To My Younger Sister, I Will Always Be There For You

To My Younger Sister, I Will Always Be There For You

There will soon be new beginnings for the both of us
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Watching you grow into the person you are today is one of the biggest joys in my life. You have matured into such an accomplished, young girl. We have made countless memories from splashing around in the pool together to marathoning F.R.I.E.N.D.S to driving to school. I cannot believe that I am leaving you in less than a month.

Growing up, we had very contrasting personalities. While I was very fast-paced and always lived on the edge, you loved taking your time. You were very artistic and creative. You were an introvert who preferred reading books over parties. Meanwhile, I was an extrovert and loved going to parties and dances. However, we made such a great team and our personalities complemented each other perfectly.

You were the best sister any girl would dream of having. You happily accepted my hand-me-down clothing. You supported me during the college admission process. You brought me water, medicine, and food when I got sick. You put up with all of my drama without complaining.

During our fights over toys or clothes, I remembered how we would eventually end up rolling over on the ground and laughing over how silly it was. We always made up so quickly and went back to being the best buddies. I always felt so bad whenever you went to bed mad at me.

As I am preparing to leave for college, I want to tell you some tips that I wish I had known during my childhood. The most important one is to treasure the time with your parents and to always listen to them. Even though they may seem very demanding and annoying now, they only want what is best for you. It is better to listen to them now than to regret your decision later on. If you do not agree with what they are saying, be sure to speak up so they can hear your opinion too. This way, your relationship with them will be much more clear and stable.

Another tip to keep in mind is to appreciate your childhood. I know you always think that you can not wait to be an adult and move away. However, being an adult has much more responsibilities and stress than you can imagine. Learn how to value and make the most of your stress-free childhood now. Time flies faster than you think.

The last tip I want to impart to you is that you should try new hobbies. When you grow older, you realize that you do not have as much free time as you used to. You will no longer have time to read that newly released young adult novel or draw. Since you have the time now, it is essential that you make the most of it.

There will soon be new beginnings for the both of us. Our lives are just getting started. As we both embark on new adventures, I want to let you know that no matter what (just as stated in the F.R.I.E.N.D.S. theme song) I will always be there for you.

Cover Image Credit: Instagram

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I'm The Girl Without A 'Friend Group'

And here's why I'm OK with it

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Little things remind me all the time.

For example, I'll be sitting in the lounge with the people on my floor, just talking about how everyone's days went. Someone will turn to someone else and ask something along the lines of, "When are we going to so-and-so's place tonight?" Sometimes it'll even be, "Are you ready to go to so-and-so's place now? Okay, we'll see you later, Taylor!"

It's little things like that, little things that remind me I don't have a "friend group." And it's been like that forever. I don't have the same people to keep me company 24 hours of the day, the same people to do absolutely everything with, and the same people to cling to like glue. I don't have a whole cast of characters to entertain me and care for me and support me. Sometimes, especially when it feels obvious to me, not having a "friend group" makes me feel like a waste of space. If I don't have more friends than I can count, what's the point in trying to make friends at all?

I can tell you that there is a point. As a matter of fact, just because I don't have a close-knit clique doesn't mean I don't have any friends. The friends I have come from all different walks of life, some are from my town back home and some are from across the country. I've known some of my friends for years, and others I've only known for a few months. It doesn't really matter where they come from, though. What matters is that the friends I have all entertain me, care for me, and support me. Just because I'm not in that "friend group" with all of them together doesn't mean that we can't be friends to each other.

Still, I hate avoiding sticking myself in a box, and I'm not afraid to seek out friendships. I've noticed that a lot of the people I see who consider themselves to be in a "friend group" don't really venture outside the pack very often. I've never had a pack to venture outside of, so I don't mind reaching out to new people whenever.

I'm not going to lie, when I hear people talking about all the fun they're going to have with their "friend group" over the weekend, part of me wishes I could be included in something like that. I do sometimes want to have the personality type that allows me to mesh perfectly into a clique. I couldn't tell you what it is about me, but there is some part of me that just happens to function better one-on-one with people.

I hated it all my life up until very recently, and that's because I've finally learned that not having a "friend group" is never going to be the same as not having friends.

SEE ALSO: To The Girls Who Float Between Friend Groups

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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.

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Even though years have passed since this horrific day, it still haunts my memory. 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 following 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, with no place to hide, I just walked 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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