times we do have together.

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11 Reasons Why Your Little Sister Is Your Biggest Blessing

She will forever be your go-to Netflix date, your late-night life talk partner, and your absolute best friend.
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She's the person you care for with all your heart and sometimes hate passionately. She's the one you misbehave with yet the one who often keeps you in check. You've been there since her day one, and she changed your life forever. She is truly your partner in every crime, your shoulder to cry on when life is too much to handle on your own, and the very best friend you never expected to love this much. She's your little sister, and there are many reasons why she is the best thing that ever happened to you.

1. She makes you want to be a better person.

She's your baby sister, and you want her to grow up to be a genuine and well-respected person, which means you must be that person for her to look up to. She gives you a reason to be better.

2. You were her first friend, and that is a difficult bond to break.

From the day she was born, you were who she latched onto. You were her friend before she knew anyone else, and that makes your relationship unbelievably strong.

SEE ALSO: Dear Little Sister, While You're At College

3. She matures you.

You find yourself feeling motherly when it comes to your little sister. Your instinct will always be to protect her, often maturing you beyond your years.

4. She will always keep you young.

Although you want to be a grown-up example in her life, she will always be a reminder to have more fun and to let loose. She also has a better sense of style than you ever did at her age, so pay attention.

5. Your life-long friends have known her almost as long as you have, and they love her too.

You may have been her very first friend, but your friends fell in love with her at a young age as well. You know you've got a pretty great little sister when your friends never fail to hug her upon arrival.

6. She supports your decisions.

This does not mean she will always agree with them, but as your sister, she trusts you to do the right thing.

7. And helps you make the ones that stump you.

She may not have as much life experience as you do, but sometimes this can work to your advantage. She hasn't made as many mistakes as you have, and this can mean she's not afraid to take chances and push you to make scary decisions.

8. Distance is no match for you two.

You could go long periods of time without talking and nothing would change. You'll pick up right where you left off every time, although you prefer to stay in touch consistently.

9. You've become really good at giving advice and looking out for people.

Your little sister will come to you for advice, and you become more and more prepared to give it every time. This experience has also helped you help your friends when they need your input.

10. You will always be needed.

We all want to feel like we are a necessity to someone. We want to feel like we are improving someone's quality of life. While you may find this in other relationships over the years, your little sister will always need you, and it will always be rewarding.

11. She's a constant in your ever-changing life.

People will come and go in your life. Relationships will end and friends will fade, but your sister isn't going anywhere.

The day she was brought home, your sister changed your life dramatically. Maybe you were an only child before she came along, and she stole your thunder for a little while, but you'll forgive her for it. You'll realize that she changed your life for the better. She became your truest friend and your biggest blessing.


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To The Sister About To Move Away, Girl, You've Got This

You may not physically be here right now, but you're always with our family.

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You were there on the day I was born, somehow sleeping soundly as our mom gave birth to me. I'll never forget the photograph of her presenting me to the world and you sitting beside her, holding up your newly-purchased beanie baby with pride as if being handed this toy was equal to the miracle of birth.

It was a crab, by the way, which somehow makes it funnier.

Growing up, you loved to trick me. You'd make me do chores for you and steal my favorite Barbies, but I think that's just part of being an older sister. I'd stick my tongue out at you and cry out the same phrase, "Mooooom, Sissy is being mean to me!" In fact, I yelled this phrase so often that it began to take on a musical quality.

You were mean at times, but you always had my back. You physically beat up other children that had wronged me, and you let me crawl into your bed so we could watch TV together and exchange stories. We'd often immerse ourselves in fantasy worlds where we were princesses and we rode unicorns side-by-side.

But we grew up, and our fantasy world evaporated like the muddy puddles we'd play in after stormy nights. One second it was there, and then, it was just gone. I remember having a conversation a few years back where we wondered if we had known the last time we played Barbies would, in fact, be our last.

When I was a seventh grader, you were a junior in high school. Our problems were very different back then, but that didn't stop us from talking endlessly about them. We were so similar. We bonded over cheerleading, cute boys, books and music. But even more than that, we bonded over our similar life views and questions about the universe. We both possessed an innate love for life yet we were both distrustful of society's guidelines.

Watching you enter new life phases enthralled me. I thought, Wow, that will be me someday. I danced around the house in each of your four prom dresses, my imagination taking me to a place much grander than a high school gymnasium. Through your stories, I romanticized the future and hoped that I would be as cool as you.

It was a little tough at times, though, always longing for a different part of life. When I entered junior high, all I wanted was to be in high school. When I entered high school, I decided college was much cooler because that's what you said. And you were certainly right about that one.

You were the only one I felt comfortable sharing my writing with, the only one I knew could read the meaning behind my sideways glances. We just got each other in every way.

And we still do. To this day, you are one of the people I love and trust most. I don't know what I am going to do without you by my side, as you've been right there for 20 years. But I'm so proud of you. Of the many things we would lay around and talk about throughout the years, one topic persisted: moving away. Moving used to be a pipe dream, something beautiful that lived in your mind but would never come to pass.

And then you took a chance. And now that dream is a reality.

I want you to know how much I admire you. You are so incredible and resilient. I've never met anyone so strong-minded and willing to fight for what she believes in. You would never compromise yourself or your values for another person, but you are generous with others and so kind-hearted.

You are curious about the world and have a desire to learn about life and the richness it has to offer. That is a special quality that cannot be learned. You are beautiful in every way and are truly a blessing to have as a sister.

And it is from these very qualities and so many others that I know you will do great on your own. Sure, it's super tough at first; nobody said it would be easy. But if anyone can do it, then that person is certainly you.

I will always cherish our moments together, and you can always count on me to be there on the sidelines cheering you on, no matter where your adventure takes you.

Much love,

Your Little Sis

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