Being an older sister is the most rewarding and challenging job on the planet. I say so being the firstborn myself. I've watched my younger sister grow up before my eyes to become a smarter and more confident person than I was at 15. However as we've caught up in age (and height), I've adapted emotions and responsibilities similar to those of a parent. We share a bond that you would with your best friend, but I still find it hard to not cradle her in my mind like a child.
Upon my sister entering her sophomore year in high school, a scary reality donned on me: she isn't a baby anymore. For many of us, including myself, high school serves as a trying time where through many mistakes and virtues, we discover who we really are. Along with those experiences come —boys . . . an unavoidable reality that leaves me freaking out whenever it crosses my mind.
While I wish I could get a glimpse into the future to mentally prepare myself for the day my "mini me" comes along with her first boyfriend — I can't. I'm learning that shielding her from all the aches and pains that come with crazy, stupid, young love is almost impossible. But the most satisfying part of my job as her big sis is being available to offer up firsthand advice, as I've walked in her shoes before.
I made myself a promise: no matter which boy comes along in my sister's young life, I'll always be there to guide her, as I wish I had an older sibiling to guide me. If you've been putting off having a conversation with your sister about love and don't know where to start, here are five fundamental lessons you can enstill in her — or any young girl who looks to you for advice. No matter how annoying she might be (or how much of your clothes she's guilty of stealing), she'll thank you in the longrun for sharing these with her.
1. Never change yourself for a guy.
High school is core time to experiment with different styles and in social situations to discover yourself. Sure you might have eyes on the popular boy with the nicest smile or swag, but don't force yourself to be someone or something that you're not to gain his attention. Trying to change yourself will only hinder you blossoming into the most authentic version of you.
2. Don't do things for the 'gram.
In a world full of #relationshipgoals it can be easy to scroll through Instagram and yearn for a love like the insta-famous It couple. But the cold truth is — the older you become the less anyone gives a sh*t about your love life on social media. Don't spend your days going after a guy (or letting him come after you) because a snap together will get people double-tapping.
3. Keep your priorities straight.
Having your first boyfriend might seem and feel like the world's greatest feat, but it isn't if you have to compromise your own goals and achievements for your relationship. Focus on things you want to accomplish individually and work towards those aspirations first. You only get one shot at high school, but many shots at many boys.
4. Be strong.
Managing a healthy love life in a world where everyone can see all of your moves, thanks to social media, can make your private issues so much more public. No matter the outcome of your first relationship and no matter who sees always remember, life will go on. Always rely on yourself to build your self-esteem, and focus on your perception of yourself.
5. Always confide in your big sister.
Big sisters, your younger sibling often relies on you for support in more ways than you notice. Instead of giving her the cold shoulder, be an open book. Share your experiences with her so that she knows she won't be judged, and encourage her to come to you first with any questions or curiosity. Remember, there are things that you can tell your sister that you can't tell anyone else, not even a parent. Always let your kid sister know that no matter what happens with a boy, you'll always be there to catch her at her lowest and praise her during her most glorious moments. Through the good, the bad, and the ugly always have your sister's back — afterall, there's no bond quite like the one you guys share.