Dear Middle Child,
First, I can relate to you in so many ways when it comes to living up to the expectation of my parents, especially when an older sibling is successful. From a young age, I was constantly compared to my older sister; she was the epitome of a perfect child. She had good grades, was very involved in school, respectful, and what’s worse I personally thought she was a badass. The funny thing is that now that I am in my third year of college, I find myself looking back at all the times I tore myself and belittled myself and my success, trying to live up to my parent’s expectation of what being a perfect child was. Haven’t you all felt that no matter how hard you work to be your own person, you always feel the stress of not being able to do enough to be different from your siblings?
My sister and I are so different yet so alike; when it came to academics though, we always had divergent interests and tastes. I was involved in the Associated Student Body (ASB) during my high school career because I always saw myself as a leader, and yet I somehow managed to walk under the shadow of my sister, because she was a great student leader during her own high school career. Because she was class president for her generation, I decided to be class president back to back. I had to learn how to create my own individual platform because I wanted people to see that although we shared our last name, we did not have everything in common. I was more than her little sister, I was an extraordinary student leader.
Ironically I ended up at the same university my sister previously attended (University of California, Riverside). At the beginning I was pretty upset with myself. “So much for being my own person!” I thought, but I realized that this school had more options than the English Major my sister took as an undergraduate; I could make this school the best choice for me and cater to my own wants and needs. I knew I had to still live under her accomplishments one way or another because I had to decide if I, too, was going to complete my Bachelors of Art in three years. Do I plan to do the same and choose English as my major, and finish off my college career as a third year? Of course not; not because I want to rebel and do everything my way, but because I have a different plan. I want to be able to study abroad and complete my sociology bachelor’s in a “reasonable” time. If it takes me five years to finish my BA, I would not be ashamed either because at the end of the day it is my education.As long as I do not give up on myself and my education, no person should look down on me. I am extremely lucky to have a sister like Alma-Delia because she is the best role model any young person could have. While we will always have the friendly sibling competition, we will always be on each other’s team and will be each other’s number one fan.
So you see, dear Middle Child, although the comparisons will be there from other people, it is you who can make sure to become your own person.
Another Middle Child…
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