8 Big Lessons We Learn From Our Littles

“Oh, my Little!” Big’s everywhere beam with pride as she does anything from acing a test, getting a date to your favorite Fraternity formal, to wearing pants that aren’t leggings for a whole day. Having a Little in the sorority-world is like having a child. Is she too drunk to drive? You knew she’d need you to stay sober. She needs a ride to the dentist? You already have it in your planner. She’s hungry? You know her order at Jimmy John’s better than you know your own.

Being a Big is a dedication in every sense of the word, it means you’re her mentor, you’re her friend, and you’re her cheerleader. She might look up to you, but we learn just as much from them too. Here are the top lessons we’ve all learned from our Little’s:

1. Being a role model doesn’t mean you’re perfect…

We’re not flawless, no sorority has ever made women pass a test to be sure they’ve got everything in life 100% handled before handing over a New Member as a Little. We’re going to make a lot of mistakes. A lot. Because we’re still young too, we’re still in college and we’re still creating ourselves.

2. …But we’re perfect in her eyes.

All of our little’s know that we’ll mess up along the line, they all have had to watch us cry over a boy we thought was going to be more than a shack-shirt but they still will always validate you and be your #1 fan because you’re hers and she wants you to succeed just as much as you want her to.

3.  “It’ll be okay.”

The classic text you send to her whenever anything goes slightly not according to her plan, be it family problems, relationship issues, grade catastrophes. Somehow we always know that she’s going to get over it and she’s going to be fine, if we have that much faith in her, we should have that much confidence in ourselves too.

4. Staying mad at anyone is useless.

All of our little’s have done something that made us roll our eyes so hard we gave ourselves a headache, but the Big/Little relationship is so special and unique that you forgive her faster than your “me-time” pedicure is over. We have to adopt the same reasoning to every other sister and person because they matter in our lives to.

5. Being young is fun.

“When I was a freshman…” All good, funny, classic stories start with this line, believe me. Yeah, as a Big we’re supposed to watch out for them, make sure they’re passing classes, make sure they feel like the goddesses they are, but they want you to join in and take a shot with them because big-little-shot-time will forever be sacred.

6. You’re not expected to know everything, but you probably do.

All Big’s have had to give advice to their Little’s that they didn’t even know they knew. You might not know every answer or have a quick-fix solution to every problem, but you probably have a way to start, even if the best way to solve it was to listen and to buy brunch.

7. You’re special.

No matter what you think about yourself, you are not someone who can be replaced to them. You’re the one they’re supposed to learn the most from and the one who sees the beauty in them on their darkest days, you’re the one who they will call when they can’t find a reason to get out of bed in the morning and you will have an answer. You’re special to them because you are you.

8. Being a Big means having a Sister and having a Sister means having a Friend.

It’s a weird relationship, that Big-Little one. You call them before you reach out to your boyfriend and they cry to you before they text their moms but you’re not best friends. You hold her hair after one too many and she applauds you feverishly after you make a simple presentation in a Chapter meeting, but she’s not your best friend. It’s a different relationship, a relationship that is unique to every Big/Little duo.

Author Note: This article is dedicated to Madee Riccardi, Mikelle VanKomen, and Amber Nielsen.