How To: Deal With Being the Other Child

Mariah Barnes, Staff Writer


Being a teenager is awful. It entails a select few years in which child-minded individuals are shoved into a brick building and expected to saunter out as adults. And we haven’t even mentioned the issues that come with this metamorphosis: friend drama, bullying, schoolwork, career choices, the opposite sex (which introduces pros and cons of its own), the weird hierarchy of popularity, self-image, self-esteem from that self-image, and confidence from that self-esteem that is derived from that self-image. Then hormones get tossed into the mix and everything explodes. Now imagine having all that, plus one little extra: there’s someone who has done it before, and they’ve done it way better than you ever could. Welcome to the world some of you Marauders may very well know—this is the life of having an elder sibling. 

There are suggestions that can be given if you feel as if the entirety of your parens’ mojo went into creating a beautiful baby and a couple years later you came along. Dealing with jealousy, open discussions, and walking down a different path can assist with the reality of being the younger sibling. As for my main suggestion? Do your thing. That doesn’t have to mean playing the violin because your elder sibling rocked the tuba; it simply means add your own flare wherever you can. If you feel hidden behind a dominating shadow, add a little shimmy to your step. Small inclusions of your personality into everyday mundane things can work towards drastically changing what you feel isn’t recognized. Don’t expect to launch into a new, unwritten chapter of life, either. We’re young, untrained, and mostly unaware of what exactly is happening, so by inserting yourself to any situation, whatever self feels right, you’ll begin to figure it out. 

There’s no need to be greater than an elder sibling. If you’re following the same life plan as them, or your parents are frequently comparing you, or that jealousy of yours just can’t be calmed, take a breath. Step by step, work towards allowing your innermost self to surface. It may take time, and definitely trial and error, but by humming your favourite song at work, telling jokes in class, and/or wearing multicoloured socks, you’re already completely different than the person you’ve been comparing yourself to. The lesson here is you do you, friends. You do you. 


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