My Sister

I have two siblings, a brother and sister, that are both several years older than me. Considering our age difference, it’s always been a bit difficult to just hang out with them. They always either didn’t want to hang out with their kid sister, or their own lives made them too busy. As I’ve grown older, though, they have included me more in conversations and things they do. I suppose because my more mature personality makes me a more competent person to talk to. I am still not that close with my brother, but my sister and I have become great friends. This wasn’t a relationship that grew overnight, though, it developed over years of arguments. The majority of my disagreements with my sister have been on the topic of my education.

I have been a home schooled student since second grade. Until ninth grade, I was a student at an international correspondence school. In ninth grade, my mom and I began consulting my sister for advice about what classes I needed to take to reach my goal of becoming a veterinarian. My sister used to be a high school teacher, and has her master’s degree, so she was very eager to help us. She set up my entire school schedule, from what classes I needed to take to what activities I should do. She also became my Spanish teacher, so I saw a lot of her. Without her, my mom and I wouldn’t have been able to make me quite as successful as I am in school. Still, I didn’t appreciate the idea of my sister having so much input into my education.

For a long time, being around my sister so much was extremely irritating. We clashed several times about school and other things. There were never any major fights, but we were in a constant battle, my sister pushing me in what she thought was the right direction, while I pushed back. Once, when she was describing colleges she wanted me to look into, I had had enough. “In case you’ve forgotten, it is my decision”, I snapped during a pause in the conversation. My sister responded with a sharp, “I’m only trying to help.” I felt like she was trying to control what I did by telling me what to do in school. I hated the feeling that I didn’t have any say in the education portion of my life. Since I had no knowledge of what I really should be doing in school, I was in a constant state of stress. I was so worried that my sister was telling my mom and me the wrong thing, and that I was digging myself into a pit by listening to my sister. I would come to realize, though, that she was fighting for me to reach my dreams.

As time wore on, I got great grades, visited colleges, and generally continued to do well in school. The colleges I visited said that considering the track my sister had me on, combined with my grades, I was doing a wonderful job in high school. Any time I had trouble with a concept in a subject, my sister would tutor me. For example, she has helped me a lot in math. I have always had trouble with math, and in ninth grade algebra was a nightmare for me. Geometry the next year started out the same way, but then my sister began teaching it to me. The way she explained things helped me to understand the subject better, and after each lesson I felt that I understood more. She has also given me advice about the PSAT and SAT, both of which I have taken with the feeling that I may have actually gotten good scores. As my Spanish teacher, she has kept me on an advanced level, making sure to work with me on anything I have trouble with. These facts made me realize that I was wrong about my sister, and looking back I see that she was just trying to help me.

Despite our struggles, my sister and I have become much closer, past our relationship through school. We read the same books, watch the same TV shows, sing at the top of our lungs in the car, and hang out at least a couple of times a week. Because we read so many of the same books, we can just talk for an hour about them. Most weeks we have a night where I spend the night at her house while we watch TV or movies and eat food from different countries. She is always introducing me to new things, especially food. We talk and laugh, and I feel like my sister is really one of my best friends.

Through this war of wills with my sister, I have learned a couple of important lessons. The first is not to see things as they are on the surface. To me, it seemed like my sister was just trying to tell me what to do, which is childish, but the truth nonetheless. Once I looked deeper into the situation, I realized that she really was just trying to help me do the best I could to reach my goals. Second, is to be more open to new ideas. Occasionally I find myself disagreeing with someone else’s ideas on the same topic because I don’t want to believe an opinion other than my own. I will never learn anything by only believing in my own opinion, though. I must use other people’s opinions to reevaluate my own. By doing this I gain a more intelligent understanding of the topic.
Even though it took a while, my sister and I are pretty close. She’s still guiding me through the misery that is high school, and encourages me to do my best. Sometimes
her encouragement comes in form of a good shouting match, but it works just the same. Next to my mom, she is an advocate for my success. Even though she’s twice my age, we have great fun together. Most of the time people look at us like we’re crazy when we start singing in Spanish or debate about our current favorite books, but we just ignore them. We still fight sometimes, but we’re sisters, that’s what we do.





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