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.