I don’t know the type of person I would be if I were an only child, and honestly I don’t even want to imagine that version of myself. My older sister Isabel has taught me so much in my brief 19 years, both through her successes and her (occasional) mistakes.
We weren’t the best of friends as children; my mom always tells me she was legitimately worried we would hurt each other in one of our epic brawls. My dad even started calling family game night “family fight night” because they would usually end with Isabel and me being sent to our rooms.
But as I’ve grown older, I’ve begun to understand the complex person that is my sister. Isabel is probably the most courageous, self-sufficient person I’ve ever known. She won’t back down from anyone or anything. At 16 she decided to spend six months in the south of France as an exchange student, despite having taken only two years of French. I can’t imagine taking that chance now much less in high school, but that just shows how different we are. Isabel is also one of the most loyal people I know. Having Isabel in your corner will make you a better person because no matter how many times you fall you know she’s going to be there to pick you up and tell you everything is going to be okay.
I could spend this whole time talking about what makes my sister amazing, whether it be her sense of humor, or her brilliant taste in music, but I also want to talk about her effect on me. I’m naturally an introverted person and I tend to play things safe, but my sister has taught me how to really enjoy life. She is constantly pushing me toward new experiences, and knowing that she’ll always be there for me has given me the strength to take those chances.
She got me interested in journalism as a sophomore in high school and that’s what I’m still studying today. She gave me the courage to attend a college halfway across the country after seeing her do it first. I’ve learned from her that it’s okay to take risks and fail because at the end of the day you learn from that, and it will make you a stronger person. I’ve also learned from her how important it is to let people into your life. Like I said, I’m introverted, and there was a 50/50 chance I would be miserable my first year of college, but I learned from my sister you don’t need everyone to be your friend to feel secure or popular. Five or six people who genuinely care about you is much more valuable than 50 kinda-sorta friends, and if you show those people how loyal you are and how much you care about them then they will reciprocate that. These are all lessons Isabel taught me, and I think some of her best traits have worn off on me and helped me to develop into the kind of person I’ve always wanted to be. I believe in siblings.
Evan Beebe is a summer news intern at WPSU.