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The Life of a Younger Sibling: What it’s Like to Have a Big Brother

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.

You hear from a lot of people who are the older sibling in their families that life as the oldest is hard. According to them, their younger sibling gets most of the attention, their parents are easier on them, they’re the most spoiled, etc. The younger sibling always seems to be the most annoying of the family. 

Now I can’t speak for all the younger siblings out there because all families are different. But seeing as I am the youngest in my family, I can easily say for myself that having an older sibling is just as gruelling as it is for an older sibling to have a younger sibling. 

So, I have a big brother named Nayef who is two years older than me. He and I go way back, about twenty years. And man, we have had the rockiest brother-sister adventure together. Ups and downs, rights and wrongs, you name it. The question is, is he my friend or my enemy?

Honestly, he’s both! 

Allow me to explain to those who don’t live with siblings. Let’s start it off with a little story.

When I was around two years old, my dear brother and I had a little… incident. At that age, I was still using a booster seat, and Nayef used that to his advantage. For what reason? I can’t say I’m entirely sure! But let’s make a long story short – he lifted the booster seat and whacked me in the head with it. To be fair, he was only four years old. Plus, I don’t really remember the incident very well considering I was still a toddler… or maybe getting attacked in the head altered my memory a little bit. Who knows?

But fear not, for I had exacted my revenge on him. How? In my old house, we had a long flight of stairs leading from the landing to the bedrooms. I, in my two-year-old wisdom and glory, went behind my brother and shoved him right down the staircase. Again, I don’t remember this very well but apparently, he got a black eye. A black eye for my head bump. Seems fair to me! 

I would also like to point out that while the younger sibling in most families might be more spoiled than the older one, the older one does have an advantage: they’re technically our elder. And I think most of us were taught to respect and listen to our elders. So what does that mean for us younger siblings? We become our older sibling’s slave. 

“Nawal, make me breakfast! Nawal, go downstairs and get the bag of potatoes for Mom! Nawal, refill my water!” 

I mean for me, Nayef doesn’t really do this anymore, at least not until we were both in high school. But you know, the memories are still there! So to those of you who are older siblings, don’t think we younger siblings have it easy! It’s not entirely true. But why do we listen when we’re ordered around like that? The thing about us is we look up to our big brothers or sisters. We want to be like them, so we listen to them! 

Having Nayef as a big brother isn’t exactly a picnic all the time. But it’s not always such a headache either. The good moments we have far outweigh the bad. 

For one thing, my big brother is like my bodyguard! He’s always looking out for me. There was a time when I was around 13 or 14 years old, I had some sort of medical issue which caused me to pass out. Nayef was the first person to react, lifting me off the floor and carrying me. Apparently, after I woke up and my dad drove me to a doctor, my brother was sitting in his room and trembling. 

Oh, and yes, he is definitely overprotective when it comes to boys. It’s actually kind of funny but it’s also sweet. I still remember back in high school, I was entering a classroom that my brother just got out of. I sat down next to my friend who, of course, was a guy. We were talking among ourselves until I realized that my brother and his friend were glaring daggers at my friend. I kid you not, he got his friend to join him. I’m pretty sure he was kidding, it’s not like he approached us or threatened my friend or anything. But also having experienced an incident with a guy online who was hitting on me and sending me disgusting messages, I can’t say I blame him. That’s a long story, but I’ll just leave it at he was livid when that happened. 

It can also be very fun to have a sibling around, especially when it comes to joking around with our parents. Nayef and I are constantly doing that to our mom and dad. We’d even pretend to have some stupid argument just to get my mom annoyed. 

We also always have each other’s backs. I think I can honestly say that despite the stupid and mean things we have done and still sometimes do to each other, he’s my biggest supporter. 

I mentioned that Nayef is both my friend and my enemy. That still holds true. But I think for the most part, he’s more of a friend than an enemy. And even when I do consider him my enemy, in the end he’s still the best around and I wouldn’t want anybody else to be my big brother. 

Like I said, I can’t speak for all the younger siblings out there. But for me personally, this is what it’s like to be the youngest. It’s hard, but it’s also the best.

Nawal Jasey

UWindsor '23

Hello! I'm Nawal! I major in English Literature and Creative Writing, so it's needless to say that I am obsessed with reading and writing. I also enjoy playing the piano (not at all professionally), watching movies, listening to music, cuddling my adorable kitty, and hanging out with my friends and family.
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