As much as your sister might drive you crazy sometimes, I’m a strong believer that those of us who have big sister are pretty darn lucky.
Over the past few years, several news sources have released articles which really confirmed this theory of mine. In 2009, Jezebel posted an article titled “Having A Sister Makes You Happier And More Well Adjusted,” detailing ways sisters can contribute to your happiness, balance, and family bonding. In 2010, the New York Times published an article titled “Why Sisterly Chats Make People Happier,” and BBC News published a similar article called “Sisters ‘Make People Happy,'” both of which spelled out the proposed psychology behind reports of increased happiness among those with sisters.
Frankly, I wasn’t surprised by this because my older sister is my best friend. I know this is not the case for everyone, but nonetheless, there are dozens of reasons why it’s really, truly wonderful to have an older sister, especially as a young adult.
Here are just a few reasons why having a big sister rocks:
1. You can “borrow” her clothes. To start on an earnest note (because my sister wouldn’t want me to begin with something so superficial): from day one, you have a best friend for life, and that’s pretty invaluable.
p.s. for the record, the whole “borrowing” clothes thing is pretty wonderful, too.
2. You can bond over those “ugh, our parents are driving me nuts” moments.
3. You can look at her notes from classes she took before you, model your résumé after hers, learn interview tricks, etc.
5. When talking to her, you can move from personal conversations, to discussing nail polish colors, to debating the state of the developed world in under three minutes and it’s not weird at all.
6. You can jam out to music together, dance around and sing as loud as you want without judgement.
7. You’ll hold yourself to a higher standard because of her and naturally want to measure up to her excellence.
8. When someone wrongs you, she’ll probably hold a grudge because she’s that loyal.
9. It’s never very hard to buy gifts for her because you just get her what you’d want. (And if she doesn’t want it, more for you — woo!)
10. You get to take tremendous pride in each other’s successes!
11. Fact: having a sister increases patience. OK, that’s not actually fact… but I’m pretty sure it’s true. I can’t even count the hours I’ve spent sitting on the sidelines of peewee soccer games, or in the car waiting while she finishes getting ready before we go somewhere. My patience has increased exponentially.
12. You don’t have to suffer through family holidays and road trips alone.
13. If you’re worried about your own awkward transition into adulthood, you can look at pictures of her at this stage — you’ll either feel comforted by her equivalent degree of awkwardness, or be able extract tips from her slightly superior attempt at coolness/sophistication.
14. You’ll eventually find ways to laugh at the people who get you confused with one another (even though you’re pretty sure you don’t look that much alike).
15. She’ll call you out when you’re out of line and she’s usually right (as much as you hate to admit it).
16. She’s already softened up your parents, so by the time you are working through young adulthood, nothing is quite as alarming to them. They’ll probably go easier on you when you’re struggling to find a job, an apartment or a significant other.
17. You can rest assured that no fight between the two of you is insurmountable, in a way that is pretty unparalleled in other relationships.
18. She has cool/trendy friends, and hanging out with them makes you feel ~very cool~ (Added bonus: her friends can sometimes fill in if she’s not available to fulfill her sisterly duties).
19. She’s always teaching you things, some of which you probably didn’t want/need to know, but the rest of which is really valuable!
20. Bottom line: You’re not alone in whatever struggles you encounter because she’s been through those same tough phases, too.
For better or worse, you’re stuck with her. At the end of the day, I like to think I’m much better off because of my big sis.
Also on HuffPost: