Her Campus Logo Her Campus Logo
gaelle marcel S6hz7Y1FCTs unsplash?width=719&height=464&fit=crop&auto=webp
gaelle marcel S6hz7Y1FCTs unsplash?width=398&height=256&fit=crop&auto=webp
/ Unsplash
Wellness > Sex + Relationships

The Struggles of Being the Oldest Sibling

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Kent State chapter.

Being the oldest sibling is exhausting. I can sense my fellow oldest siblings nodding in unison. 

In my eighteen-and-two-thirds years of existence, I have had to experience quite a few struggles that come along with the responsibility of being the oldest child. Don’t get me wrong. I love having a younger sister. I always have someone to boss around and I don’t ever get stuck with hand-me-downs. But, like most things in life, even though being the oldest sibling has its pros, it also has its cons.

This article is dedicated to all the oldest siblings out there who, like me, have had to endure a lot. You are all wonderful people and truly deserve to be praised.  

When your younger sibling comes along, your parents have ridiculously high expectations for you. 

I mean, first, you have to deal with the presence of a new little human being in the family and make your peace with the fact that you’re not going to receive all of your parents’ attention anymore. But then there’s also that added pressure to be a role model and to “set a good example” for your younger sibling. It’s all too much to handle!

They’re always treated as the innocent little baby of the family that can do no wrong. 

Your parents are always very strict on you, but your sibling can get away with anything. ANYTHING. If you’re arguing with them and it escalates into yelling or fighting, it’s somehow always your fault. Even though they’re the ones who started the argument in the first place. 

You have to learn to sacrifice the little things. 

Your younger sibling will usually get the bigger bowl of ice cream or the larger slice of pizza. And as they get older, you might have to, unwillingly, even start sharing your wardrobe with them. 

You have to be a private tutor for your sibling. 

And when you’re trying to explain a very simple algebra problem to them, but they still don’t get it after you’ve showed them fourteen examples, and so you end up losing your mind and accidentally scream at them just a little, (wow, that’s a long sentence) you will get yelled at for not being more patient. 

Your sibling pretty much gets whatever they want. 

Your parents are not as strict with your younger sibling as they were with you. Your parents had all these crazy disciplinary rules and restrictions for you when you were growing up. But by the time the younger sibling comes along, they turn into chill, lenient parents and those rules don’t apply to your sibling. When you were in middle school, you had to go to bed by 8.30 pm. But for some absurd reason, your younger sibling is allowed to stay up till 9.30 or 10. How is that even fair?

You’re the first one in your family to do everything. 

First to go to school. First to go to college. First to get a job. You don’t have an example to follow. So you have to figure things out all on your own, but your younger sibling always has you and your wisdom to help guide them.

Us oldest siblings have so many things we have to deal with, but it can be pretty amazing having younger siblings. Being the oldest teaches you how to be responsible and independent. And yes, it’s true that your younger sibling can really get on your nerves sometimes, but it’s kind of cool being the one they look up to.

Even though being the oldest sibling is the toughest job in the world, you wouldn’t have it any other way. At the end of the day, you know you love them.

Khushi Kothari

Kent State '21

Khushi Kothari is a junior studying fashion merchandising and minoring in fashion media at Kent State University. She is from Mumbai, India, but was brought up in Bangkok, Thailand, and has dreamed of coming to the U.S. for as long as she can remember. In her spare time, she finds herself listening and jamming out to music, buying more clothes than she really needs, video calling her family and friends back home, playing pool, and hysterically laughing at memes with her friends. She also has an unhealthy obsession with burritos and bubble tea.