Having a 10-Year Age Gap With a Sibling

Shirley Huang, Staff Writer

I have a sister ten years older than me, and though it may seem like we would have little to connect over, I believe we are actually closer because of it.

My sister has been my role model since as early as I can remember. Because of our large age gap, she has had to take on the role of semi-parent, teaching me important life lessons and sometimes scolding me when I act out of line. In contrast to my parents, however, when I’m in trouble, my sister actually makes the effort to listen, allowing me to explain what had happened. Having spent so much more time with our parents, I think she understands that they tend to have their own view of the situation, oftentimes jumping to conclusions. When this occurs, my sister will act as the middleman, voicing my reasoning and saving me from a lot of anger-fueled lectures. 

Moreover, I think my mother sometimes forgets that my sister and I are two separate beings. That we behave and act in our own unique ways and that our personalities will change and develop as we mature. I say this since my sister has already grown up, and because of that, my mother often makes remarks about how much better raising my sister had been when she was my age and how I should be more like her. It is a lot of pressure trying to be the “ideal daughter” and sometimes I break. It’s during these moments that my sister steps in and reminds both our parents that I am only a teenager, that I get stressed out easily, and that I may overreact to the littlest things. 

Of course, a large part of her understanding of our parents is because she herself has gone through similar experiences with them that I am now going through. She’s tested their boundaries and pushed their limits, identifying them for me so that I won’t do the same. 

That being said, I often turn to my sister for advice as well. For me personally, it’s quite difficult to relate to my parents and to their experiences when they were adolescents because we come from entirely different generations as well as cultural backgrounds. With my sister, however, I feel like I can tell her anything without fear or judgment. It never feels like a lecture when she gives me advice but more like an opportunity to learn and gain new knowledge. 

She’s taught me a lot: everything from high school and college advice to more personal topics, like mending relationships, speaking up for myself, and to be more kind and open with other people. Specifically, whenever I feel overwhelmed or stressed about school, as all high school students tend to feel,, I always feel safe and secure once talking to her. She reassures me that my life doesn’t revolve around school or the grades I receive, that college doesn’t secure you your dream job, and that there is no rush for me to have to know what I want to do with my life. She tells me my life is far bigger than just this small world that I know now and that with time and experience, I will have my own passion in life.

In short, I have to say that one of the best things about having an older sister is getting to go through life with her, watching her as she reaches milestones in life like going off to college, living on her own, getting her dream job, moving farther away home, and exploring her newfound freedom as a young woman.

She has opened up the world to me and encouraged me to dream a lot bigger. To me, she represents freedom, independence, and maturity. She has taught me that life isn’t about fulfilling the expectation of others, but rather, finding your own passion and pursuing it.