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I Look Up To My Younger Sister — And That’s Okay

We were taught that the oldest child in the family should always be the role model. In my life, that isn’t the case. I’m the oldest sister that looks up to her younger sister, and I’m finally learning that it’s totally okay.

At first, it was a bit embarrassing to admit to myself that I wanted to be more like my sister who is four years younger than me. All my life growing up, I was told by adults that I should set a good example for my younger siblings.

I did what I was told. I got good grades, I tried being as polite and helpful as possible, and yet something was always missing from me that my sister always possessed.

In a group of friends, I’m sure my little sister is the “mom friend” who is protective, caring and always knowing what’s most logical and best for others because that’s exactly the impression she gives off.

No amount of A’s I got or people I pleased could ever top the authenticity my sister naturally has within herself. Her personality has taught me more than what I ever taught her.

When I first realized that my little sister was worth being looked up to, I saw it as a threat. I thought that I was faltering, that I should be the tough and brave one that stands up for my siblings. I felt weak and defenseless at some point, but now I feel loved and protected by my little sister and it feels so darn good to admit that.

She’s driven, responsible, well-organized, and extremely empathetic. Sometimes she can be more mature than me, stronger than me, and neater than me, but that’s exactly why I look up to her.

It’s actually pretty funny. If one were to come over to our house and look at our rooms, you’d be able to tell an obvious difference. Her room is well-kept. She has a neat notebook and a bunch of sticky notes by her desk and a planner that’s always in the same spot yet always updated. My room is always messy. I keep due dates in my head and my desk barely has room for my MacBook.

The dynamic between us can feel a bit odd. I am the sensitive baby and my sister is the caring mother. I am the wallflower and she is the partygoer that gets me to go on the dance floor.

A few weeks ago I got overwhelmed and cried in the middle of a restaurant. My little sister held my hand and let me sob on her shoulder. No judgments, no questions asked. She’s comforting. She’s the little sister I look up to and that’s totally okay.

Yoo-hoo, It's Mary Kay here! I'm a 4th-year Advertising student at San Jose State University. Other than being a writer for Her Campus, I also currently intern at Dwight, Bentel & Hall Communications as a copywriter.
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